A Representative of the German Consulate said to a BANKO correspondent that the measure was adopted in order to regulate the financial activities of the consulate but not to ‘make the work of tour operating companies more difficult’.
Nevertheless, many travel market players point out the increased workload of those who deal with the German Consulate. Boris Blinov, General Director of Altus Travel Company, commented as follows: ‘after the new rules were introduced a representative of an accredited company has only 2,5 hours to pay a fee through a bank and to deliver applications to the Embassy (from 7.30 a.m. to 10.00a.m.), that is impossible for one person. Therefore, we even had to involve the second one’.
Furthermore, some companies do not have difficulties connected with the new rules: ‘we pay the fee in advance not on the day of application’, said Elena Grigorieva, Manager responsible for the German Sector of De Visu. However, according to travel market players, payment in advance is problematic when a tour has to be prepared in a short time.
A BANKO correspondent contacted a tour operator from Kiev Mondial Ukraine and Minsk travel company Alatan-tour. The correspondent found out that the German initiative did not refer to CIS countries.