500 Russian tourists stranded at Goa airport

Around 500 Russian tourists have been stranded at Goa airport as a result of a sudden suspension of operations by Russia's biggest tour operator Lanta Tur Voyage due to its "financial collapse", officials said today.

The tour operator has announced the stoppage of operations, airport officials said adding many tourists have been stranded at the airport since last night while many others are staying put in various hotels.

"Many tourists had arrived in the state a fortnight ago and are waiting to fly back home," an airport official said.

The Russian Consulate in Mumbai has been informed about the situation. The Consulate's Goa representative Vikram Varma said they have received the information about the tourists stranded in the state.

"We have been informed that there are 500 Russian tourists who are stranded. All efforts are being made to assist them in their return to Russia," he said.

Lanta-Tur Voyage had chartered a few flights which were supposed to pick the passengers from Goa for a return journey. But the "financial collapse" of the operator has forced the flights not to entertain the tourists.

Reports from Moscow have predicted that the stoppage of operations by the tour operator will affect about 8,000 people who had bought packages from them.

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