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The leading tour operator in the Baltic States Novaturas Group has agreed on a EUR 1 million long-term loan received under the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania and state investment and business guarantee fund Invega. The Company intends to use it to refund cancelled trips due to pandemic.
Refunds will be implemented faster
Audronė Keinytė, CEO of Novaturas Group stated that the Company had started refunds for costumers already in July, but this loan will help to finish the process faster.
"The virus has disrupted the plans of many travellers and tourism business. We understand that some people have found themselves in a worsened financial situation during this difficult time and we want to start refunds as soon as possible, without causing any bigger inconvenience to our travellers", she said.
Government of the Republic of Lithuania decided to return to the 14-day refund period for cancelled travels, but the Parlament has not approved the offer yet. Until it is approved, refunds for the cancelled travels are implemented within 90 days of the end of the restrictions.
Nevertheless, the leading tour operator Novaturas is looking for new opportunities how to finish the refund process without waiting for the deadline. EUR 1 million loan will refund only a part of the cancelled travels, so Novaturas Group expects to increase the amount of the long-term loan for finishing the process with all of the costumers faster.
"We are grateful that the majority of our customers have postponed their cancelled travels - it is very important for planning our future activities . We are one of the first who have started refunds for the travellers and our aim is to strengthen people's confidence in the tourism sector during these unsettled times. Today, the tourism sector is going through extremely difficult times, so we expect more support from the state and faster decisions from the responsible authorities", says Audronė Keinytė, CEO of Novaturas Group.
Italy is changing the direction of Greece
Adapted to the situation, Novaturas group has offered local tourism services in Lithuania and the Baltic States in May and as of the 1st of July partially resumed its operations to the Greek islands of Crete, Rhodes, Corfu and Kefalonia.
"Although morbidity rates in the Greek islands are better than in Lithuania, due to the government's reluctance to split morbidity rates across the autonomous regions of the countries’ and considering Greece, which has already exceeded the permissible limit, as a whole, we are forced to recommend safer destinations in Italy, such as Sicily and Calabria", says CEO of Novaturas Group.
"The safety of our travellers is our highest priority, therefore, we provide our travellers all the latest information on restrictions and security measures applied at the airports, during flights and transfers, or at hotels. Foreign resorts and travel providers are perfectly adapted to the new requirements and have all the latest health security measures in place. In case new or additional security recommendations become available, we update the information and contact our travellers throughout their holidays. Also specific safe travel information is provided to each traveller by their travel agent prior to the planned trip. We are ready for all kinds of scenarios and will do our best to ensure that our travellers return home healthy and well rested", says Audronė Keinytė.
About Novaturas Group
Novaturas Group is the leading tour operator in the Baltic States. As of March 21 2018, the Company's shares are dual-listed on the Warsaw and Nasdaq Vilnius stock exchanges.
The Company was established in 1999, became the market leader in the Baltics in 2004. Products of Novaturas Group are currently offered in all Baltic countries.
The customers appreciate high quality, reliability and variety of travel offers provided. The Group currently offers both summer and winter package holidays as well as sightseeing tours by coach or plane to more than 30 destinations worldwide, including the most popular holiday resorts in Southern Europe as well as selected locations in North Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.
The Group's strategy also aims to retain diverse distribution channels. Novaturas works with over 400 travel agencies, including all of the major agencies in the Baltics. It also operates retail offices of its own in main cities of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and is developing its own e-commerce channels.