RTI’s bankruptcy affects domestic tourism – the extent of the damage is still unknown

The Austrian Hotel Association (ÖHV) responded to APA’s request on Tuesday that it is currently “difficult to calculate” how many hotels are affected by payment defaults and delays. The status quo is currently being determined and the full extent of the FTI bankruptcy will only be calculated in the next few days.

According to the ÖHV, the EU Package Travel Directive protects guests in the event of economic damage to hotels “in an emergency”. FTI is the third largest tour operator in Austria after TUI and Dertour. According to industry observers, FTI plays a major role in hotel bookings in Austria.

“The biggest challenge for the entire travel agency industry”

State Secretary for Tourism Susanne Kraus-Winkler (ÖVP) believes that the FTI bankruptcy in this country “will have little impact on the upcoming peak summer travel season”. The objective of all responsible should be to “provide comprehensive support and alternatives” to customers. “If the third largest tour operator in Europe were to file for bankruptcy, especially just before summer, it would be a huge challenge for customers and the travel agency industry as a whole,” says Susan Krause-Winkler.

It is now possible to estimate roughly how many Austrian FDI clients – currently at their holiday destination or on a booked trip – have been affected. The travel company had not responded to APA inquiries as of Monday afternoon. The head of the WKÖ travel agencies’ trade association, Gregor Katanga, told APA on Monday that he estimated the “low five-digit number of victims”, meaning more than 10,000 people.

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For travel bookings via FTI Germany, Deutsche Reisesicherungsfonds GmbH is “obliged to make immediate reimbursements”, which applies to customers from Germany and Austria, according to the Association for Consumer Information (VKI). However, bankruptcy protection does not apply to customers who have booked a personal travel service with FTI, i.e. only a hotel. AK Upper Austria’s Department of Consumer Protection has learned that bookings with FTI Austria are subject to a different insolvency protection, namely the branch of Swiss Re International SE in Germany. Victims can find out which insurance applies in their travel documents. According to AK OÖ, holidaymakers should contact their travel agency or the following emergency number: +4989710451498.

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