How tourists are cheated by hoteliers of our southern resorts

7 the most popular tourist scams in domestic resorts

Holidays at domestic resorts is a venture that requires preparation. Not the fact that you get good service, but that you’ll try to “cheat” for money – this is 100%. In this material we will tell you about the 7 most popular tourist scams.

“Homemade” spices

Spices – one of the most popular products in the southern resorts of Russia. Domestic tourists are sure that in their city they will not buy such delicious, fragrant, and most importantly, homemade spices. Take a closer look at the jars with spices on the market: almost everywhere they are the same, as well as their contents. Make condiments himself and then sell them simply unprofitable, it is much easier to buy them in bulk and “homemade” packed, not forgetting to add a price.

“Homemade” alcohol

To visit the south and not taste the local chacha, wine or cognac is unthinkable for a Russian tourist. Even if it is expensive, but natural, not “powdered swill”. Alas, but there is a great chance of getting caught in a scam. Poured at the factory wine is quality controlled, and what there hinted seller in his shed – only he knows. Assurances like “I made it myself, from my own grapes. I swear on my mother!” are only half true: he did it himself, but there are no grapes in it at all. Editors advises to buy alcohol on the recommendation of local or more experienced friends.

“Fake” apiaries

Tasting something is often part of excursions. In Abkhazia, for example, wishing to look at the lake Ritsa on the way brought to the “real” apiary. This is presented as part of the tour, but in fact you are taken to the store. No one will take you between the beehives and tell you about the honey production, because there were no bees, and the beehives are just decoration. But you learn a lot about the benefits of local honey and how important it is to buy as much of it as possible. In Sochi, they act similarly, telling a beautiful story about “mountain” bees that make them honey, but for some reason they do not live in hives. The same stories happen with vineyards and cheese factories.

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There are no bees at these apiaries and the hives are just decoration

Cheap tours with “asterisks.”

When a naive tourist “around the corner” finds a tour to the Red Glade in Sochi for 700 rubles, which in tour operator is a couple thousand, he is happy – he managed to save money. But after the trip he realizes that the pleasure had cost him much more. Many local guides do not include almost anything in the initial price. You have to pay for entrance to the tourist sites separately, as well as for a ticket to the cable car.

You can also be brought to a “random” cafe with a fixed bill for each member of the group, and then take you shopping (also “random”). The guide gets a commission for the purchases made by his group. The indignation will not help, because before the rest are given to sign the contract, where the tempting price is written in large print, and the additional costs – in small and somewhere below, so that no one would notice. In other cities, only the attractions are different, and the scheme is the same.

Carefully read the contract and any additional conditions written in small print

Photographers’ tricks

If impudence is second happiness, then resort photographers are the happiest people. Monkeys, parrots, dogs, exotic snakes – everyone wants to touch and take a picture, especially children. It is worth it for parents to get distracted for a few seconds, as smart photographers will give the child a cute pet in his hands and quickly take a picture. Service rendered, be kind enough to pay.

Not only tourists suffer from this, but also animals. So, in 2017, in Sochi on the waterfront, everyone was offered to be photographed with a small panda for only 100 rubles. Later it turned out that it was a chow-chow puppy, which the owner painted as a panda and carried in 40-degree heat on the street.

Often the animals also suffer from the tricks of resort photographers

If you are a victim of such a photographer, threaten him with the police: if the price was not negotiated in advance, it is fraud, and taking pictures without asking – imposing services.

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False spa tax inspectors

When a man comes up to the tourists, showing a certificate and politely asks to pay the tourist tax (usually about 150 rubles) – most of them silently pay. The amount is small – the calculation is that one in ten people do not know that the spa fee is not collected in the streets or do not dare to engage in arguments for such a trifle.

In 2022, the amount of the fee is not more than 100 rubles (in some regions this amount is 30-50 rubles), it should be paid only by adult citizens and only at the place of residence.

Resort taxes are only payable locally

Please cancel your reservation on the website

Booking a hotel or a room through specialized sites, many are faced with a request to cancel the reservation by the owner. They explain it simply, saying that they do not want to pay a commission to the website, and as a compensation they promise a small present at check-in – a fruit basket or wine.

It is better not to follow his lead, especially if you have booked accommodation a long time ago, and pay less than you would get in the season. It is possible that an unscrupulous owner decided to make a profit on another client, not as prudent as you, and not to run into fines from the reservation service.

Or maybe the tenant is telling the truth (although it does not characterize him in the best way). But by withdrawing the reservation, you deprive yourself of the guarantee of settling possible disputes through the service. Withdrawn booking, you will not even be able to leave a negative review.

Avoiding fraud at domestic resorts is difficult, but possible. Instead of a dubious trip “from hand” is better to take in the agency, and from the intrusive photographers and sellers saves the threat of calling the police: most are working illegally and do not have the right to demand something. The main thing is not to be afraid, and remember that you have rights. And to learn how to protect your valuables on the beach, read this article.

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Black Sea divorce. How to cheat in the hotels of our resorts.

In June and July in the Crimea and Krasnodar region rested 4 million tourists, reported Rostourism. Closed because of the coronavirus borders revived the popularity of domestic resorts: in the Crimea in the first half of September hotels and health resorts are booked almost “zero”.

In July Kuban and Crimean hotels have managed to raise their prices because of the late start of the season. But this, as it turned out, is half the trouble: an unprecedented demand for holidays on the Black Sea coast has led to an increase in all kinds of scams, and their victims were left without a vacation and without money. We tell you what schemes of swindling hotels and resorts are used by swindlers.

Fake hotels

It would seem that today no one would be surprised by fake sites where scammers pretend to be a reputable pizzeria/delivery service/internet store or even a bank. But, it turned out, the swindlers have successfully made money on fake hotel booking sites – selling tickets to citizens in closed or non-existent hotels and resorts. According to the Ministry of Resorts and Tourism of the Crimea, since the beginning of the year criminals have created 23 hotels booking resources.

Swindlers entice travelers by low prices. According to the channel “Crimea 24”, citizens found options for accommodation with good discounts, made an advance payment, and when they arrived at the place, found that the hotel is closed. For example, a family of Muscovites bought a ticket to the pension “Massandra” for 50 thousand rubles. For this money the tourists were promised a ten-day stay with three meals a day and a shuttle service from the Simferopol airport. The problem is that “Massandra” was closed three years ago. “We were already hoping that maybe the phones didn’t work or something happened. We took a cab, drove to the place. We expected anything but that it was closed and had been completely out of business for so many years,” the woman was perplexed.

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In the neighboring establishments to the closed “Massandra” admitted that they see tourists coming to the resort every day.

It’s better to book accommodation at the resorts on the official sites of the hotels or on trusted services. It is better to choose the possibility of paying for accommodation on the spot. If you cannot do without prepayment, check where you send the money: enter TIN (taxpayer identification number) and OGRN (primary state registration number) of the company that issued the bill in the search engine. If it is a real hotel or guesthouse, then the information about it will be like a hotel or guesthouse. And if you are faced with swindlers, for their TIN and OGRN may be anything: offices to install plastic windows, flower stores, beauty salons, and so on. It even happens that the legal address of these organizations are in another part of the country.

Double deduction

Vitaly from St. Petersburg booked a hotel near Gelendzhik on the official resource, without prepayment, but still lost the money. The young man paid for accommodation upon check-in, but the receipt was not given to him – the manager referred to the malfunction of the equipment, and Vitaly was so excited to finally get to the sea that he forgot to take the check later. And when he returned home, 30 thousand rubles had disappeared from his account. After a long investigation, it turned out that the money had been deducted by the service where Vitaly had booked the hotel. It turned out that the hotel had filed a complaint against the young man for not paying for his stay and, according to the terms of booking, the money had been debited from the St. Petersburg resident’s card. Vitaly could not prove that he paid twice – there was no receipt.

If you check into a hotel and pay for accommodation on the spot, be sure to ask for a receipt. This is a payment document, which is proof of the transaction.

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False discounts

It happens that swindlers sell fake coupons to real hotels and sanatoriums. Muscovite Lyudmila encountered such. The girl had a positive experience of saving money with discount coupons, and she decided to find a coupon for a hotel on the Black Sea coast.

“I couldn’t find anything suitable on the resources I knew, so I typed my query into a search engine. I saw a huge number of coupon sites offering exactly what I needed. I had to pay the service for 50% off a nice hotel room, and they had to send a coupon to my email. But then something confused me, so I decided to contact the hotel itself to find out about this promotion. It turned out that the hotel does not cooperate with this service. Moreover, people already came to the hotel with these coupons and demanded a discount”, – says Liudmila.

It is obvious that they were cheaters. First of all we should understand that this year there is unprecedented demand for vacations in the Crimea and the Kuban, and it makes no sense for hotels and resorts to lure travelers with discounts – they will come anyway. Secondly, even if you found the discount, don’t be lazy to contact the hotel and find out if it is really cooperating with a coupon service.

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