VILNIUS – Turkey's Anex Tour is set to start operating in Lithuania through Anextour Lietuva, a branch of Latvia's Sia Baltic World, Milda Plepyte-Rainiene, head of the Lithuanian Tourism Association, has confirmed.
"I have contacted the Latvian Tourism Association, which (...) confirmed that such a company has been established," Plepyte-Rainiene told BNS.
"Their license has been obtained in Latvia, and we can see that a branch has been set up in Lithuania, and the search for employees is underway," she added.
According to information from the state social insurance fund Sodra, the Lithuanian branch already has five employees and is headed by Giedrius Ribakovas, former CFO of the tour operator Novaturas. He could not be reached by BNS for comment.
Plepyte-Rainiene said the arrival of the new player shows that the Lithuanian market is attractive for foreign tour operators.
"They see opportunities and prospects in our market," she said.
As far as customers' protection is concerned, if a tour operator established outside Lithuania goes insolvent, things are usually more complicated than in the case of a company registered in Lithuania, when the country's laws apply and the money paid by travelers is protected and returned, according to the association's head.
Based on the information on Anex Tour's LinkedIn account, the company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Moscow and has an office in Antalya.
In 2019, Turkish media reported that Anex Tour owner Neset Kockar had acquired Russia's oldest and largest tour operator, Inturist. It was announced the same year that Anex Tour had signed a preliminary agreement to acquire bankrupt Thomas Cook's branches in Germany.
Anex Tour operates in Russia, Belarus, Europe, Asia and other countries worldwide.