The Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA) offered its support to Ady Gelber, CEO of IsramWorld who announced suspension of tour operations in the Russian Federation in response to the anti-LGBT regulations recently enacted.
ARTA said it "fully supports IsramWorld in this rejection of prejudice. Current regulations in the Russian Federation put clients at risk, should they even 'appear' gay, bisexual or transgender. Even the appearance of tolerance is punishable."
"How can I in good conscience subject my clients to this potential treatment?" remarked John Faulds, vice-chair of ARTA. "I have always believed that travel was the greatest people to people bridge, but it seems the Russian Federation is eager to take an historic leap backwards to intolerable prejudice."
"Having visited many cities in Russia, I am saddened at this turn of events. Agents with clients currently booked to the Russian Federation are well advised to obtain a 'waiver of responsibility' prior to travel, " Faulds said.