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Travel agencies may lose the right to organize pilgrimage trips  14.01.2019 13:00

On Thursday, the State Duma adopted the law in the first reading. According to this law only religious organizations will have the right to organize pilgrimage trips.

The law proposes to establish the concept of a pilgrim as "a person who travels for the period of 24 hours to 6 months in a row or who stays one night in the country to visit places of religious worship, religious facilities and participation in religious rites and ceremonies".

The explanatory statement says that pilgrimage trips are significantly different from regular tourist trips by the purpose of travel: visits by tourists of the tourist places during their trips are not pilgrimage activities.

Taking into consideration the specifics of pilgrimage activities, the law provides that the pilgrimage is an activity of religious organizations for the organization of the pilgrimage trips, in particular for the organization of accommodation, transportation, sightseeing and other services for pilgrims, as well as the activity of the establishment, maintenance and development of international relations and contacts for the purpose of organizing pilgrimage trips.

According to the law, religious organizations have the right to realize the pilgrimage activities on a free basis.

The adoption of the law will protect the rights of believers to visit places of religious worship, including the protection from unscrupulous organizers of such trips, noted in the explanatory statement.