The Russian government is taking yet another industry in its own hands, as they plan on developing their own airline booking system, in response to the new data protection law, launched at the beginning of the month.
Russia’s controversial new personal data protection law is still quite fresh, but it is also already creating a revolution of sorts in the lives of the Russian people and the country’s strained relationship with the outside.
According to the new law, personal information collected about Russian citizens needs to be stored in servers located in Russia, something which is virtually impossible for international companies to do and which is prompting some of those, such as online travel agencies and booking companies, to pull their businesses out of the country.
But although Russians are more used to booking their travel tickets and such through international companies which obviously do not comply with the new law, Russia doesn’t plan on keeping their citizens from travelling. Instead, the government is planning on developing its own booking system, according to declarations made by the head of the Federal Tourism Agency.
Further information suggests that Rostec, a state-owned tech company, will be behind the new booking system, and that the Federal Tourism Agency is also developing a complementary website which will provide useful information to travelers who choose to use Russia’s booking system, called Russia.travel.
Russia’s online booking system will focus primarily on booking airplane tickets, in its initial stage, but there are plans in place to expand the new system to include other bookings like trains, hotels and activities, if all goes according to plan.
Initial reports had claimed that foreign online booking agencies and airlines should not be affected by the data protection law, but it seems the Federal Security Service’s opposition to this exemption has had some influence on the government’s position towards the issue, resulting in the demand that foreign companies store their information in Russian servers.
In spite of the controversy, however, the Federal Tourism Agency expects the new booking system to have a positive effect on Russia’s tourism industry, by boosting the popularity and occupancy of Russia’s own holiday resorts.