SINGAPORE, 2 June 2017: Singapore Tourism Board announced, 31 May, that it served a revocation notice against a travel agency a day earlier.
It named Misa Travel Pte Ltd (MISA Travel) [licence no 00920] saying it has served a notice of revocation in accordance with the Travel Agents Act (Chapter 334).
In accordance with the Travel Agents Act, Misa Travel Pte Ltd will be given until 21 June to provide reasons against the revocation of their travel agent licence, failing which the revocation will take effect unless an appeal is submitted to the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
STB noted that Misa Travel had ceased to carry on the business of a travel agent and was unable to fulfill its obligations towards customers.
Local news reports suggested some customers, who had embarked on tours shortly after the closure were now stranded.
STB noted that affected consumers should contact Misa Travel regarding the status of their booking or to seek a refund. However, the agency’s shop was shuttered and it was not answering phone calls or email messages.
The 23-year old Misa Travel was a popular travel company that used both traditional and online platform to sell, but it was losing out to international players. Owner Kenny Chew sold the business in 2014 to Zany Capital a private equity firm in Singapore.
STB said consumers with applicable travel insurance should approach their insurance providers for assistance if Misa could not be contacted.
Consumers who are not covered by travel insurance can approach the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) or the Small Claims Tribunal (SCT), where appropriate.
So far, CASE has received 17 complaints from Misa customers according to the Straits Times.
STB also recommended that travellers should not pay for tours in full, but rather pay in installments to cut the risk when there is a dispute over refunds or a tour fails to materialise.
STB added: “We take this opportunity to remind consumers to take precautionary measures such as purchasing travel insurance upon payment of the travel plans, and to pay by installments instead of making full payment. The travel insurance should provide coverage for unforeseen events such as when a travel agent becomes insolvent.”
For the latest list of licensed travel agents in Singapore, visit the Travel Related Users’ System (TRUST) website, https://trust.yoursingapore.com.
Travel agents may also email firstname.lastname@example.org for related licensing queries.