Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cheap tour packages: Holiday makers advised to be careful

SIBU: Holiday makers and honeymooners here have been advised to be careful when signing up for cheap tour packages.

Travel agents here on Monday said there had been several cases in the peninsula where fly-by-night operators made off with their clients hard earned money last year.

They advised people to purchase their packages from companies registered with Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta).

Managing director of Equitorial Tours and Travel Sdn Bhd, Robert Tan said “this will ensure that they get bona fide deals that come with travel insurance.”

He said clients opting for packages offered by unlicensed operators might not be aware that they were treading in deep waters as there was no insurance coverage.

“You see, these customers are taking a huge risk when dealing with such kind of operators. They will not be compensated if the operator ran off with their money.

“And there is nothing much they could do if what had been promised differed from what they experienced. The thing is these operators would have their own networks and would work with unlicensed agencies overseas.

“Worst still, if there is a mishap during the course of the tour, the customers would be the ones to suffer as there is no insurance coverage,” Tan said.

He was reacting to calls from Matta president Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun who advised people to make sure they bought bona fide deals that came with travel insurance.

Tan, meanwhile, recalled some years back when holidays makers here were conned of their money by a company purportedly offering bona fide package.

Hence, he stressed the need to run a background check on the travel service or tour operators before dealing with them.

He suggested that members of the public go for well established companies registered under Matta.

Licensed companies could be categorised into three types, namely airline ticketing, inbound tour operators and outbound tour operators, he pointed out.