Thai agents seek refund on cancelled Japan travel

THAI outbound agents are lobbying airlines and the Japanese embassy in Bangkok to refund tickets and visas in full after mass cancellations of tours to Japan.

With 70 per cent of tours to Japan already cancelled until May, TTAA (Thai Travel Agents Association) members reached a consensus yesterday to offer a full refund for cancelled trips.

TTAA president Charoen Wangananont told TTG Asia e-Daily that concerns over safety in the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and ongoing nuclear emergency in Japan has sent a wave of panic among Thai travellers planning to visit the destination during the long summer school holidays from March to May.

Thai outbound agents normally handle about 100,000 tourists from Thailand to Japan during the three-month vacation break. On average, outbound Thais spend 50,000 baht (US$1,641) per person on a five-day/four-night trip there.

So far, only Thai Airways International has agreed to waive cancellation charges for tickets booked to Japan until April 30. Charoen said TTAA would urge Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and some Chinese carriers to follow suit.

He said the association would also ask the Japanese embassy in Bangkok to offer a full refund on visa fees.

By Sirima Eamtako

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