Konsortium Express & Tours, an agency in Singapore specialising in bus trips to Malaysia, has abruptly closed down and ceased all its services.
In a notice on its website, Konsortium stated that a “financial crisis” led to the shutdown.
Konsortium’s license has been revoked, said the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
Customers with unfulfilled trips were advised in the notice from Konsortium to claim on travel insurance or apply for a refund with Singapore’s small claims tribunal.
NATAS’s Surface Transport Committee is rallying local transport operators to take over affected bookings if necessary, according to STB.
Meanwhile, a major agency in the country has stepped in to offer affected customers some help. In a statement, Chan Brothers Travel said it will extend a goodwill discount of 10 per cent off package tours, based on group departure for bookings made from now till March 4.
Chan Brothers also advised customers to “exercise vigilance”. Tell-tale signs of companies in financial trouble, the agency said, include requests for more deposit payment than the industry practice or dangling incentives for full payment upfront.
As well, STB urged consumers to take measures to protect themselves, such as paying by instalments and purchasing travel insurance that provides coverage for unforeseen events such as agent insolvency.