ANOTHER travel agency in Singapore has surprised trade and consumers alike with the sudden announcement of its closure just ahead of the peak holiday season in June.
Local weekly The Sunday Times reported yesterday that staff at Asia-Euro Holidays were told to work earlier than usual, after which the agency posted a notice on its front door and on its Facebook account to say that it had closed and will stop providing services immediately.
It also told customers whose passports it was holding on to, to contact an agent in charge of visa applications.
An Asia-Euro Holidays spokesperson was quoted as saying that the company had bought 14 properties in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand in 2010, and accumulated losses of S$2 million from this.
According to the visa agent, many employees have also not been paid, said The Sunday Times report.
Meanwhile, Mandarin-language daily Lianhe Wanbao said approximately 500 customers have been left stranded by the closure.
Asia-Euro Holidays is not the first Singapore-based travel agency to close abruptly. Five Star Tours’ sudden shutdown last year ahead of the Lunar New Year period left thousands of travellers in the lurch.
In response, Singapore’s Consumers Association of Singapore's launched a pilot programme last February requiring travel agencies to take out insurance against sudden closures in order to protect customers.