Monday, May 07, 2007

Directors of Travel Agency may be blacklisted

The directors of a travel agency, which went bust, face the possibility of being blacklisted by the Tourism Ministry if they are found to have committed any offence.

“If it is found to be true, we will blacklist them and make sure they never operate in the tourism industry again,” said Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai yesterday when attending the open house of the Institute of Engineers Malaysia (IEM).

“We are waiting for the report.”

It was reported yesterday that the travel agency closed down and 20 people showed up at its office here to voice their anger and frustration at being cheated.

One individual, G.C. De Witt, 71, said that he had saved for 10 years to take a tour of Europe with his wife and had lost RM20,000 for the 15-day tour.

Nice meeting you: Lim shaking hands with a guest at the IEM open house on Sunday. Also present were IEM president Datuk Keizrul Abdullah (second from right) and organising chairman Awangku Hidup Awangku Hosain (right)
On the day they were due to leave on the trip, the tour leader told them that the trip had been cancelled because the company had gone bankrupt.

Lim said there were guidelines under the Tourism Industry Act 1982, which allowed the ministry to take the necessary action against people who commit any wrongdoing.

When asked if the victims could seek compensation, he asked them to refer to the Consumer Tribunal.

On increasing cleanliness to help promote tourism, Lim once more took the relevant parties, including local government authorities, to task.

Saying they were willing to work with the local governments, Lim cited Pangkor Island as an example where the district officer claimed a lack of money when he was asked why the place was so dirty.

“We have heard this excuse many times. I feel the local governments need to re-look into their operations,” he said.

Source : STAR
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