Haj visa cut: Agents claim they lost $12.5m
Only 680 given out, but bookings made for 2,180; agents forced to sell packages overseas
HAJ travel agents claimed they lost $12.5 million this year after the number of visas for the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca was cut by the Saudi Arabian government.
And to recoup these losses, travel agents have had to sell the pre-booked packages, which are not refundable, to travel agents in other countries.
Said Mr Tengku Mohamad Fouzy, president of the Association of Muslim Travel Agents of Singapore: "Most agents were able to get back only about half of what they paid out, but we don't have a choice."
The association represents 29 travel agents accredited by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) to offer haj travel packages.