Paris attacks: no impact on Singaporeans' travel plans, say tour agencies

Travel agencies said they have not received any cancellations for trips to Europe or France.
Travel agencies said they have not received any cancellations for trips to Europe or France.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The terrorist attacks which killed 129 in Paris last Friday and left more than 350 injured do not appear to have affected the travel plans of Singaporeans much.

Travel agencies that The Straits Times spoke to on Monday said they have not received any cancellations for trips to Europe or France.

Dynasty Travel director of marketing communications Alicia Seah said: "We have received less than 10 calls from those who are going to Paris during the school holidays but there's no cancellation so far. But we are monitoring the situation and will adjust the tour programmes if the need arises."

Any change or cancellation of travel packages to Paris last minute is also subjected to third parties terms and conditions such as those of airlines and hotels which means customers may not get their full refund, Ms Seah noted.

She added: "The short term impact will be travel sentiments, and bookings to Paris might slow down in the next couple of weeks."

Neither is there cancellation at ASA Travel, and at Chan Brothers Travel, customers have called in to express concern but are adopting a 'wait and see' approach.

A Chan Brothers Travel spokesman added: "As customer safety is our utmost priority, we are closely monitoring the local situation... by keeping in touch with our inbound Europe counterpart for information as it streams in."

A Hong Thai Travel Services spokesman also said none of their customers are cancelling or postponing their trip to Europe for now, but it will contact those departing this week to ask if they want to opt for another city instead of Paris for their tour.

At CTC Travel, however, a spokesman said that tour groups heading to Central Europe this month and in December will be avoiding Paris.

"Based on the current situation, we have made some revisions and rerouted our itineraries. We will skip Paris, and cover other cities instead. Safety is paramount," she said.

Aquarium diver Bay Lirene, who will be spending two days in Paris next week as part of a 19-day trip to Europe, is not too worried about the situation.

"(The) situation should be stable after the incident, as officials are more vigilant now," said the 28-year-old. "I will still visit the highlight attractions in Paris, but definitely not staying out too late at night."

None of Singapore Management University's (SMU) students on exchange in universities in France have requested to withdraw from their international exchange programme.

There are 70 SMU students on exchange, and all have been accounted for and are confirmed safe.

"SMU is in contact with all our partner universities in Paris and will take their advice, as well as that of the Singapore Consulate in France," said an SMU spokesman. "We will continue to stay in regular contact with our students to monitor their situation."

limyihan@sph.com.sg