Proposed changes to Travel Agents Act: How early should customers be told of cancellation terms

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is reconsidering how early in the booking process travel agents should inform customers of cancellation terms and conditions.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is reconsidering how early in the booking process travel agents should inform customers of cancellation terms and conditions. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is reconsidering how early in the booking process travel agents should inform customers of cancellation terms and conditions.

This is one of the outcomes of a three-week-long public consultation on the proposed amendments to the Travel Agents Act and Regulations which concluded on July 12.

The amendments are aimed at strengthening the regulatory framework, facilitating a pro-business environment in the tourism industry, and enhancing consumer protection.

The bill is targeted to be tabled in Parliament later this year.

There was broad support from the travel agent industry and public, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). It said it received 16 submissions from members of the public.

STB also held sessions with over 160 industry stakeholders, including travel agents, tour guides and industry associations, to enable greater understanding of the proposed amendments and their effective implementation.

One well-received proposed amendment was to reduce compliance cost and administrative burden, such as travel agents no longer having to purchase fidelity insurance.