Travel agency suspended for using unlicensed tour guide

The suspension comes in light of a tour conducted by an unlicensed tourist guide working for TG Tours in October 2014, which breached requirements under the Travel Agents Regulations.
The suspension comes in light of a tour conducted by an unlicensed tourist guide working for TG Tours in October 2014, which breached requirements under the Travel Agents Regulations.PHOTO: TG TOURS LAND TOUR SINGAPORE-MALAYSIA/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced on Wednesday (May 15) that it had suspended travel agency TG Tours for two months, until July 14.

During this period, TG Tours will have to fulfil existing obligations to its customers, but cannot accept new bookings.

The suspension comes in the light of a tour conducted by an unlicensed tourist guide working for TG Tours in October 2014, which breached requirements under the Travel Agents Regulations.

Individuals who provide paid guiding services to tourists must hold a valid licence granted under the STB Act, unless specifically exempted by the law.

The guide was in the midst of giving a tour when an STB enforcement officer checked his credentials and discovered he did not have a licence, said the director of travel agents and tourist guides at STB, Ms Ong Ling Lee.

STB said it conducts regular enforcement checks at "various places of interest" in Singapore to ensure tour guides are licensed.

Though STB began investigations on TG Tours in 2014, the process entailed a series of prosecutions and appeals which were completed only this year. TG Tours was prosecuted for using an unlicensed guide, which earned it a warning.

However, the tour guide himself, a Vietnamese national, left Singapore before he could be prosecuted, said Ms Ong.

STB has obtained a warrant of arrest for him.

This is the fourth case of a travel agent having its licence suspended by STB since the start of the year, and the first this year of using an unlicensed tour guide.