Continental Travel Singapore tour agency suspended for suspected voucher scheme abuse
Local tour agency Continental Travel Singapore will have its travel agent license suspended by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) for its suspected involvement in abusing the SingapoRediscovers Vouchers (SRV) scheme, the board said on Tuesday (July 19).
The suspension takes effect on that day and will last five months.
Continental Travel Singapore allegedly engaged in cashback arrangements by partially refunding, in cash, the value of the SRV bookings made by some members of the public.
STB had previously issued a Notice of Intent to suspend Continental Travel Singapore's travel agent license in October 2021, against which the agency had appealed. It had also been suspended from the SRV scheme then.
The Police also arrested three persons linked to the travel agency for their alleged involvement in a series of suspected fraudulent SRV redemptions in September last year.
Investigations are ongoing.
The $320 million SingapoRediscovers Vouchers (SRV) campaign was launched in July 2020 to drive local spending at Singapore's hotels, attractions and tours as the tourism sector was battered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the scheme, each Singaporean aged 18 and above was given $100 worth of credits to spend.
However, SRVs were meant for personal use only, and reselling or exchanging the SRVs for cash was not allowed.
In a press release on Tuesday, STB said: " (We take) a serious view of errant travel agents and will not hesitate to take necessary action to protect the reputation of Singapore's travel industry, including referring cases to the Police."