betty July 19, 2022

SINGAPORE – Local tour agency Continental Travel Singapore will have its travel agent licence suspended by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) over suspected involvement in abusing the SingapoRediscovers Voucher (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 licence in October 2021, against which the agency had appealed. It had also been suspended from the SRV scheme then.

The police also arrested three people linked to the agency for alleged involvement in a series of suspected fraudulent SRV redemptions in September last year.

Investigations are ongoing.

The $320 million SRV campaign was launched in July 2020 to drive local spending on 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 them 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.”