Update at 2.30pm: In the latest update, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has revoked the licence of Asia-Euro Holidays after it suddenly closed on Friday (May 22).
According to The Straits Times, the tour agency located in Chinatown Point reportedly asked its staff to knock off earlier than usual on Friday at 5.30pm. It later posted a note on its front door, apologising to customers about the business' closure.
STB has urged affected customers to contact the agency for the status of their bookings or refunds. It said in a statement: "STB is monitoring the situation and may consider taking further actions against Asia Euro Holidays Pte Ltd and its directors, if necessary."
The sudden closure of a tour agency in Chinatown Point has left its staff and customers in shock.
The staff of Asia-Euro Holidays were asked to leave work earlier than usual, at about 5.30pm, last Friday, Chinese evening newspaper Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday.
A note was then put up on the company's front door to apologise for closing the business.
"We are sorry to inform you that Asia-Euro Holidays Pte Ltd has closed for business and (will) stop providing all services with immediate effect," the note said.
Customers whose passports are still with the company were told to contact an agent in charge of processing visa applications.
The tour agency also advised customers who have yet to go on their trips to make travel insurance claims if they have any, or to file a claim at the Small Claims Tribunal.
The same note was posted on the tour agency's Facebook page.
Lianhe Wanbao said at least 500 customers were affected by the agency's sudden closure.
Its spokesman, a certain Mr Chew, had told the Chinese daily that the company had to close as it had made huge losses in property investments amounting to about $2 million.
Mr Chew said the company had bought 14 properties in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand in 2010.
But the company had been hit badly by the property cooling measures introduced three years ago, and was not able to reap profits from the investments. It resorted to borrowing money to stay afloat, he added.
The Consumers Association of Singapore has received six complaints against the company since 2012, Wanbao reported.
The visa agent, known only as Mr Lee, told The Sunday Times he was not aware of the full details, adding: "I am closer to the employees. Many of them have not been paid their salaries too."
Mr Lee, who declined to give his full name, said the tour agency was a family-run business. Besides the owner and his wife, the couple's daughter and son-in-law were also involved in the business.
"I had heard about the firm's financial difficulties, but I didn't know that they were going to close down," he said.
He added that he has seven passports belonging to clients of Asia-Euro Holidays and "they can contact me to take them back".
This article was first published on May 24, 2015.
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