Five Stars closure: Tourism board revokes travel agent licence

Five Stars Tours has up till Jan 31 to provide reasons to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on why their travel agent licence should not be revoked.

STB announced in a statement today that "a Notice of Revocation has been served to Five Stars Tours, in accordance with the Travel Agents Act".

The tour agency has been closed for business since Wednesday (Jan 8), as stated by notices posted at its offices.

STB said it is monitoring the situation closely and working with relevant parties to assist affected consumers.

Thousands have been affected by the sudden closure of Five Stars Tours, which has two outlets in People's Park Complex and Golden Mile Complex.

Shin Min Daily News estimated that up to 10,000 people maybe have been affected, given that the firm had scheduled up to 100 buses a day to make trips to Malaysia around the Chinese New Year period.

STB advised consumers who have purchased travel insurance prior to the closure to approach their insurance providers for assistance.

Those who are not covered by travel insurance can seek help from the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) or the Small Claims Tribunal where appropriate.

The Express Bus Agencies Association has reached out to affected passengers, where more buses are being catered and bus tickets are available at a discounted rate.

Several local travel agencies have offered to assist affected consumers by offering alternative packages at discounted rates.