SEMPORNA, Nov 27 — The enforcement team of the Sabah Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture will investigate complaints on the issue of price manipulation of tour packages in Semporna involving unregistered travel agents.

Treating the matter seriously, its minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin said immediate action should be taken to avoid any major problems to the tourism industry in Semporna in the near future.

“This problem has surfaced, following a report made by the Semporna Professional Divers Association (SPDA) recently, which reported that many unregistered travel agents had under-cut prices by up to half, more than it should be, which has caused losses to registered operators.

“However, this issue is not just a loss (in revenue) to registered operators but also involves the safety of tourists themselves. It is feared that these unregistered agents do not have the skills, especially in dealing with rescue in the event of an emergency,” he said in a statement today.

In the meantime, Jafry reminded that all registered tour operators should not take the opportunity to increase the price of tourism packages in Semporna as the sector has just re-opened.

SPDA chairman Suzimin Edris was previously reported to have said that many tour operators in Semporna offered cheap tour packages. However, he claimed that the packages were offered by unregistered tour operators who recruited inexperienced and unskilled workers who are ill-equipped to deal with any emergencies arising. — Bernama

Tags: tourism, semporna, package deals,