Sabah Tourism Department to investigate allegations of illegal tour packages and price manipulation

KOTA KINABALU: Investigations will be carried out into allegations that many visitors have booked tour packages with unregistered operators, Datuk Jafry Ariffin said.

“We have received information about price manipulation from unregistered travel agencies in Semporna and we are going to investigate it,” said the National Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment.

He said action must be taken quickly to avoid untoward incidents, especially with the resumption of tourism activities in Sabah.

Jafry said the negative impact on the entire tourism industry would be huge if the problem was not nipped in the bud.

“Price manipulation is causing huge losses to legal operators, especially as a result of the pandemic and everyone is trying to get their business going right now,” he said.

He said that apart from the losses, the safety of tourists who would use the services of unlicensed agents would be compromised as workers might not have received proper safety training and would not be able to respond well in the process. emergency.

Jafry also reminded legal tour operators to maintain their prices and not to mark up prices as the economy has just started its recovery process.

He said it was vital to revive domestic tourism while taking into account the well-being of customers and the incomes of operators.

Registered travel agents have warned travelers against the services of illegal operators for security reasons. The Semporna Professional Divers Association (SPDA) recently alleged that many visitors booked tour packages with unregistered operators.