Govt asked to halt illegal Korean tour operators

Published by rudy Date posted on March 19, 2009

The Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) is asking the government to act on the increasing number of illegal Korean travel agencies and tour operators in the country, which are taking a toll on their business.

According to John Paul Cabalza, PTAA vice president, registered travel agencies last year lost about P30-million worth of earnings to unregistered agencies operated by Koreans.

“We urge the government to take actions against the proliferation of these illegal Korean establishments that are taking away potential earnings from legal travel agencies,” Cabalza said in a statement.

“There have been multiple illegal Korean travel agencies that have sprouted in the National Capital Region over the past two years. They do not issue official receipts and are only armed with a mayor’s permit and nothing else,” Cabalza added.

The PTAA official said that as the Philippines has become a top destination of Korean tourists, some Korean nationals in the country have seen this as an opportunity to operate unlicensed travel and tour agencies.

Cabalza added that these unregistered Korean travel agencies are taking advantage of their fellow Koreans who are not fluent in English.

“Because of the language barrier and being Koreans themselves, they are able to charge exorbitant rates from their nationals who are coming to the country. Our members could have provided the same service at much lower costs,” Cabalza said.

PTAA is calling on the Department of Tourism, local governments and the Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines to help shut down these illegal Korean travel agencies.
— Ben Arnold O. de Vera, Manila Times

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