How it works:
- Situation 1: there have been some cases of fly by night travel agents who offer cheap tours and then disappear; as well as some tour agencies which engage unlicensed guides and which subsequently get suspended.
- Situation 2: not technically a scam but in recent years, there have been agents/operators who have went insolvent causing customers to lose their bookings and payments (e.g. Konsortium Express And Tours; A D Travel; Five Star Tours, etc). Based on reports, 680 tour agencies have closed from March 2013- March 2018. Hence, despite Singapore’s sterling reputation as a business center, it is still important to work with reputable partners.
Places to beware:
What to do:
- If a price is too good to be true, it is. Get a reputable tour operator:
- Offline operators: ask – is the operator licensed? Is there a website, office and working phone number? Are there real online reviews? What does the price cover – is it too cheap?
- Reputable operators: some reputable local names to consider include Bike Around Tour Singapore (top rated bike tours to start your trip in Singapore), Hello! Singapore Tours (providing the best culturally immersive private and small group tours of Singapore), etc.
- Online platforms: Klook (best day tour platform in Asia) also has some popular activities.