Japan tours during Easter cancelled

Monday, March 28, 2011
Issue 1270, Page 3
Word count: 367
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The five main travel agencies in Macau will follow their Hong Kong head offices’ latest arrangement to extend the suspension period of all tours to Japan until the end of April including those planned during the Easter holiday.

These companies include EGL Tours which specialises in Japan packages, Hong Tai, Wing On, Sunflower as well as MorningStar.

All tours to Japan that were scheduled to depart Hong Kong or Macau on or before April 15 have already been cancelled after the 8.9-magnitude quake devastated north-east Japan on March 11.

While EGL in Hong Kong decided last Friday to resume tours to other parts of Japan except Tokyo and Sendai, the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, starting mid-April, the company’s Macau branch told the Macau Daily Times yesterday that it will adopt a slightly different arrangement in which all Japan tours between April 16 and April 30 will be on hold.

The four other travel agencies with headquarters in Hong Kong contacted by the MDTimes yesterday also said the suspension period will be extended to the second half of April, despite it falling in the high season during this year’s Easter long weekend from April 22 to April 25.

However, president of the Macau Travel Industry Council, Andy Wu Keng Kuong, told the MDTimes yesterday that a decision concerning the arrangement for Japan tours after April 15 will only be made in the middle of this week.

He revealed that since the earthquake and nuclear crisis broke out in Japan, about 1,200 passengers from 40 to 50 tour groups in Macau have been affected, not including those who have purchased individual travel packages to the country.

Affected passengers from the five travel agencies in Macau can choose to go on another tour with a different destination, keep the paid deposits to purchase other services or products within the next six to 12 months, or get a refund after deducting a service charge.

Macau residents who have subscribed an EGL tour in Hong Kong to go to Okinawa, Kyushu, Osaka, Wakayama, Hokkaido or the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route in the second half of April but do not wish to go as scheduled will also be given the above options.

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