Welcome to the Travel Related Users' System (TRUST)!
Here, you can get up-to-date information on all licensed travel
agents in Singapore. You can read notices, circulars or press
releases by Singapore Tourism Board on the Bulletin Board. You
can also access information on upcoming overseas or local trade
or consumer events as well as festivals in Singapore.
If you are a licensed travel agent, you can update your company's record
instantaneously and even submit your licence renewal online! All
these are possible here at TRUST - a one-stop licensing website for
all travel agents in Singapore.
The Quick Reference Guide for Travel Agents Handbook is a quick overview guide to address questions frequently asked in relation to changes to be made to a travel agent licence and licensing requirements of a travel agent. This Guide is to be read in conjunction with the Travel Agents Act and Travel Agents Regulations that govern the business of a travel agent in Singapore, as well as the Travel Agent Handbook.
The User Guide on Travel Agent Licence Application comes complete with step-by-step information on how to apply for a travel agent licence via online platform as well as submission of supporting documents offline to the STB. It also consists of samples of how completed documents should look like.
11 March 2014 - Former Director of Mandarin World Holidays Convicted of Operating Without a Valid Travel Agent Licence
11 March 2014 – The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) would like to inform the public that Mdm Tan Siew Choo, former Director of Mandarin World Holidays Pte. Ltd. (MWH) has been found guilty and convicted of two charges under the Travel Agents Act, Chapter 334, for her role as a Director in MWH conducting the business of a travel agent without a valid travel agent licence. Two similar charges against her were taken into consideration for the purposes of sentencing. Tan was fined a total of $3,000 for the two proceeded charges.
MWH’s travel agent licence was first suspended from 3 April 2010 to 1 July 2010, following complaints received that it had been carrying on the business of a travel agent in a negligent and unprofessional manner. A total of 28 complaints against MWH were received by STB between 2008 and 2010, . Its licence was subsequently revoked on 20 September 2010 after they were found offering travel-related services during the suspension period.
During a raid by STB on 13 October 2010, however, MWH was found to be providing travel-related services despite having its travel agent licence revoked earlier. As this was a clear contravention under Section 6 of the Travel Agents Act, the STB commenced investigations and subsequent prosecution against MWH..
The STB takes a serious view against errant travel agents and those who engage in unlicensed travel agent activities. STB will not hesitate to take necessary action to protect consumers’ interests and safeguard the reputation of Singapore’s tourism sector. Under Section 6 of the Travel Agents Act, any person found guilty of carrying on the business of a travel agent without a valid travel agent licence faces a maximum fine of $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both.
The public is advised to exercise due diligence when making arrangements for their travel. For the latest list of licensed travel agents in Singapore, please visit the Travel Related Users’ System (TRUST) website, https://trust.yoursingapore.com.
Industry Assistance for Tourism Stakeholders & Updates on Key Regulatory Enhancements
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) would like to share the various schemes launched to assist tourism-related companies such as travel agencies (TA). To help companies become more competitive, innovative and productive, the STB will provide support through the Tourism Capability Development Scheme in the following areas:
a. Building workforce capacity and capability;
b. Encouraging innovation in business models; and
c. Adopting the use of technology.
Under the Scheme, three types of grants are available to support your business directly. Please refer to the links below for further information about:
a. Business Improvement Fund
b. Tourism Technology Fund
c. Training Industry Professionals in Tourism
For further queries on the schemes, please email us at email@example.com.
Updates on Key Regulatory Enhancements
Separately, the STB would also like to share key regulatory enhancements made in 2013.
a. Legislation on Tourist Guides has been strengthened
The STB (Amendment) Bill was passed on 17 February 2014 following an industry cum public consultation exercise. This is part of the Government’s ongoing efforts to tackle unlicensed guiding more effectively, raise the professionalism and standards of tourist guides (TG). Key amendments to the STB Act include:
a. An updated TG definition
b. A new presumption of remuneration for certain guiding situations
c. Updated guiding offences and their maximum penalties
d. Ability to compound TG-related offences
e. Ability to impose administrative penalties and introduce code of conduct on TGs.
Licensees will be notified of the amended STB Act’s effective date. In addition, the STB is also working on other initiatives to improve the capabilities of TGs through skills upgrading and reviewing the TG licensing framework.
b. Travel Agents-related complaints are acted upon
All feedback received on errant TAs and unlicensed TA activities are investigated and acted upon, as appropriate. Recalcitrant TAs and offenders were taken to task with two TAs having their licences revoked, and an unlicensed TA, Tourist World Travel Services Pte Ltd prosecuted successfully on 21 Feb 2013.
c. An improved Travel Agents licensing and renewal experience
Acting on feedback received from TA licensees, a few initiatives were launched by the STB to improve our interaction with TA applicants and licensees.
Licensees in the recent renewal exercise were informed of their outstanding requirements without having to check the TRUST website on their own. Eligible licensees also enjoyed express licence renewal and the convenience of having their licences mailed to them instead of collecting their licence in person at Tourism Court.
To provide prompt assistance on the use of the licensing systems (TRUST website and the Online Business Licensing Service website), step-by-step guides (e.g. Guide on submission of Gross Annual Turnover) were created.
d. Engaging industry stakeholders on the Travel Agents Act and Regulation
The STB understands that the tourism landscape is evolving, and is monitoring industry trends and developments closely. We are engaging NATAS and industry members to solicit feedback regarding the TA Act and Regulations. If you have any feedback or suggestions on the legislation, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The STB will continue partnering with the industry to maintain a regulatory environment that supports businesses and protects consumers. We look forward to partnering you in executing initiatives that will help to navigate the next phase of tourism growth.
10 January 2014 - Revocation of Five Stars Tours Travel Agent Licence
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) would like to inform the public that a Notice of Revocation has been issued to Five Stars Tours, in accordance with the Travel Agents Act (Chapter 334) (“TA Act”). Five Stars Tours has closed for business since 8 January 2014 as stated by notices posted at its offices.
STB is also monitoring the situation closely and working with relevant parties to assist affected consumers.
Affected consumers who have purchased travel insurance prior to the closure should approach their insurance providers for assistance. Consumers who are not covered by travel insurance can seek the help of the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) or the Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) where appropriate.
The Express Bus Agencies Association (EBAA) has reached out to affected passengers, where more buses are being catered and bus tickets are available at a discounted rate. Several local travel agencies have offered to assist affected consumers by offering alternative packages at discounted rates.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind consumers to take measures to protect themselves, such as reading and clarifying terms and conditions when making travel bookings, purchasing travel insurance and paying by instalments. This is especially important if travel bookings are made far in advance.
Note: In accordance with the TA Act, Five Stars Tours will be given till 31 January 2014 to provide reasons against the revocation of their travel agent licence, failing which the revocation will take effect unless an appeal is submitted to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).
STB Travel Agents USA Business Development Trip - Trip Report
In March 2013, STB led a group of travel agents to meet and learn from leading travel businesses in Los Angeles and New York. This is a report on the trends and best practices learnt from the companies engaged.
Downloadable Travel Agent Licence Application User Guide 1/2
The Travel Agent Licence user guide comes complete with step-by-step information on how to apply for a travel agent licence via online platform as well as submission of supporting documents offline to the STB. It also consists of samples of how completed documents should look like.
The user guide can be downloaded on to your desktop and it is divided into 2 parts.
Use of Singapore Tourism Board's symbols and Merlion symbol
It has come to Singapore Tourism Board’s (“the Board”) attention that there are Travel Agents (TAs) using the Board’s symbol and/or Merlion symbol on their business cards and/or other collaterals without the Board’s permission.
Please note that the Board‘s symbol and Merlion symbol are protected under the Singapore Tourism Board Act (Cap 305B), for which the Board shall have the exclusive right to the use of the Board’s symbol and Merlion symbol.
All licensees are reminded that you are not permitted to use the Board’s symbol and Merlion symbol as above.
If you have not done so, you are required to remove all present use of the symbols immediately.
Should any contravention of the above is found, the Board reserves the right to proceed with such appropriate actions without further reference.