Online portal fined $25,000 for being an unlicensed travel agent

Online shopping platform was fined $25,000 on Wednesday for acting as a travel agent without a licence and abetting an unlicensed travel agent.

The company was convicted of 16 charges under the Travel Agents Act and Regulations. An additional 31 charges were taken into consideration. had been a licensed travel agent from Oct 4, 2011 to Dec 21, 2012, but had chosen not to renew its licence after that period, said the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in a media statement.

But the shopping platform continued acting as a travel agent between March 7 and Aug 10 last year.

Pose potential risk to consumers was also found to have advertised and sold travel packages offered by AbsolutInspira, an unlicensed travel agent, while still a licensee. This happened between March 23, 2012, and May 25, 2012.

The statutory board said: "As Streetdeal continued its unlicensed travel agent activities despite repeated notifications, STB inspected their premises on 2 July 2013 and commenced prosecution proceedings thereafter on 7 May 2014."

It added: "This licensing requirement applies to Singapore-based online deal portals which advertise, collect and hold money for travel packages on behalf of travel agents."

"This is because such online platforms, working as an intermediary, pose the same potential risk to consumers as other travel agents based in Singapore."