SOME CHANGE TRAVEL PLANS
Other travellers are exercising more caution, with one family having just pulled out from their tour starting Nov 22 that would involve a visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Director of Sha Travel & Tour Pte Ltd, Ms Hanim Hashim, told CNA that the family decided to “reroute to another destination that we have to offer”.
Other customers have said they want to “wait and see”, she said. But “if they wait till the last minute and want to book other packages (but) they’re full, they might deny themselves other places”.
Nonetheless, the agency has no concrete plans to scrap or reschedule the tour. If the conflict worsens, however, they “might have to reroute the programme – meaning we won’t depart (as part of) the package – and change to other destinations”, Ms Hanim pointed out.
“Currently, there’s an advisory not to travel to certain places in Israel itself. Even though we’re not going to be in that area, we never know. If they close the main airport and the border that we’re using, that will affect the whole thing,” she added.
While the conflict could “calm down” in a couple of weeks, travel agencies are also adapting to the situation as it unfolds, said Ms Hanim.
“Nobody can give you the answer (to) how it’s going to be. Whatever happens at present, that’s the situation that will inform our customer.
“It’s up to them; they have a choice, they have the buying power. If they think that they don’t want to go (on the tour), then we will have to abide by what they decide.”
Other travel agencies who spoke to CNA similarly expressed a wait-and-see approach.
Halijah Travel Pte Ltd has a 10-day tour covering Jerusalem, Amman, Petra and Wadi Rum that departs Nov 25. The tour is a staple at the agency, held twice a year, and is usually fully booked.
At the moment, no one has pulled out of the tour, noted the agency’s administrative and tour assistant, Ms Hasanah Jamaludin.
“If it’s affected, most likely it will be cancelled. We’re currently monitoring the situation, waiting on advice from the airlines and the agency there (on the ground),” she said.
“If the situation is really serious, then the airline will issue a warning that it’s not safe to travel … If there is any news, we will inform (our customers) as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, Mr Muhammat Nazer noted that “a lot of conflicts” happen every year around September and October, and predicts that the conflict will “stop” come November.
“A lot of people go to Jerusalem. If they still continue (the conflict) … they will affect their economy. No tourists will go,” said the managing director at Thoha Travels & Tours Pte Ltd.
There are four groups going on the agency’s Masjidil Aqsa in Jerusalem tour in November and December, with the first group of around 30 travellers departing Nov 20.
Asked whether they have plans to reschedule, Mr Muhammat Nazer said they will advise customers on any changes by the beginning of November.
Travellers on the tour packages from Halijah Travels and Thoha Travels & Tours are currently set to fly from Singapore’s Changi Airport to Tel Aviv in Israel.
Checks done by CNA on Monday show that there are still flights from Singapore to Tel Aviv, even as several US air carriers have suspended direct flights serving the city in Israel.
- Sunflowers for Wishes, Amistad Tours & Dragon Boat Regatta
- North Dakota Capitol tours add virtual, self-guided options | Bismarck
- Are there COVID restrictions when traveling to Hawaii?
- Montgomery County Farm Tours Series: Part Four
- RICOH360 Tours Releases Automatic Floor Plan Generator