Travellers urged to confirm bookings as Sinorama loses operating licence

Consumer Protection B.C. is warning customers with bookings through Sinorama Travel Vancouver Inc. to confirm their travel plans have been booked and paid for.

Customers of Richmond travel company warned to confirm bookings directly with suppliers

'We are concerned that Sinorama customers won't get the travel they paid for,' said Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, a spokesperson for the travel industry regulator. (Radio-Canada/Tourismeplus.com)

Consumer Protection B.C. is warning customers with bookings through Richmond company Sinorama Travel Vancouver Inc. to confirm their travel plans have been booked and paid for, after the company's licence was suspended.

"We are concerned that Sinorama customers won't get the travel they paid for," said Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, a spokesperson for the travel industry regulator.

In July, Quebec's travel regulator gave notice to Sinorama Vacances Inc., that it would not renew the company's operating licence.

Following the decision, Consumer Protection B.C. conducted an inspection of Sinorama Travel Vancouver, a separate legal entity affiliated to Sinorama Vacances through ownership structure. 

The B.C. regulator made the decision to suspend Sinorama Vancouver's business licence and to freeze its bank accounts, saying there were concerns the Richmond business did not have enough money to continue operating as a travel agency. 

Consumer Protection B.C. is advising travellers who have made bookings through Sinorama to contact travel service suppliers directly, including airlines, bus companies, hotels and tour operators.

The regulator has posted Sinorama specific consumer advice on its website.

Customers who are unable to confirm their bookings directly with suppliers should contact their credit card companies to ask whether payments can be reversed, according to Consumer Protection B.C.

"We know that people have questions," said Chabeaux-Smith.

"We are doing everything we can to understand the scope of this situation. We have information on our website and we will continue to update it with new details."

The Travel Industry Council of Ontario said that Sinorama Holidays Inc. in Ontario voluntarily ceased its activities in the province on Aug. 8.