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On March 2 7, discount travel company Tellmeclub filed for bankruptcy while a number of its Japanese clients were still overseas on package tours. Due to the manner its excursions are paid for, these tourists still had legitimate return airplane tickets but would need to pay out of pocket for lodging which were included in the package.
One 7 1-year-old woman, quoted from the Mainichi Shimbun on April 1 , said she had already shelled out 12 1,500 for five nights in Thailand along with her husband, however, Tellmeclub telephoned her the day prior to his March 2 8 death to say the tour had been canceled. When she followed , it gave her a phone number to call to find out about a refund but no one replied.
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As of April last year, there were approximately 700 class 1 travel agents in Japan, meaning. According Tokyo Soko Research, two 7 travel businesses went bankrupt during 201 6 due to competition, which is fierce among discount travel agents like Tellmeclub to.
It had also hired 50 new people that were set to start work. Since the business was filing its bankruptcy documents, it was taking orders. The Mainichi Shimbun claims that the warning signs appeared several decades ago. For reporting it was in the black when it was in the red Tellmeclub was accused.
Starting about a year ago, there were other, more ominous indications of trouble, when the company launched a campaign for paying premature and in money (genkin ikkatsu nykin). The thought was that if clients paid the full amount in cash and booked, they would receive a discount.
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In the last few months of Tellmeclubs existence, clients had to pay at the time of making the reservation in order to receive a discount, also in cash, which means making a remittance to Tellmeclub and going into the bank or post office. Many Tellmeclub customers who were looking forward to trips this spring had paid as far back as September.
Travel agents typically dont pay for visit their website airline tickets until a few days before departure, when airlines are desperate to meet some empty chairs and give discounts. Tellmeclub had already received payments weeks or months in advance for these seats. In accordance with travel writer Kotaro Toriumi through an interview on TBS Radio, but this practice has become harder in recent years owing to a couple of significant improvements: There are more overseas tourists coming to Japan, which means there are fewer vacant seats going out of Japan on return flights; and airlines are continually downsizing aircraft so as to make booking more efficient.
As for lodging, tour companies dont pay for rooms until after the stay is over. One of the last straws that led to Tellmeclubs failure was the hotel bills that came due for tours which took place during the New YearsBreak, among the most heavy travel periods of the year.
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It bought discount tickets from airlines in bulk and resold them. Through the years discount travel companies did exactly the same thing and emerged, and then airlines started selling their own tickets over the internet at costs that were more affordable.