Travel: agencies inundated with hotel changes

2008-11-27 00:00

ALTHOUGH travel agencies were yesterday inundated with calls from locals heading for India, few trips were cancelled.

The manager of MK Bobby Naidoo Sure Travel Agency for both the Durban and Pietermaritzburg offices, Mogie Naidu, said they received calls from concerned travellers, but cancellations have been minimal. She said the main cancellations were by those whose travel arrangements were not already confirmed.

“Many of the calls have been clients wanting to change to alternative packages that won’t lead to Mumbai. Others are looking to be reallocated from specifically the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi hotels.”

She said three of their clients are still scheduled to arrive in Mumbai today, but have requested to move to hotels closer to the airport.

Nali Singh, the manager of One Stop Travel and Tours in Raisethorpe, said 90% of their clients are still confirmed and have decided to go ahead.

“We are monitoring the situation and we have been in close contact with our operators in India. If the situation turns for the worse we will obviously advise our clients accordingly, but at the moment we are giving it a day or two. But we have not been informed by the airlines about any flight cancellations,” she said.

Elite Travel owner Sansi Gayaparsad said India is their biggest market.

“To my knowledge, we are the preferred supplier in Pietermaritzburg. But we are a small business. Cancellations would take a large part of our business and we would suffer a big loss … ” said Gayaparsad.

She said they had clients scheduled to arrive in Mumbai yesterday who were re-allocated to safe hotels. “Our visitors swear by the peace and calm and lack of crime in India … I find it hard to believe that civilians of India are behind this … the safety of our clients is paramount and we will advise them accordingly.”

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