Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Jakarta Investment and One-Stop Integrated Service Office (DPMPTSP) has asked residents and prospective tourists to remain alert against fraudulent travel agents ahead of the Christmas and New Year holiday season.

"We are currently in November and usually, in this month, we ought to find the holiday date; we want to heal. When we (plan a) vacation, it must take a long time to find the right travel agent or the destination," Jakarta DPMPTSP counseling affairs sub-coordinator Rinaldi said here on Saturday.

According to him, sometimes when planning a year-end holiday, people end up meeting illegal travel agents.

"This is tragic, instead of healing, (they) lose their time, money, energy, and even their partner can get angry, (resulting in) losing harmony in the family or relationship," Rinaldi said.

To help tackle this problem, the Jakarta provincial government is collaborating with the Indonesian Travel Agents Association (Astindo) to share tips with the public so that they can avoid fraudulent travel agents.

The first tip is to not be easily tempted by cheap open trips. The second tip is to check the legality of the travel agent, and third, to check the price of tourism products offered by legal and licensed travel agents.

"If the price is too low, it should be suspected," head of public relations at Astindo, Madeleine Sophie, explained.

The next tips are to pay attention when making transactions with the travel agent and consider other customers' reviews of the services.

"When we are making a payment, (we must make sure to pay) to the company's account, then check the review on social media," Sophie said.

She also advised people to seek recommendations from trusted friends or relatives and use licensed and registered travel agents' services.

Furthermore, she urged prospective tourists to purchase tourism products through registered travel agents. "(Registered travel agents) are available throughout Indonesia, and if they are a member of Astindo, they have legality," she said.

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Translator: Fianda R, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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