Hokkaido dream comes true for cleaner and friends left in the lurch by tour agency closure

Tan Tam Mei
The Straits Times
Saturday, Feb 26, 2017

A 68-year-old cleaner and her three travel companions fulfilled their dream of seeing snow in Hokkaido yesterday.

They left Changi Airport at 5.55am and touched down in Hokkaido around 4pm. They will be there until Thursday.

Last December, Madam Teo Ino Meo's holiday plans went awry after the travel agency she and her friends booked a Japan tour with closed down abruptly.

They were notified of the closure hours before their flight.

The travel agency, Sky Travel & Tours, left the women - who had paid about $2,400 each for a week-long Hokkaido tour - and other customers in the lurch.

The Sunday Times reported on Madam Teo's plight, and online travel agency Klook and budget carrier Scoot came forward to help send the elderly woman and her friends to Hokkaido - the holiday destination Madam Teo had spent months saving for.

Madam Teo and her friends - Madam Peh Choon Ann, 80; Madam Tham Kwang Aw, 71; and Madam Loh Ak Kew, 64 - were all smiles at the airport as they got ready to check in for their flight.

Said Madam Teo: "It is like a beautiful dream has finally come true.

"I can forget about the bad experience and just focus on this holiday. I will finally get to see snow for the first time."

Their air tickets were sponsored by Scoot, while the land activities, such as tours and accommodation, were sponsored by Klook.

Klook regional marketing lead Marcus Yong, 30, said: "It is pretty amazing to see how we can help the ladies finally fulfil their dreams to see snow, and create those beautiful travel moments with Klook."

Speaking to The Sunday Times before their flight, Madam Peh said that besides seeing snow, they are also looking forward to trying Hokkaido's famous king crab.

"We will be doing many things for the first time, seeing snow and eating all kinds of Japanese food.

"My friends recommended that we try the king crab, so that is one of the things on my list," she said.

The Straits Times

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