NAGOYA — A travel company here has been deregistered for not refunding money to customers who canceled reservations amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Mainichi Shimbun learned from sources including the Aichi Prefectural Government on May 2.
The All Nippon Travel Agents Association, of which the company, N-1tour Co., was a member, said that it had received reports of damages totaling more than 10 million yen (about $77,000) from 13 groups in seven prefectures — Ibaraki, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Aichi, Mie, Kyoto and Osaka — since October 2020. Victims are demanding an explanation from the firm’s president but they apparently cannot reach them.
According to sources including the registry book and the prefectural government, N-1tour was founded in 1998 and registered as a travel agency the following year. The firm then began to sell travel packages including honeymoon trips. In October 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the travel agents’ association and the prefectural government began to receive complaints about the company for not refunding money over tour cancellations.
N-1tour was then given a warning by the prefectural government, but it still did not refund the money. Instead, the association repaid a total of 4.5 million yen (approx. $35,000) to the 13 groups in September 2021 based on the Travel Agency Act. N-1tour consequently lost its membership because it did not pay the debt to the travel association, and the prefectural government deregistered the firm in October.
According to a private credit research agency, N-1tour’s starting capital was 135 million yen (roughly $1.05 million). The company posted sales of 540 million yen (about $4.2 million) and a profit of 9 million yen (approx. $69,000) for the business term that ended in July 2017. However, sales dropped to 280 million yen (roughly $2.2 million) in the fiscal term that ended in July 2020, and the company reported a loss of 11 million yen (about $85,000).
(Japanese original by Shiho Sakai, Nagoya News Center)