Sat, Feb 02, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Travel Web site users pan CTV over erroneous report

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

One of the biggest Japanese online travel reservation Web sites, Jalan.net, yesterday denied a news report aired by China Television Co (CTV) on Thursday that said the site would stop accepting reservations from travelers from Taiwan, China and South Korea.

“The report made on Jan. 31 about Jalan.net having decided to ban Chinese and Korean travelers from making reservations online is not true, it is baseless, please do not worry and continue to use the services that we provide,” Jalan.net said, in Japanese and Chinese, in a statement posted on its Web site yesterday.

Many Taiwanese travelers, especially backpackers, were shocked to hear the report and had attempted to find out whether it was true by e-mail and telephone.

“Is this real? This is going to have a huge impact [on us],” a member with the account name PP8637 said on an online forum for backpackers.

“Is this real? Can we still book Jalan’s special offer from Yahoo Japan?” another member, Oregon, asked, while a third, Kane1030, questioned the reliability of the news, since Jalan.net had only recently launched its Chinese-language Web site.

In fact, the televised news report was a bit confusing in itself.

The initial part of the report said that Jalan.net would stop accepting reservations from all foreign travelers, but in an interview with a woman identified as a representative of Jalan.net, but without giving her name, said that the Web site would stop taking reservations from Chinese and Korean travelers, since as many as 90 percent of customers from the two countries would not show up without previously canceling their booking.

Although Taiwanese were not mentioned, the news report included an interview with an unidentified Taiwanese woman who claimed that her hotel reservation made through Jalan.net had been canceled and the reporter concluded that the Web site would no longer accept reservations from Taiwanese, Chinese or Korean customers.

After Jalan.net released the statement denying the report, many site users criticized CTV for the false information in its report.

“It’s time for the CTV to explain itself,” Internet user Wang Ting-chun (王鼎鈞) said after seeing the Jalan.net statement.

“What a shame that it’s now known in another country that Taiwanese media outlets often put out reports without fully checking the facts,” another Internet user, Ken Mio, said.

CTV did not reply to the Taipei Times’ request for comments.

However, it did air a followup report on Jalan.net’s official statement in the evening.

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