Tue, Jul 17, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Tourism Bureau probes agency over tour accident

LIABILITY A Taipei-based company that arranged for a group to visit Confucius' hometown in China may have its operating license revoked if it violated the law

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Tourism Bureau said yesterday it is investigating the liability of a travel agency that organized a tour to China's Shandong Province, where a car accident occurred on Sunday, leaving one Taiwanese tourist dead and six other tourists injured.

Results of a preliminary investigation showed that the tour was arranged by the Taipei-based Hifly Travel Co. The tour guide, however, was reportedly not on the tour bus when the accident occurred.

The bureau said the travel agency may have violated laws regulating tour guides. In addition to a possible fine of NT$15,000, the travel agency may have its operating license revoked if the bureau determines the company has committed a major violation responsible for the accident.

An additional NT$30,000 fine could be imposed upon the company for inadequate supervision.

Television footage showed that six injured travelers are now recuperating in a hospital in Shandong's Chinan City.

Meanwhile, families of tour members left yesterday afternoon for China to take care of related matters.

accident

The accident happened on the second day of an eight-day tour, when the group was about to visit Chifu, Confucius' hometown. Sixteen travelers were reported to be on the trip, eight of whom were Hifly clients.

Because of the accident, the tour company has decided to cancel the rest of the trip.

The woman who was killed, 52 year-old Fu Hsueh-chin (傅雪琴), was reported to be on a second honeymoon with her husband.

Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰), director of the hotel, travel and training division at the Tourism Bureau, said Hifly had purchased travel insurance for its travelers. Families of the dead will receive compensation of NT$2 million from the insurance firm.

The firm will also pay an additional NT$100,000 for other miscellaneous expenses related to care of the remains. The injured traveler will each be paid NT$30,000 for medical expenses.

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