Taipei District Court ruled on Thursday that a travel company must to pay a couple NT$48,000 (US$1,640) each because the company’s tour failed to show the couple maple leaves in Canada as part of a tour.
The court said the couple, surnamed Tseng, each paid NT$96,000 for a 10-day journey through Eastern Canada that took place in October 2010.
The travel company’s brochure had stated the tourists would be taken to Algonquin Provincial Park and the Laurentian Mountains to enjoy the beautiful colors of the maple trees in the autumn.
However, when they arrived at Mount Trenblant, they were dismayed to find that the cable car service had been suspended because it was the end of the season for viewing maple leaves and “all they could see were grey, withered branches.”
They said that they did not see red maple leaves, which had been the main reason why they had signed up for the tour, and were disappointed that the travel company canceled trips to many scenic spots on the itinerary.
In response, the travel firm said that usually maple trees do turn red in mid-October, but leaves on the maple trees withered in 2010 due to a sudden plunge of temperatures.
The company said it had no way of learning of the situation beforehand.
The ad it placed was mainly aimed at introducing scenic spots in Canada, and could not “possibly guarantee tourists would see maple trees turning red.”
After the cable car service was suspended, the itinerary was modified, the travel agent said, adding that the couple gave their consent at the time.
Taipei’s summary court first ruled that the travel service should pay each person NT$20,000, but the couple appealed to the Taipei District Court.
The court ruled that the travel agent failed to stick to the original schedule and could not prove that the change of itinerary had prior consent from them, so the compensation was raised to NT$48,000.
The ruling was final.