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Tour agency given time

The Shanghai Tourism Trade Association yesterday suggested local travel agencies suspend dealings with Galaxy Tour Inc, to allow the United States agency time to investigate last Friday's fatal bus crash and another accident three days later.


Seven people died in the first accident in Arizona, six of whom had flown from Shanghai, while two were slightly hurt in the other incident near Philadelphia.


"Galaxy must have a lot of business to deal with now such as compensation and accident investigation," said Huang Guangrong, secretary general of the association. "We think local agencies could choose other tour companies while matters settle down."


The Shanghai China International Travel Service, which organized the group involved in Monday's accident, said it had halted dealings with Galaxy. "Apart from those which have already left for the US, all groups will have a different travel agency," said Zhao Dexiang, general manager of the agency.


"Until the causes of the two accidents are announced, cooperation will not be resumed," he said.


Some other agencies, such as the Shanghai China Youth Travel Service Tours, however, said they were still considering cooperating.


No one from Galaxy was available for comment yesterday.


Early yesterday morning 13 family members of the Arizona bus crash victims arrived in Las Vegas. They visited the injured in hospitals, and will today identify those who died and discuss funeral arrangements with the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles.


Seven tourists on the tour organized by the Shanghai Donghu International Travel Service, including eight-year-old Wu Shuang and his parents, will be back in Shanghai this evening.


(Shanghai Daily February 5, 2009)