Nanhu Travel recently responded to the case involving a woman from Shenzhen who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a 29-year-old Indonesian man during her visit to the island of Bali, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.
The director with the travel agency’s customer service center, who was identified by his surname Li, told the reporter with the Daily that the itinerary to Tanjung Benoa, the southern bay area of the island where the incident took place, is optional and was not included in their original travel package.
“Tanjung Benoa is the biggest aquatic sport center on the island, so a case like this was unexpected,” said Li.
Li said that after the event the group’s tour guide accompanied the woman to the police station to handle relevant issues. Staff at the agency also kept contact with the woman’s family, helped them hire local lawyers and required the tour guide to appear in court to testify on the case.
“Previous reports concerning our response to the case were not solid,” Li was quoted by the Daily report as saying, adding that as the criminal proceeding is under way, they cannot do much to assist the woman to claim damages from the aquatic sport center.
Zheng Wenli, secretary general of Guangdong Travel Services Association, said that travel agencies should be responsible for examining local agencies’ qualifications to ensure tourists’ safety.
However, when customers’ legal rights are infringed during activities not included in the package tour, travel agencies might be free of major responsibilities, according to Zheng.
Zheng said the association will organize safety trainings on outbound travel in June to help agencies in Guangdong enhance their capabilities to handle urgent issues.
At the same time, Zheng advised tourists to increase security awareness when traveling to avoid risks, according to the Daily report.