Great Wall fatalities tour firm to close

JIJI

Amuse Travel, the operator of a fatal Great Wall package tour in China in early November, plans to close its travel agency business effective Dec. 20, it was learned Tuesday.

The Tokyo-based company will dismiss most of its employees but keep its corporate status to pay compensation for the accident, sources said.

During the trekking tour near the Great Wall, three Japanese died in a heavy snowstorm.

The Japan Tourism Agency conducted inspections of the company in the wake of the accident and found that its risk management was insufficient. The agency is considering administrative punishment on the company.

Amuse Travel was established in 1991 and obtained the status as an accredited organizer of domestic and overseas tours in 1996.

In July 2009, eight people on a tour in Hokkaido organized by the company froze to death. After that, the firm was ordered to halt operations for 51 days.