Travel agency to compensate tourist who fell ill

Ke Jiayun
A traveler on a group tour to Tibet sued Ctrip after he suffered altitude sickness and had to be rushed to hospital after police broke into his hotel room.
Ke Jiayun

A man on a group tour to Tibet has been awarded 367,000 yuan (US$54,252) compensation from travel agency Ctrip after he suffered altitude sickness and ended up in hospital, Changning District People's Court said on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old traveler, surnamed Yang, booked the four-day tour to Tibet on July 4, 2016. He took a train to Lhasa on July 24 and Yao, the tour's driver and guide, picked him up from the hotel on the morning of July 26. As the tour group crossed a mountain at an altitude of 5,030 meters and visited famous scenic spot Yamdrok Lake, he began to feel uncomfortable.

After the group arrived in Shigatse in the evening, Yang told Yao his health wouldn't allow him to continue to Mount Everest the following day. It was agreed that Yang would stay in Shigatse for two days and go back to Lhasa with the group on the final day of the tour. 

Yang didn't wake the next day and at noon on July 28, Yang's family called the police as they hadn't been able to contact him. Shigatse police broke into the hotel room to find Yang unconscious and sent him to hospital. There he was diagnosed with several serious diseases — hydrocephalus, pulmonary edema, pulmonary infection, electrolyte imbalance, liver dysfunction, stress hyperglycemia, cardiac damage and coagulation disorders. He was in a critical condition.

He was later transferred to a hospital at a lower altitude for further treatment. On October 26, Yang was found to be suffering from femoral head necrosis and received treatment in several areas at a cost of more than 136,000 yuan.

Yang took Ctrip to court last year, demanding compensation of over 765,000 yuan for medical treatment. He said Yao was not certified as a guide and had never warned him about the risks of altitude sickness. After he fell ill, Yao had never visited or taken care of him, which caused his condition to get worse.

The court found both sides to be responsible. Yang took a risk in traveling to the plateau and when his health deteriorated he hadn't seen a doctor in time. For the travel agency, the guide it provided was unlicensed and hadn't told the traveler of what to do in the event of altitude sickness. After Yang got sick, the guide hadn't paid close attention to him.

The court ruled that Ctrip should pay Yang 367,000 yuan.

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