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July 14, 2011

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Tourists stunned as leader fails to show

A tour guide who was to lead a 25-member group to Japan disappeared with all of the group's passports before checking in at Pudong International Airport yesterday morning, leaving all the would-be tourists in shock, the Shanghai Tourism Administration reported.

Among those in the tour group was the leader's wife.

Organized by the Shanghai New Comfort International Travel Co Ltd, the group had booked a four-day trip to the Kansai area of Japan. They were supposed to take a 9:30am flight.

Tourists reached the airport about 7am, but couldn't find or get in touch with the tour guide, the tourism agency said. About 7:45am, a man who claimed to be the brother of the guide's wife came to the airport, telling the tourists that the guide went missing after having some issues with his new wife.

The stunned tourists missed the flight and reported their situation to the agency, which arranged for them to rest in a hotel. The agency could not reach the tour guide, either.

The agency said the tour guide was a Shanghai man, surnamed Shen, with five years of experience. Officials expressed extreme shock that a professional tour guide would drop his tourists for private reasons. Shen had just married his wife, who was also looking for her husband.

The Shanghai Tourism Administration ordered the agency to give full refunds plus other compensation to the tourists based on the contract it signed with the group.

Agency officials were looking for the missing tour guide, while also expressing concern for his safety.

The agency promised to shoulder all responsibility for the incident.


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