Chinese tourists

Chinese tourists shut-out by US shutdown want compensation

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 October, 2013, 6:16am

Some Chinese tourists visiting the US during the nation's week-long National Day holiday have complained of a lack of spots to visit after the US government closed hundreds of federally funded sites.

The partial government shutdown brought on by a budget battle has closed hundreds of national parks and museums including the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo.

China's National Tourism Administration issued a statement on Thursday advising those travelling to the US "to keep abreast of the situation and to carefully design their itinerary".

Millions of Chinese go on holidays, some of them abroad, during the National Day "golden week". Some tour operators have changed itineraries.

But the tourism body's advice did not ease the frustration of some Chinese people who travelled to the US to see famous sights including the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument, both of which are closed.

A tourist from Shanghai told the Xinhua news agency that the US government should compensate Chinese tourist because "no travel agency would compensate for that since the incident was beyond their control".

"The shutdown affects Chinese tourists the most because it is a Chinese holiday and many Chinese people have made plans to visit places like Washington DC," she said.

Two Chinese tourists were photographed holding a "closed" banner outside the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming allegedly in protest against the closure, according to North American-based Chinese paper World Journal.

Others tried to make light of the shutdown by linking the closure to the "uncivilised" behaviour of some Chinese tourists. "Why do I get the feeling that the US closed its sights just to avoid Chinese visitors on holidays? I think they will reopen on the 8th," a blogger said. The Chinese holidays ends on Monday.