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Holidaytravelwatch Calls For Holiday Victims To Be Remembered, And An Urgent Enquiry By The Secretary Of State


HolidayTravelWatch was deeply saddened to hear of the deaths of two children, and the serious injury of their Father and Partner, whilst on holiday in Corfu.

Frank Brehany, the MD of HolidayTravelWatch states, “I was deeply shocked to hear of this appalling tragedy; on behalf of all in HolidayTravelWatch, we offer our deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased and the injured”.

HolidayTravelWatch calls for all the victims of holiday disasters to be remembered, in particular:

• The Maher Family. This family suffered the appalling tragedy of losing their son Gary, and their daughter being severely disabled through Carbon Monoxide poisoning, whilst staying in self catering accommodation in Tenerife. We salute the sheer guts of their Mother, Molly, who has fought tirelessly for over 20 years to seek justice, and the courage of their Spanish Lawyer Emilio Virgas

• The Pearson Family. This family suffered the appalling tragedy of losing their son Ryan in a swimming pool incident. Again we salute his Mother, Olivia, whose determination and dignity led to a pursuit of answers concerning his death

• We ask that the holiday victims from hotels in Ibiza, Majorca, Tunisia, Turkey, Spain and the Dominican Republic, be remembered for their quiet determination in pursuing their rights to compensation, following major food poisoning incidents. In particular, we ask that those who continue to suffer the after-effects of so called ‘travellers diarrhoea’, be commended for their spirit in not giving up in the face of a travel industry who deny them justice

• We remember all those holiday victims trapped, or flown into holiday areas, where either a serious weather event or man made disaster renders the holiday inoperable. Again we remember those holidaymakers so effected, for their outstanding courage in the face of adversity

• In 2006, we remember the many hundreds of holidaymakers exposed to serious health hazards, including serious and notifiable disease, particularly in Turkey, Bulgaria, Dominican Republic, and Egypt. We remember the many hundreds exposed to either no accommodation or appalling accommodation. We remember the many hundreds of holidaymakers exposed to the lack of poor service from so called budget airlines, and those companies promoting cheap DIY holiday deals. We remember the many hundreds of holidaymakers exposed to poor hygiene or safety standards whilst sailing on cruise ships

Frank Brehany adds,

“The tragedy in Corfu is a timely reminder of the constant battle for Consumer Rights and good safety standards, waged by the now many thousands of holidaymakers, Consumer Safety International and HolidayTravelWatch.

Following the tragedy in Corfu, it was interesting to hear the tour operator, Thomas Cook, stating that they had carried out a stringent safety standard, and followed the Federation of Tour Operators guidelines. We ask, how do those assertions fit in with the television pictures, and the anecdotal evidence from this hotel? Many of us witnessed film pictures, and personal stories on ITN News, which showed boilers covered in condensation stains, rust, and wiring held together with tape. What safety standard I wonder was applied during the inspection of these boilers. Was this safety standard good enough to satisfy the obligations of the Package Travel Regulations?”

He concludes,

“It has been interesting to note the comments of travel journalists, who have referred to the duties on tour operators under the Package Travel Regulations. What they did not say was that these very same Consumer Regulations are now under serious threat, following the recent Court of Appeal Decision. We have already commented on this issue extensively, and consider that in the brave new world of travel, the issue of travel consumer rights will become irrelevant and health and safety someone else’s problem.

We now challenge the Federation of Tour Operators and ABTA, to publicly and unequivocally state, that following the Court of Appeal decision, and the likely increase in the sales of DIY holidays, that their members will ensure that such holidays will comply with the Package Travel Regulations, and that holidaymakers will enjoy their rights under those Regulations. Further, we challenge them to re-double their efforts to ensure that all ‘traditional’ package holidays and health & safety audits are sufficiently assessed, to ensure their compliance with the Package Travel Regulations.

We call upon The Secretary of State for Trade & Industry, The Rt Hon Alistair Darling, to urgently review the Package Travel Regulations, and call together all interested parties to discuss travel consumer rights following the recent Court of Appeal decision. He should take this action with a view to review and ensure the enforceability of a worthy piece of legislation, in light of the so called new market reality.

If this action is not taken, then I fear that more tragedies like Corfu will occur, more food poisoning and illness incidents in hotels and cruise ships will take place, there will be more exposure of holidaymakers to dangerous incidents, overall there will be no one to blame, no health & safety, no accountability. Welcome to the brave new world of travel”.

All holidaymakers affected by any of these issues should call the National Helpline 01217478100 or make contact through the Organisation’s website –


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