HolidayTravelWatch Calls for the Introduction of a Uniform Safety Standard in Europe in 2007
HolidayTravelWatch has previously commented on the awful tragedy that took place in Corfu, where two children were killed following Carbon Monoxide poisoning. HolidayTravelWatch again extends its deepest sympathies to the families involved in what is a very poignant time of year. We consider that many thousands of people around the country will be giving their thoughts to the families at this time.
HolidayTravelWatch supports the valiant efforts of Co-Gas Safety and Consumer Safety International, who tirelessly seek to campaign and educate on the dangers of gas heaters in all accommodation. HolidayTravelWatch supports their recent Press Conference on the 5 December 2006 at the House of Commons. During that conference the words of a Mr Wood (the Children’s Step Father), rang loud and clear. He stated,
“The deaths of Christi and Bobby were not an accident and should never have happened. It is too late for Christi and Bobby but we want to stop other holiday makers dying in the same pointless way. We hope that we can contribute to pushing the monthly million pound holiday industry into providing at least a standard level of safety that will allow all future holiday makers to be confident they will wake up in the morning and take a breath of fresh air. We as a family ask the holiday industry what measures they intend to take to prevent tragedies such as this ever happening again”.
Regular visitors to the site of HolidayTravelWatch will have noted the frequent comment and observation as to the state of ‘the holiday contract’, and how the Organisation has sought to widen the debate on safety. This year we have received many reports of injury and disease, including Cholera, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, Shigella and Entamoeba Histolyica.
HolidayTravelWatch was interested to read within the Travel Trade Gazette (7/12/06), of the recent problems experienced at the ABTA Convention in Marbella. A number of delegates were alleged to have been struck down with vomiting and diarrhoea following a dinner at the convention. Ordinary holidaymakers will not be surprised to hear that there is a healthy debate taking place, as to who was responsible for the delivery of the alleged problem dinners, with one spokeswoman stating,
“The tourist board pays for it and chooses the caterers. It is difficult for us to tell them what they should be serving or to bring in a food hygiene officer”.
The reported comments from some of the guests affected stated,
“The pork looked less well cooked than I would have liked it to have been. There should be better screening of what they put on offer.
“The chances of me going to the dinner at next year’s convention in Tenerife are nil unless ABTA can guarantee food quality”.
The Travel Trade Gazette reports that a similar sickness outbreak occurred at the last ABTA Convention in Morocco and in 2002 in Cairo.
Frank Brehany, the MD of HolidayTravelWatch states, “We have not repeated these comments to embarrass. On the contrary, they illustrate the frustrating level of standards abroad, often being pushed onto unsuspecting holidaymakers. I am truly sorry that members of the Travel Industry suffered with illnesses, they have been unfortunate to experience first hand, what many holidaymakers complain of”.
He concludes, “As I review the events of this year, I can only conclude that it has been a shameful year for the Travel Industry. The standards that holidaymakers have been exposed to have been truly shocking. Many people point to the Travel Industry as being responsible for the conditions they experience, and they expect them to deliver a higher standard. However, the buck should not stop there. If we are truly experience a better way forward, then Politicians should take heed of the words of Mr Wood, where he called for action to prevent such tragedies ever happening again. I call upon Politicians in Westminster and Strasbourg to introduce a uniform safety standard throughout Europe, dealing with Fire Safety, Food Safety, Glass Safety and Swimming Pool Safety. I reject the notion that this cannot be done; the promotion of this goal by Consumer Groups, the Travel Industry and all Politicians would serve as the best memorial to the tragic deaths of Christi & Bobby. Let us all resolve to make this happen in 2007, let us not tolerate a poor and unsafe standard ever again”.
All holidaymakers affected by any of these issues should call the National Helpline 01217478100 or make contact through the Organisation’s website – www.holidaytravelwatch.com
HolidayTravelWatch is a National Consumer Organisation which provides information, advice and assistance to the holidaymaker or independent traveller, who experiences problems with their travel arrangements. In eleven years 120,000 people have benefited from the help provided by HolidayTravelWatch, with over 40% being empowered to resolve their own claims by the information the organisation provides on their consumer rights.
HolidayTravelWatch has campaigned in the past for improvements in travel safety and is proud to have been associated with some of the leading broadcast and print media projects aimed at informing the consumer. HolidayTravelWatch continues with that campaigning spirit and continues to work closely with the media and government departments alike.
Full details of the work of HolidayTravelWatch can be found on www.holidaytravelwatch.com
For further information on this press release and any other associated matters please contact Frank Brehany on 01217478100
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