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Holidaytravelwatch Condemns Sick Summer For Holidaymakers And Poor Standards


At the end of June 2007, HolidayTravelWatch warned of the rise in the number of complaints received regarding poor health and hygiene standards. The Organisation regrets to report that its warning of the rise of returning holidaymakers with either notifiable diseases/serious illness or contractual complaints, has not abated during the crucial 10 week summer holiday period.

In that period, HolidayTravelWatch has provided 22 ‘Call to Arms’ on its website (this is the facility which advises returning holidaymakers that they can either access evidence to promote their own claim or join with a group of holidaymakers with similar complaints). This compares to the average of 6 to 8 ‘Call to Arms’ that would normally be placed on our website for a similar period.

The Organisation cites the following as examples of the complaints they have dealt with:

• Many reports of illness from the Caribbean to the Eastern Med and from North Africa and throughout most of Europe. The illnesses include:

• Salmonella;
• Giardia;
• Shigella;
• Cholera;
• Camplyobacter

• Holidaymakers being advised that illness has been brought in by the holidaymakers themselves;
• Holidaymakers subjected to poor food presentation and poor water supplies;
• Children suffering with Electric Shocks from a hotel swimming pool;
• Children and Adults suffering with acid burns from a different hotel swimming pool;
• Rats in another hotel swimming pool;
• Holidaymakers being advised of change of hotel on arrival in resorts;
• Holidaymakers being delivered to a hotel which had not been completed;
• Holidaymakers being charged excessive amounts of money to correct misspellings on their tickets;
• Complaints regarding ‘kids clubs’;
• Arriving holidaymakers being advised to avoid ‘complaining’ holidaymakers;
• ‘Complaining’ holidaymakers being followed by security staff;
• One holidaymaker arrested for complaining and warning other holidaymakers of a serious health and hygiene risk;
• In another hotel, ‘complaining’ holidaymakers were confronted by baton weilding security staff.

In our previous press release we warned holidaymakers of the ‘reasons’ or ‘descriptions’ given for their illnesses range from “Beavers Fever, Montezuma’s Revenge or Pharaohs Revenge”. The latest description given in the Caribbean area is ‘tourista’. We repeat again, “It is the view of HolidayTravelWatch that such comments lend themselves to making a ‘joke’ of the holidaymaker’s complaint, whilst at the same time ignoring the real cause of their concern, poor hygiene”.

Again we have noted and we repeat, “that in some cases, holidaymakers are being referred to the tour operator’s solicitor, who utilises the full six month investigation period allowed, only to advise that there is no basis for their complaints. This advice is offered presumably independently, as it appears that no reference is made to the holidaymaker to seek independent advices on their complaint”.

What is of concern to HolidayTravelWatch, is the short Consultation, announced by the Government during the summer period, into whether it should introduce a Guidance note to The Package Travel Regulations, as to what constitutes a package holiday. This Organisation rejects the proposed Guidance note and has set out its reasons in its own submissions to the DBERR (this can be found on the Newsdesk section of the website).

Frank Brehany, the MD for HolidayTravelWatch states,

“This has to be one of the worst summers we have dealt with since the mid 1990’s. What is of concern is the rise in the number of either serious illness or confirmed notifiable diseases in returning holidaymakers, and the breadth and range of complaints from so many resorts. British holidaymakers are returning to the UK with these illnesses, and creating extra burdens for the British Taxpayer for their continued care. So much for cheap holidays abroad!”

He continues, “We have been inundated with calls for assistance, and I am left wondering what has happened to so called corporate responsibility? What we are witnessing is the beginning of a de-regulated travel market; a market that appears to consider that the existing consumer protections are now irrelevant. The Government must take heed of this growing scandal, and act properly to protect the rights of the individual consumer, by amending The Package Travel Regulations, and give full force to its provisions in all areas of the travel market”

He concludes, “I am particularly concerned for the ordinary holidaymaker now faced with an industry that appears determined to squash any dissent, and ride roughshod over their rights. Regrettably there seems to be only one course the consumer can take – get organised, get into a group, take legal action! That it seems is the only way to now address the not insubstantial problems holidaymakers are now faced with”

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

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 130,000 people have benefited from the help provided by HolidayTravelWatch, with over 46% 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

For further information on this press release and any other associated matters please contact Frank Brehany on 01217478100


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