Holiday Makers Suffer Egyptian ‘Building Site’ Holiday Hell

Holiday ruined for family after illness abroad


12 holidaymakers are taking legal action against their tour operators after they claim their holidays to Egypt were ruined when they suffered severe gastric illness abroad at a hotel which was still under construction.

Amongst those affected was Maurice Hemingway (69) his wife Janet (57), daughter Julie (26) and his granddaughter Leigh (7) who all travelled on an all-inclusive Holiday Village to the Holiday Village hotel in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El Sheik in June 2007. A trip which was booked through First Choice Holidays and Flights Limited.

Apart from Leigh all members of the family became ill, suffering from severe stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea during their two week stay.

The family from Blackpool in Lancashire, claim that despite much of the hotel and its amenities being under construction when they arrived, they were in receipt of a letter from First Choice before their departure stating that "all facilities are open and ready for you and your family’s enjoyment with the exception of the multi-purpose area and the tennis courts"

Mr Hemingway explained "Upon receipt of the letter from First Choice, I contacted Customer services and was reassured that this was correct. This was not true. There were no shops, no cinema, no indoor entertainment, no beach showers…. The list is endless. The first week there was no beach bar. On the second week a member of staff was given a bucket of ice and drinks and this was classed as the beach bar."

Mr Hemingway was offered 10% of his holiday cost as a cash refund by First Choice or 20% of his holiday cash in holiday vouchers which he declined.

Nichola Blackburn from the Travel Law team at Irwin Mitchell who is acting on behalf of the family said: "Mr Hemingway and his family have now joined a group action against First Choice Holidays, at present Irwin Mitchell act for 12 clients who suffered illness following their stay at the Holiday Village in Sharm El Sheikh."

She added: "Every year we act for clients who have suffered severe gastric illness abroad. Although most illnesses clear up within a few weeks, a number of our clients are left with permanent health problems as a result.

"Many outbreaks could be avoided if both the British tour operators and the local holiday resort ensured that basic health and hygiene practices were followed."