Lawyers Demand Immediate Action Over Latest Holiday Village Red Sea Illness

Egyptian Hotel Illness

17.08.2010

Travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have demanded that tour operator First Choice takes immediate action following the latest in a succession of illness outbreaks at the Holiday Village Red Sea.

Irwin Mitchell’s travel law team already represent more than 120 holidaymakers taken ill at the resort in Sharm El Sheikh in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The team has now received calls for help from more than 70 tourists who have fallen ill at the Holiday Village Red Sea this year.

Suki Chhokar, Partner and travel law expert at Irwin Mitchell said: “The fact that we have received enquiries from so many people who stayed at the hotel between 2007 and 2009 should sound alarm bells for the tour operator and yet here we are in 2010 with more tourists being taken ill.

“We are not just talking about a handful of holidaymakers. We already represent 125 people from previous years, many of whom still suffer as a result of their illness today. Some were diagnosed with serious illnesses such as Salmonella and in 2008 there was even a confirmed case of Shigella. Many of our clients are still suffering as a result of falling ill at the Holiday Village Red Sea.”

The latest illness outbreak has now prompted the travel law team at Irwin Mitchell to repeat calls for an immediate review of hygiene standards and urge First Choice to stop sending holidaymakers to the hotel until problems have been resolved.

Many holidaymakers complained of substandard accommodation at the hotel, including power cuts, undercooked food and an unpleasant smell in the grounds. A number of guests had to endure acute pain and discomfort including sickness, diarrhoea and stomach cramps, with many guests needing treatment from medical staff at the resort. In some cases whole families were taken ill.

Susan Hall from Edinburgh went to the Holiday Village Red Sea in July with her children Chloe and Ruaraidh. All three were taken ill with stomach cramps and diarrhoea.

Ms Hall said: “The conditions at the hotel were appalling. It stank of sewage everywhere, the toilets were disgusting, the swimming pools were often closed and the food was often undercooked.

“We all fell ill, but I was really concerned for my children.  My youngest child ended up collapsing on the plane home and was rushed to hospital when we landed. 

“It was bad enough that we have had to suffer in this way but to find out that we are among around 80 people from this year alone that fell ill there, and that another 125 people who stayed there between 2007 and 2009 have already made First Choice aware of the conditions is unacceptable. I am furious that First Choice saw fit to send us there at all with young children, putting our health at risk.

“Needless to say we won’t be letting this go and will continue to battle until we have assurances from First Choice that no one else will suffer the way we have.”

Mr Chhokar added: “The history of illness at this resort is inexcusable and I find it hard to believe that First Choice continues to allow people to travel there.

“Immediate action needs to be taken at the Holiday Village Red Sea to make sure that nobody else suffers. A year ago we said that fundamental changes needed to be made to hygiene procedures and standards. Clearly not enough has been done.

“Tour operators have a duty of care to ensure that the hotels they send holidaymakers to meet health and safety standards. If they cannot ensure that tourists will be safe, the answer is simple – stop sending them there.”