The worst five holiday hotspots of 2015 are unveiled with cruises topping an annual list of most complained about holidays for the sixth consecutive year.
The list is based on the number of complaints reported to the UK’s leading and largest international personal injury team at national law firm Irwin Mitchell by holidaymakers whose trips during 2015 – often to expensive luxury resorts – were ruined by either illness or complaints regarding the quality of the service provided.
Cruises accounted for 32% of cases dealt with by Irwin Mitchell’s specialist lawyers, with Dominican Republic (14%), Egypt (12%), Turkey (11%), and Tunisia (8%) making up the rest of the top five most complained of destinations where holidaymakers suffered illness.
Irwin Mitchell has represented thousands of holidaymakers and recovered millions of pounds for holidaymakers over the last 20 years after their holidays were ruined due to injury and illness.
Lawyers say most of the problems reported to them are due to inadequate health, hygiene and food standards and are repeating their calls for tour operators to do more to ensure hygiene standards are improved in failing hotels and on board sub-standard cruise liners.
As well as family holidays, tourists have suffered ruined honeymoons, wedding anniversaries and birthday celebrations - many of those who were seriously ill required hospital or other emergency medical treatment.
Holidaymakers have suffered bacterial illnesses such as salmonella, E-coli and cryptosporidium, which can cause long-lasting health problems - lawyers say that these incidents could have been avoided with better hygiene standards.
Suki Chhokar, a Partner and Head of the International Personal Injury team at Irwin Mitchell, said:
Expert Opinion"Unfortunately, the same issues, such as poor food preparation and storage and unclean swimming pools are responsible for the majority of the cases we deal with.
“It is worrying that many of the destinations and indeed many of the individual hotels and cruise liners featured in our research have appeared in our previous research. We are especially concerned about the number of cruise passengers still falling ill on board cruise liners.
"Tour operators and cruise line operators should take seriously their responsibility to their customers to ensure that the appropriate standards of hygiene, health and safety are maintained.
“Gastric illness and food poisoning can be very serious and we have seen first-hand the effects of such illnesses on many of our clients including those who have contracted potentially fatal illnesses including salmonella, cryptosporidium and E-Coli while on holiday.”
Suki Chhokar - Partner
Irwin Mitchell’s five most complained about destinations for 2015 were:
Although not technically a destination, cruises have topped the complaints list for the past six years and show no sign of letting up with several prominent outbreaks on board popular ships. Irwin Mitchell is currently representing passengers involved in group actions against cruise operators following cruises upon Thomson Dream, Thomson Celebration, Balmoral, Arcadia, P&O Azura, and Boudicca, amongst many others.
Returning to the list last year after a period of absence is the Dominican Republic where lawyers have seen many cases of holidaymakers travelling further afield to luxury and exotic resorts but being left disappointed after illness has ruined their holidays.
A number of the resorts in the Dominican Republic boast of being luxurious and are often four or five-star, however lawyers report that there has been an increase in cases reported to them, in particular at hotels such as Dreams La Romana where there was a large outbreak of gastric illness including bacterial infections such as E.coli.
Sharm El Sheikh and the Red Sea are popular destinations for holidaymakers boasting luxurious five star resorts and iconic tourist attractions, but many visitors are returning home with more than they bargained for.
Guests at the Coral Sea Waterworld and Concorde El Sham are among those taking legal action after their 2015 holidays.
Turkey has also featured on the worst holiday hotspot list several times in recent years and holidaymakers in 2015 have complained about problems of gastric illness at the Fantasia De Lux hotel, and guests who stayed at the Esra Hotel had to be placed on intravenous drips following severe gastric illness symptoms.
Tunisia is a new destination to make the worst holiday hotspot list in 2015 after guests’ holidays were ruined following gastric illness symptoms, including some visitors requiring medical treatment abroad after staying at the Daphne Club Hotel. Lawyers are also representing guests who stayed at Royal Kenz, as well as Riadh Palms.
Irwin Mitchell’s worst holiday hotspots for 2014 were – Holidays to Turkey accounted for 28% of cases dealt with by Irwin Mitchell’s specialist lawyers, with Cruises (17%), Spain (15%), Egypt (12%) and Greece (7%) making up the rest of the top five most complained of destinations where holidaymakers suffered illness.
Irwin Mitchell’s worst holiday hotspots for 2013 were - Cruises accounted for almost 27% of cases dealt with by Irwin Mitchell’s specialist lawyers, with Turkey (17%), Egypt (15%), Dominican Republic (12%) and Spain (10%) making up the rest of the top five most complained of destinations where holidaymakers suffered illness.
Irwin Mitchell has put together their expert advice for holiday goers with Just In Case – Travel Tips For A Healthy Holiday. Their guide includes information on holiday illness, accidents abroad, adventure accidents, cruise ship holiday advice, driving abroad tips and advice for anyone thinking about having a cosmetic surgery procedure abroad.
Holiday illness tips can be found at www.irwinmitchell.com/justincase