Law Firm Calls On Tour Operators To Put Holidaymakers’ Safety First
Spain, Turkey and Mexico were among the most complained-about holiday destinations in the world last year, according to new data compiled by specialist travel lawyers at national law firm Irwin Mitchell.
The list is based on the number of complaints reported to the UK’s leading International Personal Injury team at national law firm Irwin Mitchell by holidaymakers whose trips during 2017– often too expensive luxury all-inclusive resorts – were ruined by either illness or complaints regarding the quality of the service provided.
Based on the number of enquiries Irwin Mitchell’s research has revealed that 25% of complaints it received last year related to illnesses or issues with service at Spanish holiday resorts.
Following closely behind with 13% was Turkey, while Mexico was the third-most complained-about destination with 10% of enquiries related to the country.
The top five was then completed by Egypt, with 9% of complaints, and the Dominican Republic, with 7%.
Irwin Mitchell’s International Personal Injury team has vast experience in providing advice and support to holidaymakers who have suffered injury or illness during breaks on cruise ships and at resorts located across the globe.
The team has represented thousands of holidaymakers and recovered millions of pounds for holidaymakers and passengers over 20 years after their breaks were ruined due to injury or 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.
As well as family holidays, tourists have suffered ruined wedding anniversaries and birthday celebrations and many of those who were seriously ill have required hospital or other emergency medical treatment.
Holidaymakers have suffered from serious illnesses such as Salmonella, E-coli Cryptosporidium, and Campylobacter all of which can cause long-lasting health problems such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Reacting to this year’s findings, Suki Chhokar, a Partner and travel law expert at Irwin Mitchell, said:
Expert Opinion“Through our work we have seen the devastating consequences that gastric illness problems can have on victims, impacting not only on their time away but also their lives when they return home to the UK.
“This research has put a fairly damning spotlight on the places where holidaymakers have seen problems in the past year and sadly it is also our experience that the same issues crop up time and time again – whether it is poor food hygiene or a failure to properly manage resort swimming pools.
“So many people are now jetting off to enjoy some summer sun abroad and it is absolutely vital that tour operators understand their responsibilities when it comes to keeping their customers safe.
“The importance of health and hygiene should never be downplayed and it is vital that every effort is made to ensure holidaymakers can enjoy their breaks with a minimal risk of illness or other service quality issues. Standards clearly need to improve in these named destinations and beyond.” Suki Chhokar - Partner
Irwin Mitchell’s five most complained about destinations for 2017 were:
Spain and the Spanish islands is a very popular holiday destination in Europe for British holidaymakers so it is perhaps no surprise that it is among the worst destinations in terms of illness. In 2017 problems have been reported at hotels including the Hotel Helios, Playa Esperanza, Sandos Benidorm Suites, Bellevue Club to name but a few.
As its popularity amongst British holidaymakers grows, the number of holidaymakers instructing Irwin Mitchell after visiting Turkey has also grown. In 2017, a number of Efthalia resorts were at the heart of the complaints, as well as Pegasos Royal and Pegasos World Resorts.
A firm favourite with tourists from across the world, particularly Brits, Mexico’s white beaches and glorious sunshine has a strong pulling power. However in 2017, some tourists were left disappointed after experiencing health issues while there. The law firm saw complaints against the Grand Bahia Principe Tulum for another consecutive year, while one family missed their flight home after suffering severe holiday illness following their stay at the Sandos Caracol Eco Resort and Spa.
Sharm El Sheikh and the Red Sea are popular destinations for holidaymakers but many tourists are returning home with more than they bargained for, despite a high number of the resorts being four and five star. The Jaz Aquaviva and Pegasos World hotels are just two of the popular resorts guests complained to Irwin Mitchell about last year.
5) Dominican Republic
The Caribbean paradise offers tourists sandy beaches and clear sea water. Some tourists experienced more than they expected though. Riu Bambu and Dreams Palm Beach ranked highly among the country’s resorts for number of complainants with the law firm being contacted throughout the year by holidaymakers who had stayed at the hotel and experienced problems.
Irwin Mitchell’s Top Tips For People Suffering Holiday Illness
Irwin Mitchell has the following advice for anyone experiencing problems abroad:
• If you are faced with illness or other serious difficulties in resort it is important to report this as soon as possible to the local holiday rep and the hotel;
• Make sure you complete a written complaint form and keep a copy;
• Take photographs and videos to support your complaint and swap contact details with other holidaymakers who have suffered problems;
• If you seek medical help whilst abroad, make sure you get a copy of the doctor's report;
• If your complaint is not addressed, you should write to the tour operator within 28 days of returning to the UK and seek follow up medical treatment for any illness you have suffered;
• If your complaint is not satisfactorily resolved at this stage you may wish to take legal advice from a solicitor specialising in foreign personal injury claims.
Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in holiday illness cases.