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Travel Lawyers Call For Urgent Investigation At Egyptian Hotel

Illness At Holiday Village Red Sea


Specialist travel lawyers at law firm Irwin Mitchell have repeated calls for an urgent investigation into hygiene standards at the Holiday Village Red Sea resort after being contacted by another group of holidaymakers who were taken ill at the hotel.

Hundreds of guests are already taking legal action after falling ill at the resort between June and December last year. Lawyers at the firm are also representing people who were taken ill at the resort in each of the last four years.

Ian and Maureen McGregor from Stirling contacted Irwin Mitchell for help after they contracted severe gastric symptoms while spending Christmas at the resort. Their illness was such that they were left facing painful and invasive medical treatment.

Reviews posted on the TripAdvisor website suggest that other guests also fell ill at the resort over the Christmas period.

The latest reports echo those provided by more than 300 guests who have stayed at the hotel in the past four years, including the Maione family from Bristol.

Mr and Mrs Maione and sons Roberto and Leonardo travelled to Holiday Village Red Sea in August 2008. The family were left terrified when one child was struck down with Shigella and the other with Salmonella.

Mr Maione said: “My children and wife were so ill, I thought I could lose them. As a restaurant owner I know what should go into certain types of foods and how it should be cooked. All they were doing at the Holiday Village Red Sea was covering the uncooked chicken with sauces, that’s no way of providing good service – it’s asking for people to be ill.”

The Maiones are continuing with court proceedings against tour operator First Choice, which has denied responsibility for the problems experienced by guests at the resort in 2008.

Mr Maione added: “I am truly shocked that First Choice continues to send families to this resort, knowing of the problems in the hotel. I feel for those families who have small children, children can die out there. It is atrocious. To think they’ve done nothing for two years is terrible.”

Travel specialists at Irwin Mitchell are now urging First Choice to ‘get to the root of the problem’ following confirmed cases of illness at the hotel every year since 2007.

Suki Chhokar, from the firm’s travel team, said: “The fact that we have been contacted by holidaymakers who all stayed at the hotel in June and every consecutive month right through to December 31st last year, and who all became ill, is of grave concern, particularly as we raised serious concerns about Holiday Village Red Sea at the very start of last summer.

“At the time, we asked for fundamental changes to be made to the hotel’s food hygiene standards and for procedures to be put in place, maintained and carefully monitored. It appears that our concerns have not been considered thoroughly enough and as a result more people have suffered needlessly.

“Our reaction – and more importantly, that of our clients - is just one of utter dismay this time. It is beyond belief that First Choice continues to get away with sending its customers to Holiday Village Red Sea when illness at the resort has been rife for so long and continues to be so.

“We are not talking about one or two people here. We now represent hundreds of people throughout the last four years, many of whom still suffer as a result of their illness today. Some were diagnosed with serious conditions such as Salmonella, E-coli, Shigella and Cryptosporidium.
“Things have to change and they have to change now. First Choice needs to do the decent thing by its customers and there must be an immediate investigation and this time, for everyone’s sake, they need to get to the root of the problem.”

The McGregors were staying at the resort from December 17th to 31st last year. The couple both fell ill with diarrhoea, stomach cramps and extreme lethargy and they sought urgent medical help which led to Mrs McGregor being referred to hospital.

Mr McGregor described conditions at the hotel as “appalling” and added, “it stank of sewage everywhere, the swimming pools had faeces floating in them and our room was filthy.”

Since returning to the UK, the McGregors have learned of the history of illness at the resort. They are now demanding answers from First Choice and claim they should have been told about the issues at the Holiday Village Red Sea before departing.

Suki Chhokar continues: “It is totally unacceptable that Mr and Mrs McGregor ended up so ill whilst on holiday at Holiday Village Red Sea. Our experiences indicate that gastric illnesses can have long-term health consequences or even permanent problems, especially for young children and people who have existing health conditions.

“The history of illness at this hotel is indefensible and it is difficult to believe that in spite of this First Choice has continued to allow people to travel there this summer and now, once again, we are seeing guests being struck down with illness.

“Tour operators have a duty of care to ensure that the hotels where they send their customers meet health and safety standards that are in place for a very good reason. If they cannot ensure holidaymakers’ safety, they must stop sending people there. Urgent investigations are required to identify the cause of the problems at this hotel and any actions required to improve the standards of heath and hygiene must be taken as a priority.”