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Holiday Sickness, Why are claimants not hotels being punished?

Claimants are currently under fire from hoteliers and holiday company governing bodies as ABTA has attacked the rising number of holiday sickness claims. Buoyed by the fixed cost regime that looks to ensure claimants don’t get more than an agreed amount, the travel industry is now looking to ensure that also includes illness claims for holidaymakers.

Holiday Sickness, Why are claimants not hotels being punished?

Blaming British holidaymakers

ABTA has said that “Spanish hoteliers have reported significant increases in sickness claims made by British holidaymakers but not by their German or French counterparts, leading them to suspect that some claims are fraudulent”.

What is particularly disconcerting about the remarks by both ABTA and hoteliers is that their immediate thoughts seem to be that visitors are inherently making false, fraudulent claims.

Given that recent research declared Spain the “food poisoning capital of the world” it is surprising that such a governing body would first look to blame holidaymakers for the rise in holiday sickness claims, rather than ensuring the very hotels they work with have high enough safety standards that illnesses were a very low risk (if at all).

Reputation at stake

It was also revealed in the same study that many holidaymakers will not visit destinations if they are concerned about hygiene problems, including the local water supply and the risk of food poisoning.

Of the 2,000 people surveyed 20% had said they actively avoided a holiday in India due to the country’s reputation for food related illnesses. The same study also saw 43% of people choosing self catering options for their holiday after they thought it to be safer to prepare meals themselves.

With Spain being such a hotspot for holiday sickness, it would surely make sense for governing bodies and companies operating alongside hoteliers to find out where the problems are originating inside their own organisations rather than looking to lay blame on holidaymakers.

Cleaning up

Reputation is an incredibly important decider in travel and tourism. With studies being undertaken all the time, the fact that Spain is often near the top of the food poisoning tables for tourists can seriously harm many companies.

Food scientists have reported it as imperative for all inclusive hotels to keep high safety standards. Warm temperatures and exposed food (often left for long periods of time) are prime locations for microbes to spread. Other local pollutants like flies can spread over 1,000 microbes each when they land on food.

With so many hotels and staff, it would seem unusual to believe that every single food service every single day would run smoothly and that holidaymakers are being inherently dishonest.

What if I have suffered holiday sickness?

If you have been abroad and have suffered from food poisoning in the resort that you are staying, please do not let ABTA’s words worry you. You still have the ability to seek legal help and claim for holiday sickness caused. We understand that a bout of food poisoning can ruin what is meant to be an enjoyable, much anticipated time away relaxing, something much more than feeling a little off colour for a few days.

If you or a family member has had food poisoning resulting from poor hygiene at a hotel or restaurant abroad, you could be entitled to make a holiday sickness claim. Call Scott Rees & Co on 01695 722 222 or start your claim by filling in our contact form online. Our lines are open weekdays from 9am to 7pm. If you have suffered and would like no win no fee legal help, give Scott Rees & Co a call to see what we can do for you.

Image Source
  1. By Wouter Hagens (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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