According to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), more British holidaymakers are expected to opt for all-inclusive holidays abroad this summer than last year. For the vast majority it will bring a week or two soaking up the sun and enjoying quality time with family and friends – completely hassle free as they make the most of everything an all-inclusive break has to offer.
But, without doubt, there will be some unfortunate holidaymakers who find themselves in a hotspot affected by an avoidable sickness and illness outbreak.
And when this happens, long-awaited and costly holidays are ruined, with many people still suffering from the after-effects long after they return home.
It is for that reason that our travel litigation team at Hudgell Solicitors has put together some simple guides to help holidaymakers avoid picking up the widespread pathogens we commonly see each and every year.
Package holiday operators must ensure highest standards
“Sadly we speak to many families each year who have returned from a holiday which has been ruined by members of their party being taken very ill with sickness and diarrhoea, and it is a heartbreaking and sometimes frightening experience for them, especially in cases affecting young children or the elderly,” said Anne Thomson, of Hudgell Solicitors.
“Sadly this is something which is more common in large, all-inclusive resorts where food is served buffet-style throughout the day alongside busy swimming pools and outdoor eating areas.
“In 2018 we supported people who were taken ill at hotels where there were widespread outbreaks of illness over a sustained period of time.
“In such cases, where there is continuing illness amongst holidaymakers with similar symptoms, questions have to be asked as to whether something has gone wrong.
“It is imperative that holiday tour operators and the hotels used are held fully to account for their hygiene and food quality standards. The highest standards must be met to not only reduce the risk of illness, but also to contain any outbreak successfully.
“Sadly, we see many examples where this is not the case, even at complexes which have five-star ratings from the tour operators.”
Guests must report all illnesses to tour operators
Over the coming weeks, Hudgell Solicitors will be publishing details of pathogens which are known to strike and ruin holidays each and every year, with tips on how holidaymakers can reduce the risk of being affected.
This guide starts today with advice on Salmonella and its symptoms, how it is caught and spread and what you can do to minimise the risk.
“Holidaymakers have become much more aware in recent years and now take many extra precautions to ensure their holiday is a success,” added Mrs Thomson.
“Of course, it should all start with research when booking your holiday, and we would advise checking back to reviews from previous years on TripAdvisor, and searching to see if there have been any issues at hotel complexes that have been previously featured in the media. There are certainly some hotels where outbreaks of illnesses are more frequent.
“It is also important to be aware of the steps you can take when at a holiday resort to reduce the risk of illness, from avoiding areas where there are lots of birds close to eating areas to being selective over your food choices, water and ice.
“We always advise sufferers to report any illness suffered to their tour operator’s holiday representative and to the hotel, not only to ensure that their illnesses are accurately recorded by the holiday representative, but also to ensure standards are challenged and raised for future holiday guests.
“We have supported many people who have not only needed our help to secure compensation for their pain and suffering, but also for the impact their illness had on their holiday and because they may have had to miss work on their return home because they were still unwell and incurred loss of earnings as a result.
“A holiday should be just that. People should return with great memories and feeling relaxed and well. Hopefully, our advice over the coming weeks will help.”