Banning British holidaymakers

By | Category: Travel news
poster advertising Mallorca

This is how Mallorca promotes itself to Brits. In future it may not want British visitors

Today, the Daily Mail carries a front page headline suggesting that Britons may be banned from all-inclusive resorts in Mallorca. The reason? Bogus food poisoning claims.

In the last year, the paper claims, the number of claims against hoteliers for food poisoning has jumped by 700%. The question is whether the claims are genuine or bogus. And it isn’t only happening in Mallorca. Other tourist destinations are reporting an increase as well.

It is surely unlikely that food hygiene and food preparation standards have substantially dropped given the level of monitoring that there is by hotel associations, national bodies and the EU itself. It also seems unlikely that many more people are reporting the problem than hitherto because the publicity that cases have received has urged them to come forward.

It looks like those that might have claimed for supposed lost Raybans or PPP have decided that the next soft touch is hoteliers.

About a month ago, Just about Travel reported that the Special Investigations Unit of  CEGA had noticed a upturn in spurious claims about food poisoning so the industry has been aware of it for a little while. The concern now is that as the summer holidays come will there be an even greater number of claims all of which will require investigating.

Hoteliers, tour operators will look at the economics of fighting cases and probably decide one of two approaches. The first is that they will say this fraudulent attempt to extort money should be fought at all cost so the people are deterred from making bogus claims. The second is that they will look at the costs in fighting the claim and how much the person is claiming and then opt for the smaller sum.

This is why Mallorcan hoteliers are suggesting a ban. The Daily Mail claims that the British government is considering fining any person found to be making a bogus claim. For holidaymakers who wouldn’t consider such a deceitful approach, the penalties on those who blacken our names need to be harsher. Could a penalty include a ban from the destination to which they holidayed or a ban by all ABTA members? Could they be refused travel insurance in the future? Could they be put to work in the hotel kitchens they disparaged washing dishes for the length of a holiday?

In order to stop this fraud, the penalties need to be something that will hit perpetrators where it hurts and that might be in their ability to travel.

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