Will Majorca Return as a Top Holiday Sickness Hotspot?
As reported in the Guardian last summer, the most searched for holiday destination amongst British tourists was Majorca which shows that there’s a shift in the mind-set of the British holidaymakers to travel to more traditional destinations. This could mean a return to Balearics as the number one destination for food poisoning claims, as was the case in the nineties, but we’re also beginning to see a large number of holiday goers travelling further afield than before.
Popular Destinations for British Holidaymakers
Over the past 10 years destinations such as Egypt and Turkey were increasing in appeal with holidaymakers looking forward to near guaranteed sunshine over the summer holidays. This popularity grew in part due to the availability of good value all-inclusive resorts at destinations such as Belek and Side in Turkey and Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt.
Following recent terrorist activity in the region the popularity of Turkey and Egypt has begun to wane with Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria becoming popular destinations at the top of British holidaymaker’s searches online.
Illness Outbreaks in Busy Package Holiday Resorts
As with any organisation that experiences growth, the expansion of popular holiday destinations is not without shortcomings, as many holidaymakers from the UK have found out.
One of the main problems with all-inclusive hotels is that without proper food and hygiene management systems in place they can become breeding grounds for harmful bacteria and infections such as Salmonella, Shigella and E. coli.
As a leading UK law firm that specialises in helping people to claim compensation for food poisoning contracted on holiday abroad; we have found that the expansion of resorts in Egypt and Turkey has coincided with the amount of people travelling there that have reported episodes of food poisoning.
It’s likely that this trend will continue if Majorca regains its position as one of the most popular holiday destinations for British travellers looking for some summer sun.
Illness Outbreaks that Follow a Pattern
For the past 6 years or so, well over the half of the thousands of clients that have pursued compensation claims with us, have been due to infections that were contracted at all-inclusive hotels in Egypt and Turkey.
Previously our Group Travel Litigation Manager, Paul Stevens, defended claims against the resorts that we now pursue compensation from. Paul found that in the 1990s Majorca tended to attract the largest number of illness claims:
“Those cases led to large group actions against Sunworld and Thomas Cook leading to huge million pound compensation pay-outs. The impact of these illness outbreaks led to Majorca adopting some of the strictest hygiene regulations in the world in order to protect the tourism industry.”
“It is now the case that if you become ill at a hotel in Mallorca and it is from a bug contracted from the food or swimming pool water, the hotel will be liable. This means that holidaymakers can now successfully claim compensation if, for example; the infection comes from consumption of pool water that has become infected due to a recent faecal contamination incident.”
Group Travel Litigation Claims Manager
If hotels in Majorca or any of the other destinations that are currently popular with the British holiday going public are not prepared for the increased numbers of guests that they are soon to receive who will want to make use of the advertised all-inclusive services, we may see a return of mass-illness outbreaks.
Claiming Compensation for Holiday Resort Illness
These claims should not be taken lightly by tour operators who will see them begin to eat into their profits if they do not take certain steps to ensure the safety of British holidaymakers in foreign resorts.
It is one thing having stringent regulations in place for food and water safety, but as has been seen on so many occasions; if those regulations are not complied with there is the risk of exposure to traveller’s diarrhoea infections.”
An example of the kind of claims that tour operators are faced with, a case involving Megan Knight was awarded £57,683 (an award that today would be worth around £77,000 accounting for inflation) by a court when she suffered from salmonella at a hotel in Majorca.
In this case a claim was brought against TUI on the basis that the hotel did not adopt proper safety standards and provided food and drink to guests that was unsafe to consume. Due to the infection she passed watery stools for two weeks or so and was then left with permanent Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
At Simpson Millar we continue to represent people that suffer from gastric illness infections in Majorca and the Balearics. A more recent case involved a client from Wiltshire who received over £4,000 in damages after suffering a Giardia infection following her stay at the Viva Holiday Village featured by First Choice. We are also helping over 100 holidaymakers that suffered cryptosporidium type infections at the Tenerife Holiday Village.
If you’re concerned about health and safety issues concerning your hotel it’s a good idea to contact your tour operator before you travel. It’s also advisable that while staying at a holiday resort where illness can spread fast, to practice sensible personal hygiene methods and avoid any food that looks unsafe or that you would not risk eating at home.
Free Legal Advice
If you’re interested in pursuing a claim against your tour operator following an illness suffered in Majorca, the Balearics or anywhere else on a package holiday, our claims team can be contacted today for free intial legal advice.