All-inclusives are particular targets for the fraudulent claims, says the hoteliers federation.

24-03-2016Andrew Ede

Two weeks ago in the Bulletin (24 August), we ran an article with the heading "The Sport Of Holiday Compensation Claims" in which reference was made to how one particular law firm in north-west England was allegedly encouraging British tourists to press claims for food poisoning in the hope of securing compensation claims on a no win, no fee basis. This was happening in Tenerife and other islands in the Canaries. And now, that firm is one of eight that the Majorca Hoteliers Federation has named in connection with similar allegations here. All of them are in fact in north-west England - Manchester, Liverpool and elsewhere.

The hoteliers are describing these claims as fraudulent. They are backed up, says the federation, in a very simple way. Tourists buy drugs that don't require a prescription for treating the symptoms of food poisoning. A receipt is kept and used as evidence. The claims of food poisoning are generally made up.

The federation explains that under UK law these claims can be made any time within a three-year period and, where children are concerned, very much longer. The claims are subject to UK legal process as they are made against UK tour operators - both Tui in the UK and Jet2 had been alerting hoteliers to the fraud attempts in the Canaries.

The claims, unless they can be proved to be entirely without foundation, e.g. a claimant can be shown not to have stayed at a hotel being cited, are generally not contested. But under contractual arrangements the tour operators deduct the claimed amount from a hotel's invoice.

The Majorcan law firm Monlex Hispajuris has developed a contractual protocol to change the clauses under which tour operators do not have to assume the cost of the claims. This is expected to be drafted into contracts for next year and for 2018.

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