Club Mac in Alcudia, the target for numerous fraudulent sickness claims. | Andrew Ede

The false claims made by UK holidaymakers for holiday sickness have become an issue for the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), which brings together bar associations in EU countries and others, such as Switzerland.

The CCBE has been urging the UK to tackle false claims for food poisoning and gastric complaints, and it has had some success. The Solicitors Regulation Authority in England and Wales requested information about the claims and has since issued warnings to various law firms.

The dean of the Balearic college of lawyers (the professional institute), Martín Aleñar, says that this European-level intervention came about because of requests from Spain and particularly from the Balearics. It is another means of addressing the serious problem of claims that have been costing hotels millions of euros. The "claims farmers", the companies which entice tourists to make claims, subcontract the demands made of hotels or tour operators to law firms.

Guardia Civil arrests of two women in Alcudia who were approaching holidaymakers and persuading them to make false claims were an indication of how administrations are fighting back against the practice. Tour operators, notably Thomas Cook and Tui, have had success in bringing actions and dissuading claims, while one hotel complex that has been blighted by claims - Club Mac in Alcudia - has made clear that it will start legal proceedings against tourists making false claims.