People on holiday on the beach

People on holiday on the beach.

20-06-2019Gemma Andreu

British tourists have been banned from staying in hotels with dangerous balconies following a string of deaths at Spanish holiday resorts.

Travel operators TUI and Jet2 have ordered hotels not to put guests in rooms with balconies where the barrier is lower than 1.1m high, or where there are gaps in the railings that could be used for climbing.

The hotels have claimed that travel operators are imposing the bans amid fears of multi-million pound legal claims after a number of people sued over the falls.

The Foreign Office has issued a warning to tourists to “avoid doing anything that might cost a life”.

Climbing on and jumping from hotel balconies - known as ‘balconing’ - has been the cause of a number of deaths of British holidaymakers in recent years.

In June alone this year Spanish authorities logged three more falling cases. Natalie Cormack, 19, was killed in Magalluf in April last year while trying to climb from one balcony to another, and in June last year Tom Hughes, of Wrexham died when he fell 65 feet in Magalluf.

Freddie Pring, 20, of Minehead, Somerset, also died in a balcony fall in Magalluf, and last July, 21 year old Michael Jones, from Bolton, died falling from hotel railings in Benidorm.

A TUI UK spokesperson said, “Customer safety is our top priority.

“We work closely with hotel partners to ensure balconies meet recommended guidelines.”
A Jet2 Holidays spokesperson said, “We constantly review health and safety and balcony safety is very much part of that.” Last month, The British Embassy in Madrid and British Consulate in Palma launched a new campaign encouraging young British holidaymakers to “Stick with your Mates”, as part of a Foreign Office global campaign on youth safety.

It's not clear how the ban will be enforced, but hotel operators said that travel firms are keen to avoid being sued over falls.