ABTA has today launched a campaign to stop holiday sickness scams.
And it warns holidaymakers if they make a false claim they will face consequences including a possible fine.
The political and consumer “Stop Sickness Scams”, calls on the government to crack down on fake holiday sickness claims that have left travel companies vulnerable.
A letter signed by ABTA Members presented to the new Justice Secretary, David Lidington MP, kick-starts the campaign. It requests a meeting with Mr Lidington to call for the loophole in the law to be addressed, limiting holiday sickness claims to a fixed amount.
Next week ABTA will also ask travel industry businesses and members of the public to email their MPs about this issue.
An advertising campaign will directly target people considering making a claim and an on-line hub is being set up on abta.com/stopsicknessscams.
ABTA is asking members to support the campaign on social media by sharing materials and using #StopSicknessScams to counteract the highly misleading advertising of unscrupulous Claims Management Companies, which are spending heavily on social and mainstream media ahead of the summer season.
Campaign supporters include destination partners and ABTA members, including Thomas Cook, TUI, Monarch and Jet2 Holidays.
The campaign is leading with a number of calls to action aimed at the travelling public. These are to:
Report touts in resorts to your hotel manager and/or tour operator.
Warn other holidaymakers if you see touts about and let your friends and family know about the problem.
If you are cold-called and encouraged to make a fake holiday sickness claim, report the company to the Claims Management Regulator. Find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/complain-about-claims-company
If you are aware of a fake holiday sickness claim, report it to Action Fraud
If you believe you have experienced food poisoning as a result of eating in your hotel, contact your hotel or tour operator immediately in resort. Claims companies will take a hefty slice of any compensation awarded.
If you aren’t satisfied with the response you get from your travel company, you can pursue your case through ABTA’s independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme or through the small claims court.
Mark Tanzer ABTA Chief Executive said: “I strongly urge everyone in the industry to get behind our “Stop Sickness Scams” campaign. The public need to know the truth behind the highly misleading marketing tactics used by unscrupulous Claims Management companies whose activities are causing so much damage. Share our social media messaging, our videos and the information on abta.com/stopsicknessscams.”