This week Mark Tanzer and ABTA representatives were in Madrid to discuss the issue of fraudulent holiday sickness claims with the Spanish authorities and tourism industry. ABTA met the Spanish Ministry of Tourism and the General Director of Turespaña as well as fifteen representatives of hotel associations from around Spain. The Spanish tourism industry voiced their serious concerns about the rise in fraudulent claims from British holidaymakers. We gave them our assurances that it is an issue that we are fighting hard to resolve and one that we will be pushing the new Government to urgently address.
While we have already done a lot of work to encourage the Ministry of Justice to act on this issue, we need to make sure that any change in leadership caused by the General Election does not delay action being taken. To make sure the new Government treats this as a priority matter, ABTA plans to launch an industry-wide holiday sickness fraud campaign in June. The campaign will launch once the new Ministerial team is in place and will ensure a united industry voice on this issue to maximise impact. The objectives will be to warn consumers of the consequences of making fake claims; to make sure the issue is seen as a priority by relevant Cabinet ministers and to build support for regulatory changes and reform.
ABTA would encourage all Members to get behind the campaign. Even if Members are not directly affected, this issue has the potential to indirectly affect the whole industry by pushing up holiday prices, limiting consumer choice and damaging British holidaymakers’ reputations abroad. We will release more details of the campaign after the Election.
Due to the importance of this issue we will also be running a further Handling Illness Claims seminar for Members with advice on what action Members can take to minimise risk ahead of the summer.
If you would like more information on our work on holiday sickness you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.