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Russians Threat to Ban Holidays to Turkey over Tummy Bugs at Hotels

It has been reported by the BBC news website that a dispute has arisen between Moscow’s chief public health office and Russia’s Association of Tour Operators.

Central to the dispute, reported in the Moscow Times, are concerns by Russia’s consumer watchdog over “mass poisoning” of holidaymakers at two resorts in Turkey.

While stories of illness outbreaks at Turkish hotels may be alarming to British holidaymakers, consumers should be aware that illness outbreaks at all-inclusive hotels are rare and are not only restricted to Turkey.

Simpson Millar’s specialist travel claims department has dealt with illness problems at hotels in Egypt, Spain, Greece, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

When there is an illness problem at a hotel, it is more likely to do with the way that the specific hotel is run, as opposed to there being a public health problem with the resort or country where the hotel is situated.

It is our experience that the overwhelming majority of hotels in Turkey have excellent standards of health and safety – and many UK based establishments could learn something from the way in which some Turkish hotel managers ensure that the food provided to their guests are safe.

If you are concerned about health issues concerning the resort or country that you intend to travel to, the starting point should be the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. The FCO will provide details of any health and safety concerns about the country you are visiting including precautions that may need to be taken to reduce the chances of contracting an infective disease.

It is also important to talk to your GP or practice Nurse about health precautions you may need to take in advance of travel.

Holiday Hotel Watch

For illness problems at hotels, there is no reason why you cannot ask the travel agent or tour operator if there has been an illness problem in the past. It may also be worth checking out reviews on review sites such as Tripadvisor.

You can also do a search for your hotel on our blog – www.holiday-hotel-watch.com – which will tell you about any hotels that we are monitoring for illness – or hotels that we have helped people claim compensation for illness in the past.

What is vitally important is that consumers make sure they book a package holiday as opposed to booking directly with the hotel. While booking directly with a hotel may present a cheaper option, by booking a package holiday you can claim compensation against your UK tour operator – if they or the hotel that you are staying at is at fault.

If you purchased your hotel on an accommodation only basis, it is unlikely that you will be able to claim in the UK for food poisoning suffered in Turkey.

To find out whether you can make a claim for a sickness bug suffered at a Turkish hotel or any other overseas hotel, we recommend that you contact one of our travel lawyers for legal advice about making a claim.

We can be contacted today by email at holidayclaims@simpsonmillar.co.uk or you can telephone 0808 145 1353 for a free legal consultation about your holiday illness.

Dated: 12/08/2013

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