Simpson Millar ''receives hundreds of complaints'' about Red Sea Holiday Village, Nick Harris tells Watchdog


Simpson Millar’s head of travel Nick Harris has been assisting BBC1's consumer programme Watchdog, after an outbreak of food poisoning hit the Red Sea Holiday Village in Sharm El Sheikh this summer.

Egypt Red Sea Holiday Village Food Poisoning

Simpson Millar has been helping holidaymakers who become ill at the Red Sea Holiday Village for the last five years.

In July, an outbreak of food poisoning caused hotel guests to suffer from extreme symptoms – in one block of guest rooms, holidaymakers in all 12 rooms were affected and guests spoke of "unbearable" stomach cramps and "uncontrollable diarrhoea", which developed within days of their arrival at the all-inclusive Red Sea Holiday Village.

The hotel is used by First Choice holidays which praises the hotel’s "relaxed atmosphere and fabulous range of restaurants", claiming these "all combine to provide the ultimate family holiday".

Watchdog’s report revealed tales of holidaymakers who became ill after spending thousands of pounds on a four-star holiday at the Red Sea Holiday Village as a result of poor hygiene and food preparation.

Some guests required rehydration therapy and were placed on a drip.

The hotel swimming pool was also closed five times over three days as a result of holidaymakers with food poisoning symptoms being unable to control their bowels, or being sick in the pool.

On one occasion, Watchdog reporters staying undercover witnessed the pool being closed and re-opened just 20 minutes after chlorine was used in heavy quantities to treat faeces, which the pool attendant attributed to a child.

Guests told the programme the Red Sea Holiday Village was christened the "horror village" by those affected by illness.

Watchdog has heard from more than 70 holidaymakers who have become ill at the Red Sea Holiday Village – but Simpson Millar has been dealing with hundreds of cases of food poisoning at the hotel for years.

Nick Harris from Simpson Millar is one of the UK’s leading travel lawyers and is used to hearing some of the most extreme cases of holidaymakers falling ill on package holidays abroad. He told Watchdog:

"I would estimate that we have spoken to more than three to four hundred people who have contacted us in relation to this particular resort."

Nick always advises holidaymakers who fall ill at resorts like the Red Sea Holiday Village to report any illness as soon as possible to the holiday rep.

However, when Watchdog’s undercover team reported symptoms of food poisoning to the First Choice rep, like many other holidaymakers they were told that the hot weather was to blame for "Egyptian tummy" – and were sent off to the clinic on the hotel campus for some tablets.

Watchdog’s own reporters were served with undercooked chicken and kebabs in the dining room during their stay on several occasions, however.

First Choice has said that it has taken steps to monitor outbreaks of illness at the Red Sea Holiday Village – and that the outbreak of food poisoning in July this year was an exceptional occurrence, when 40 out of 3,000 guests were affected. Improvements to hygiene and monitoring the health of guests have since been made, First Choice said.

Some guests who reported illness while saying at the Red Sea Holiday Village have received a full refund and compensation.

If you have stayed at the Red Sea Holiday Village in the last three years and have suffered from food poisoning, contact Simpson Millar’s travel claims team for a free assessment of your case and expert help in making a claim for compensation for your ruined holiday.

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