Stomach Illness on Holiday - What are my rights to compensation?


Being ill on holiday can have far reaching consequences. This is why it is so important that you know your rights and how you can get compensation for the suffering that has been caused. People often fall ill on holiday and put it down to the ‘foreign climate’ not knowing that they have a right to claim compensation if their tour operator or hotel was to blame.

Holiday Hotel Illness

Am I entitled to compensation for my holiday illness?

Your tour operator is responsible for ensuring that the services that make up the holiday are provided with reasonable skill and care. Under the Package Travel Regulations 1992 your tour operator is also responsible for ensuring that you accommodation is clean and safe.

So, if you are served food that is unfit for human consumption and become ill as a consequence it is your tour operator who is responsible.

It does not matter where your illness abroad, you can still pursue your claim here in the UK against your tour operator.

What causes stomach illnesses on holiday?

A number of things can cause a severe stomach illness whilst on holiday. Here’s a few but this list is by no means exhaustive:
Holiday Sickness
  • Dirty swimming pools
  • Food poisoning from undercooked or stale food
  • Drinking unclean water
  • Unhygienic meal facilities
  • Lack of washing or toilet facilities

The UK has some of the highest standards when it comes to supplying food and drink. However, when travelling abroad and especially in some developing countries where the infrastructure may be weak this may not be the case. Due to this reason sanitation and sewage disposal may be at a poor standard.

Food poisoning is often caught by holiday goers when they eat at a buffet style restaurants and it is not unusual to find that a group of travellers all get sick at the same time because of this.

Symptoms of food poisoning include diarrhoea, vomiting, headaches, stomach cramps and nausea. Due to these symptoms travellers often experience dehydration alongside these leading to hospitalisation.

What should I do if I think my hotel is to blame for my illness?

If you are ill while on holiday, here are some tips on what to do:
  • Visit your hotel doctor for a diagnosis - ensuring that you ask them for a medical report and receipts
  • Report your illness to your holiday rep, who should provide you with written confirmation that you informed them of the illness
  • Make the hotel staff aware of your illness
  • If there are other people in your resort with a similar problem, try and get their names and addresses
  • Take photographs of unhygienic practices eg animals around food, dirty cutlery
  • Compile a list of everything you ate 48 hours before the illness

What should I do when I return to the UK?

When you return home you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. Take any paperwork you have from the hotel doctor, so your doctor can see what their diagnosis was and how they treated it.

If your symptoms still remain upon returning your doctor will usually take a stool sample to confirm a formal diagnosis and to aid further treatment.

On returning to the UK you can claim for the cost of your ruined holiday, a lump sum for the time you spent ill and any expenses you incurred as a result.

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