Travel Agent Holiday Gems Criticised For Misrepresentation Of Hotel


A travel agent has been criticised over misleading information provided in its brochure.

Package Holiday

Holiday Gems used a picture of a waterfront hotel as a means of advertising the Soreda Hotel in Malta. However, after a complaint was made by a customer it was found that the 4 star hotel was not the one portrayed in the picture and was not located on the waterfront as described.

The advert in the brochure was scrutinised by the Advertising Standards Authority who had commented and agreed that the picture was in fact misleading. Due to the offer relating to a specific hotel it would have been easily assumed by consumers that the offer was one that related to the building seen in the picture.

This is not the first instance in which travel agents have come under investigation for providing misleading information to consumers. The majority of holiday claims are now based on false misrepresentations made by travel agents using incorrect information as a means of making a sale. This can include misrepresentations through hotel pictures, the location of the hotel, its amenities, the rating of the hotel and nearby local attractions.

There has been continued media exposure in the travel industry highlighting the increasing number of complaints against tour operators and retailers. Due to this, holidaymakers are advised to ensure they carry out their own research of their hotel accommodation and location before travelling abroad to prevent disappointment. This can be done by comparing hotel and resort descriptions with other holiday company brochures. Reviews and traveller photographs on sites like Trip-Advisor have also known to be extremely helpful to the majority of consumers, highlighting the true conditions and the nature of hotels from guests who have already had the experience.

Holidaymakers are further advised to read through all the booking terms and conditions before travelling abroad, as these highlight all the necessary exclusions of the holiday in question. It is encouraged that these are printed off and taken with those going abroad in the event a problem occurs. Due to these being in small print they can often go unread but the importance of these cannot be stressed enough.

Finally, a holiday should always be booked as a package holiday and be ATOL protectedas it ensures greater protection due to being governed by The Package Travel Regulations 1992.

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