Compensation Offer From Tour Operator - Should I Accept?

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If you have been injured or become ill whilst on holiday, it can be confusing as to what you do next. If you are on a package holiday, your tour operator may want to offer you a form of compensation to quickly resolve the matter. Although this may seem like an ideal scenario, we can explain why this may not be the best idea.

In What Circumstances Would a Tour Operator Offer Compensation?

Typically, if you are injured or become ill whilst on holiday, to make a successful claim you must be able to show that something has gone wrong with the holiday and that you have suffered physical and/or financial loss as a result. This could be a loss of money through paying hospital fees, or most commonly, a significant loss of holiday enjoyment. If this occurs whilst you are on a package holiday, your tour operator may offer you some form of compensation if you directly discuss the matter with them or communicate directly with them.

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The reasons you may be offered compensation often relate to the condition of your hotel, e.g.:

  • Poor hygiene or food quality standards (leading to illness)
  • Bedbugs (causing bites or skin reactions)
  • Mould (causing respiratory problems)
  • Physical injuries (due to poor maintenance, such broken furniture or hazardous paving)
  • Slipping on a wet floor (where correct warnings are not in place)

If you make a complaint to your tour operator about any issue which relates to them, you could be offered some form of compensation and the amount offered will most likely be dependent upon how you have been affected and perhaps how well you can evidence your claim (taking photographs or video footage for example).

A tour operator may offer you a quick and easy kind resolution, such as a money off voucher. It can be very tempting to accept this, but in many situations, it may not to be best do this – especially if you have not sought legal advice.


When tour operators offer compensation, they will often ask you to sign a waiver or tell you that acceptance of the offer is in full and final settlement of your claim (the wording used may vary – but they are typically looking to extinguish your ability to claim further compensation). 

The idea behind this is to prevent you from claiming what you may be able to legally reclaim – which could be many times more than the tour operators offer, particularly if your injury or illness turns out to be more severe than you expect.

For example, symptoms of illness caused by certain food poisoning bacteria can disappear, only to then reappear and cause secondary problems that can be long lasting or even with you for life. Irritable bowel syndrome and reactive arthritis for example can be triggered by a simple case of holiday illness. This means that you could be accepting a £50 holiday voucher from your tour operator when your true entitlement could be many thousands of pounds.

Often, a tour operator will offer you a means of compensation not because they believe you deserve it, but rather because they know that with legal advice and professional representation, you can claim much more.   Therefore, if you have been injured or become ill whilst on holiday, it is important for you to speak to the right people before accepting a means of compensation.

The good news is that even if you have accepted an offer from a tour operator, you may still be able to claim and so it is worth seeking advice on this point.  Much will depend on what was communicated to you by the tour operator and what your understanding of the offer was.

Getting in touch with one of our Personal Injury Solicitors is the best way to ensure you are properly and fairly compensated for an illness/ accident you have been in whilst on holiday. Our lawyers are specialists in their field and have represented 100’s of holidaymakers. For more information, visit our Holiday Accidents Claims Page, and we can help you to move forward.

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