A FAMILY from Bradford are among a group of 25 disgruntled holidaymakers seeking compensation from a major tour operator after their sunshine break turned into a nightmare.
Anthony Dixon, 51 and his 28-year-old partner Sarah Dixon, from Nature Way, Woodside, had taken their three children Elisha, 11, Kieron, 10, and six–year-old Bethany for a two-week stay at the five-star Jaz Aquaviva resort in Hurghada, Egypt, this summer when gastroenteritis struck.
Mr Dixon said the misery was made even worse when the family’s 55-year-old grandma, Gail Harvey, slipped on spilled food in the restaurant and then got a scalp infection after swimming in the hotel’s pool.
The family, who booked the Red Sea holiday with TUI UK Ltd, have now instructed personal injury lawyers to investigate what caused the gastric outbreak that affected them and other holidaymakers at the same hotel and its sister hotel Jaz Aquamarine.
“The holiday was ruined for all the family. It was a nightmare holiday instead of the fun, family break we all were expecting,” he said.
“We also had great-grandma with us but she was only eating fruit. We paid about £1,000 each but I wouldn’t give pennies for it.
“The experience has left us all scarred. I feel I am in a position where I am now scared to eat out and I feel uncomfortable if I am far away from a toilet.
“Sarah no longer wants us to go abroad again, and Elisha is frightened to go abroad again.”
The family said they would not be going on an overseas holidaynext year. “The experience has put us off from foreign holidays, I think we’ll be going somewhere closer to home next year,” said Mr Dixon.
Jennifer Mullins, an international personal injury specialist and solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, who has successfully represented hundreds of holidaymakers who have contracted gastric illnesses abroad, said: “Gastroenteritis can have serious, long-term health implications for those affected.
“We are now representing over 25 people who were affected by illness at the Jaz Aquamarine and Jaz Aquaviva hotels following holidays this spring and summer, and we are still receiving enquiries on an almost daily basis from other guests at the hotel suggesting that something was awry.
“Many of our clients are providing similar descriptions of their time at the resort and the problems that they faced.
“We would encourage anyone who stayed at either the Jaz Aquamarine or Jaz Aquaviva Resort this year, and who has since experienced gastric symptoms, to see their GP at the earliest available opportunity.
“We would also like to speak with them as they may be able to help with our investigations.”
Hygiene concerns that the Dixons and other guests have reported include uncovered and uncooked food as well as unclean pool water and a littered poolside.
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A spokesman for TUI (Thomson & First Choice) said: “We’re sorry to hear about these customers’ experience during their holidays earlier this year. As we understand this is now subject to legal proceedings we are unable to comment further at this time.
“We closely audit all resorts to which we operate to ensure that health, hygiene and comfort levels are maintained in line with industry standards.”