On 13th October the Government issued a call for evidence to help drive its crackdown on fraudulent gastric illness claims.
There has been a dramatic rise in such claims by British tourists and figures provided by ABTA report a 500% increase since 2013. This is despite the fact that travel industry data on the global trend for reported incidence of illness in resorts has actually declined in recent years.
The call for evidence will remain open for four weeks and invites both industry and the public to submit a wide range of information, for instance in relation to the volumes of claims made and the amount of damages awarded. This follows earlier action by the Government over the summer, when it announced proposed measures aimed at reducing cash incentives to bring spurious claims against package holiday tour operators. Issuing the call for evidence, Justice Minister Dominic Raab said “bogus claims against tour operators risk driving up the price of summer holidays abroad for hard-working families who have earned a break. We’re taking action to deter these claims, and protect holiday-makers from being ripped off.”
Following the announcement, Mr Huddleston said: “I am pleased that the Government is demonstrating its commitment to tackling the issue of fraudulent gastric illness claims. I met with the Justice Secretary earlier this year to press for action to tackle this growing problem and I welcome the Government’s call for evidence. There have already been signs that UK holidaymakers and operators alike are suffering reputational damage and holidaymakers are facing rising holiday costs as a result of the increase in fraudulent claims. This call for evidence is an important step in identifying action the Government can take and I urge any interested parties to visit the Ministry of Justice’s website to respond to the consultation, which closes on 10th November 2017.”