British tourists ‘are left sleeping on beaches’ in Europe after paying for rooms in hotels that are still CLOSED in coronavirus holiday shambles
- Watchdog Which? has received reports of tourists arriving to closed hotels
- Which? said the majority of the problems have been with Loveholidays
- Paul Davis, 48, from Lincolnshire, arrived in Spain to find his hotel closed down
- He had to seek out new accommodation but lost his deposit when the original travel provider found him a new place
British tourists are having to sleep on beaches in Europe after paying for rooms in hotels abroad that are still closed due to coronavirus lockdown.
Consumer watchdog Which? reported the findings and said that the travel agency Loveholidays has been the main offender, according to the Times newspaper.
One tourist, who set off for a break in the Spanish sun, arrived with his partner and 10-year-old son, only to find that the hotel was closed. The family were forced to seek out and pay for new accommodation.
Some Britons are resorting to sleeping on the beach, while others have returned home.
British tourists are having to sleep on beaches in Europe after paying for rooms in hotels abroad that are still closed due to coronavirus lockdown (pictured, people pack the beach as they sunbathe and swim in Moscenicka draga, near Croatia’s western town of Rijeka yesterday)
Consumer watchdog Which? reported the findings and said that the travel agency Loveholidays has been the main offender, according to the Times newspaper (pictured, passengers arrive at Palma Majorca from London Stansted and Luton Airport)
Pictured: The Hotel Pantheon in Rome closed due to the coronavirus pandemic on 24 June. Tourists have been arriving to their holiday destinations only to find that hotels are still closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic
Paul Davis, 48, from Lincolnshire, booked a holiday in Salou on the Costa Daurada in Spain on the 1 July to arrive just three days later on 4 July.
The trip, which cost over £1,500, was booked the day the Foreign Office relaxed its international travel advice, allowing Britons to take a hard-earned break in the sun.
On arrival, the 4R Regina Gran hotel was shuttered and Mr Davis was left with no other option than to book a new room. Eventually, he was able to transfer to a hotel run by Loveholidays, but he lost his £250 deposit for cancelling the second resort.
‘When we pulled up I thought we must have the wrong hotel: it was all shut and hadn’t been opened for a good while,’ he told the Times. ‘It’s disgusting. We were fortunate enough to have the money to stay somewhere else but lots of other people probably aren’t in that position.’
The original hotel was still available to book yesterday through Loveholidays.
British tourists seen walking along the beach in Benidorm today as lockdown is eased
British tourists seen relaxing at the Hotel Cimbel in Benidorm today as lockdown is eased
One social media user tweeted at Loveholidays: ‘My family is leaving for Gran Canaria shortly and i called hotel and they are closed and so i need new hotel booked and any other changes done asap’.
Another ranted to On The Beach: ‘You lot are p*** takers. My son has been trying to get in touch with you for 16 days but you leave it to the day before he is due to fly knowing his hotel is closed, then say his hotel has been changed’.
According to Which?, the majority of complaints of rooms being sold at locked down hotels involve Loveholidays, but that there were some others.
Some Britons are resorting to sleeping on the beach, while others have returned home (pictured, tourists arrive at the Son Sant Joan airport in Palma de Mallorca on July 8, 2020)
A passenger wearing a protective face mask, carries her luggage as she gets off an Eurostar train at Amsterdam Central Station, on July 9, 2020
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel magazine, told The Times: ‘It is beyond belief that holidaymakers have been left in a position where they have either had to fork out hundreds of pounds for alternative accommodation or risk being left with nowhere to sleep.’
A Loveholidays spokeswoman said: ‘We are aware of a few instances where customers have arrived at hotels that are closed and our in-resort emergency assistance team are working with those customers to find them suitable alternative accommodation.’
She insisted that in some cases the hotel had not informed the agent of its closure, adding: ‘We apologise for any inconvenience or distress this may have caused our customers. We will of course refund the cost of his hotel booking.’
Party islands crackdown on PARTIES: Politicians on Ibiza and Majorca vow £500,000 fines to organisers of illegal events in bid to snub out Covid
By Natalia Penza for MailOnline
Politicians in the Balearic Islands have gone to war against the promoters of unlicensed parties by announcing fines of nearly £500,000 for wrongdoers.
The fines are part of a new decree designed to combat the spread of Covid-19 following a string of underground events in Majorca and Ibiza.
The commercialisation of parties and party boats where there is an ‘agglomeration’ of people will be considered a ‘very serious’ infraction under the new rules and be punished with a fine of between £53,650 and £536,000.
Promoters of parties in public spaces as well as private villas can be hit with the fines.
Venues where the worst type of infractions have taken place face long forced closures under the decree, including holiday villas used for unlicenced mass parties which could be prevented from receiving tourists for up to three years.
The new rules were approved yesterday/on Friday by the Balearic Islands regional government.
Regional government spokesman Pilar Costa said they would be enforced from ‘minute one.’
The new rules were announced less than a week after an unauthorised pool party for British seasonal workers in Magaluf.
Officers stopped the bash from continuing at a villa in Costa de la Calma near Santa Ponsa in Majorca after discovering entry tickets were being sold at £90 over Facebook.
They seized drugs including laughing gas after entering the property, but were unable to confirm who they belonged to.
A spokesman for Calvia Town Hall, which covers the area where the party was due to take place last Saturday, said at the time the organisers could face a heavy fine over the unlicensed bash under existing pre-Covid-19 legislation. Under the new decree the financial penalty could have been more than twice as high.
Ibiza club bosses who have been forced to cancel plans to open this year because of a regional government ban on nightclubs have repeatedly claimed the prohibition would lead to a spate of underground events which could prove far more dangerous than regular discos for the spread of Covid-19.
Legislators had been urged to put in place a legal framework to tackle the problem.
Respected Ibiza newspaper Diario de Ibiza reported last week a private events firm was promoting parties in villas for £35,000-a-time complete with star DJs.
More than 200 people attended a party on Saturday on the outskirts of Sa Pobla in Majorca which went ahead despite organisers being refused a request to stage a wedding.
Police were called to the event which began at 10pm and went on to nine the following morning. Local authorities claimed afterwards there was never any intention to stage a wedding and the application was an excuse to try to get approval for an unauthorised alcohol-fuelled party.