Last week the BBC Watchdog programme included details of complaints against the tour operator Goldtrail Holidays. The show included interviews with Goldtrail customers who had experienced a poor holiday. Goldtrail specialise in holidays to Turkey and they have also recently started selling holidays to the Greek islands. There is no doubt the holidays that they sell are cheap but they do get a larger amount of complaints than they should. Most of the complaints they get are about the poor standard of the hotel accommodation.
The question is though, should you expect poor accommodation if you don’t pay much for your holiday in the first place ? Our opinion is that even if you don’t pay much you should expect a basic level of comfort. All hotels regardless of the price paid should comply with health and safety standards and be clean. Nobody should expect to sleep on a stained filthy mattress or swim in an uncleaned unhealthy swimming pool. If the hotel serves food they should comply with food hygiene standards. The problem is, of course, that whilst here in the UK we have very high standards and strict rules, hotels abroad may not have the same high standards and have rules that are not enforced.
Our view is that if you book with a UK tour operator then they should make sure that the hotel accommodation they use is upto standard. If they value their long term future then any holiday company must make sure that their customers will have a happy holiday. Ensuring that customers are happy is the key to getting repeat customers, and we all want those !
We all want cheap holidays but at the same time we all expect reasonable standards. As more people look for cheap holidays in the recession there is a danger that standards could drop as tour operators look to cut corners. If that happens then the travel industry will shoot itself in the foot and the long term effect will be a loss in consumer confidence in the package holiday.