ONE month after the scandal of allegedly false claims made by British tourists against Mallorca hotels made waves on the island, the UK Ministry of Justice is set to get involved.
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), has identified a list of rogue British lawyers, dubbed ‘claim farmers’ by a furious Spanish media, who they believe have goaded tourists into making reckless and baseless allegations against local hotels.
The story broke in September when the Mallorca Hotel Business Federation (FEHM), claimed its members risked being put of business by an array of bogus claims made by Brits back home.
Most revolved around contracting some kind of sickness, getting a prescription and demanding compensation from their travel agent, who would pass the bill onto the hotel simply by not paying them money owed.
Since then the entire industry has united in the war against pirate lawyers and may finally see some measure of justice as ABTA has taken their claims to the British Ministry of Justice who will investigate.
ABTA have already identified lawyers who brought actions on ‘very little evidence’ and they agree with the Mallorcan Hotel Federation that the number of claims is growing at an alarming and suspicious rate and have pledged to name and shame those responsible.
One travel agent has described the culture as ‘disgusting’ and says he receives daily claims from people with no evidence of their illness but who can routinely get €1,000 or more.
ABTA note that the problem is also affecting smaller travel agents in the UK who are targeted as they lack the funds to mount a court challenge and can’t risk any negative publicity.
If the false claims continue there will also be a knock-on effect on insurance premiums for honest British tourists.