Hoteliers in Muğla create units against false claims filed with UK courts
MUĞLA – Demirören News Agency
Muğla’s resort towns of Marmaris, Fethiye and Bodrum have been well-recognized as tourist hotspots for decades and they host some 1.5 million British tourists during a normal summer season. However, they have been publicly disgraced with huge compensation claims in recent years.
“These incidents are among the biggest causes of distress for hoteliers in the country and particularly on the Aegean coast. The destination point dominating tourism in the Muğla region is the United Kingdom. Resort towns of Muğla are very popular in Britain. Unfortunately, some of our guests unjustly demand compensation after returning home as we make contracts within the rules of the U.K. consumer rights laws,” said Bülent Bülbüloğlu, vice chair of the Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED) and the president of the South Aegean Touristic Hoteliers and Operators Association (GETOB).
Some compensation claims are over the odds, he said.
“A compensation of 1 million pounds [more than 7 million Turkish Liras] can be claimed against a hotelier which has around 1,000 beds. A British tourist who stayed there can file a complaint to the courts in Britain saying that he or she had an upset stomach, didn’t like the food, suffered a food poisoning or was mentally depressed because of the problems at the hotel,” said Bülbüloğlu.
High-quality touristic facilities, including three-star hotels, have created departments to provide evidence against false claims and to document the conditions properly. Their works include checking the wet floors and cleanness in the kitchen. At some places, the foods and drinks are regularly controlled by universities or international companies.
On the other hand, hotel managers got into contact with judicial authorities in the U.K. to differentiate between sham accusations and fair complaints, according to Bülbüloğlu.
“Now, we can appear in the courtroom and defend ourselves. Big tour operators listen to us carefully and examine the evidence we show them,” he said.
“Last month, a court in the U.K. ruled against a British family which had filed a complaint of ‘food poisoning’ after their stay at a four-star hotel. The family was fined 30,000 pounds… Our fellow hotelier appeared in the courtroom in the U.K. to defend himself with the authentic documents and busted the sham,” he added.
Some British tourists who have been visiting Turkey for long years also feel sad about these developments.
“I have been spending my holidays in Turkey, particularly in Marmaris, with my family for 15 years,” said 35-year-old British beautician Grace Obrien.
“Everyone here is very nice and hospitable. I love Marmaris,” she added.