By Andrew Tarling
Holiday Compensation Claims Manager
Jamaica has proven to be a mainstay desirable holiday destination for tourists from around the world, and the Beaches Ocho Rios Resort and Golf Club offers the chance to enjoy a taste of the Caribbean island, but recent reports suggest that there are holidaymakers who aren’t able to enjoy the idyllic setting as intended.
About the Beaches Ocho Rios Resort and Golf Club
The Beaches Ocho Rios Resort and Golf Club is located in the desirable Ocho Rios resort on the Caribbean island of Jamaica. Advertised as part of Thomson‘s ‘Tailormade’ branded hotels, this waterpark hotel features a number of water slides and activities that should make it ideal for families with children of all ages. Unfortunately a number of guests have taken to review sites such as TripAdvisor to talk about how closed facilities and gastric illnesses have left them with a nightmare holiday.
Reports of sickness bug resulting in closed facilities
Reviews for the Jamaican hotel are mixed on sites such as TripAdvisor, with many praising how beautiful the location is, but others bemoaning that advertised features of the hotel such as the private beach was closed. Unfortunately there appears to have been a number of holidaymakers who have suffered from a stomach bug, including the following reviewers:
Oxford holidaymaker ‘Smegle_12’ titled their review “Many people sick“, in which they say that “Shortly after arrival we got hit by vomiting bug that is sweeping through resort.” They go on to say that while “hygiene measures have been imposed all over resort“, including closing down the swimming pools, it “Seems like many guests are affected by [the] illness“.
‘SummerDS’ travelled to the Beaches Ocho Rios as part of a family of four and was surprised to find that while there “every pool was closed.” She says that the swimming pools were “closed because of a terrible stomach virus that swept over the resort like a tidal wave, causing illness for people the entire week.” ‘SummerDS’ comments that the hotel appeared to be taking measures to prevent any further spread, but despite doing their best to avoid becoming ill, their family of four “all ended up getting [ill] anyway as soon as [they] got home“, going on to say that they “are all still battling” the infection.
In a review that was simply titled “Sickness Everywhere!“, ‘jillian234565’ says that “Many people at the resort got sick, including our whole family“. The reviewer also says that they took steps to clean the hotel, but have not gone so far as to “close the resort down to deep clean.“
Possible cause of illness
When a swimming pool is closed down many people will jump to the conclusion that water borne parasites such as Cryptosporidium are responsible for their condition, and while this may be the case, it’s important to not rule out the possibility of food poisoning.
Many bacterial food poisoning pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter can be passed through faecal matter, and a common way for this to occur is through swimming pools, where children may accidently release a stool and cause others to become ill.
It’s also important not to rule out the possibility that the Cyclospora outbreak that has recently hit Mexico and has begun to spread throughout the Caribbean, as this hazardous parasite can be found in both water and on produce such as fruit and vegetables.
Apparent lack of information from tour operators
It appears that while the hoteliers have taken steps to try to limit the spread of this infection, and at the time of writing; tour operators such as Thomson have not removed the Beaches Ocho Rios from sale, and do not appear to be informing British tourists of the potential outbreak prior to travel.
Claim compensation for holiday illness
On a package holiday it is the responsibility of your tour operator to ensure that they take reasonable steps to prevent you from coming to harm, whether through an injury sustained during an accident or food poisoning caused by inadequate food safety or HACCP-type processes.
This is because of The Package Travel Regulations 1992, which allow you to claim compensation from your tour operator in the UK in the event that they or any of their third party suppliers fail to take the necessary steps to keep you from harm.
Find out what your case could be worth
If your stay at the Beaches Ocho Rios Resort and Golf Club has been ruined by a devastating stomach bug, then before getting in touch with your tour operator to make a complaint, we recommend speaking to one of our travel law specialists first. The legal teams of UK tour operators have been known to settle claims at a fraction of their true value, but by speaking to us first we can let you know the true value of your claim during a free no-obligation consultation.
If we represent you we can provide you with ‘no win no fee‘ terms and the reassurance that your claim will be handled by dedicated and experienced travel lawyers, rather than a claims management company who may lack the necessary expertise to maximise your compensation award.