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Compensation warning for North East tourism businesses

Date 2 Oct 2006

Many of the region's tourism businesses could be exposed to costly compensation pay-outs because they are unprepared to deal with holiday mishaps, is the warning from law firm Dickinson Dees. With the summer holiday season now over, the firm's Kudos business advice team says that North East tourism businesses are facing their busiest time of the year for complaints from holidaymakers who may have suffered unforeseen circumstances such as cancellations, accidents and illness. And whilst large travel companies are usually prepared to defend holiday claims, many smaller tourism businesses are not, and are consequently making simple but costly errors

Failing to have the correct paperwork in place is one of the most common legal errors, warns the team, such as omitting vital Terms and Conditions at the point of booking, leaving businesses vulnerable and defenceless to claims. Another is being unsure how to respond to claims and making knee-jerk settlements, rather than first checking who is liable and what is covered by the customer's holiday insurance policy.

Kudos partner at Dickinson Dees, Neil Warwick, said: "We can't stress enough that ‘prevention is better than cure', and not having paperwork in order in the first place is the most common problem. "This has been exacerbated by a growing trend for holidaymakers to bypass travel agents and book directly online. In the process of setting up online booking facilities tourism companies are forgetting to include the ‘small print' normally included in their standard booking forms. "This means that the right to change holiday arrangements, for example a tour company cancelling trips or altering itineraries because of bad weather or over-booking, might not apply. A business may have no legal comeback to a complaint about such unforeseen changes, and could end up paying compensation."

To find out more about Dickinson Dees service for tourism businesses, visit

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