BRITAIN’S Ambassador to Spain Simon Manley has lashed out at tourists making bogus holiday sickness claims.
Manley was speaking out after Downing Street announced a clampdown on the fake claims scams, which are costing Spanish hoteliers some €50 million a year.
Last month, three British holidaymakers appeared in a criminal court charged with making a false claim for around €50,000 with more legal action expected in other cases.
“The recent measures announced by the British Government show how seriously we take this issue, and our determination to clamp down on loopholes and fraudulent claims,” said Manley.
“Eighteen million British tourists visit Spain each year, and whilst the vast majority of holidaymakers will not make false claims, these recent measures will help clamp down on those who do.
“As our travel advice says, making a false claim could result in legal proceedings in the UK or in Spain.”
The Ministry of Justice has moved to close down loopholes which have allowed the claims to be made.
Legal costs paid out have been limited and the costs of defending a claim for tour operators has been reviewed.
The Government has also asked the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and other industry representatives to present further data on the volume and costs of claims.