Following a recent jeep safari crash which killed two British holidaymakers near Fethiye in Turkey, Penningtons Manches’ travel law partner, Mark Lee, warns holidaymakers of the risks associated with local excursions.
Turkey is the world’s sixth most popular tourism destination with 37.8 million people travelling last year, of which 2.51 million travelled from the UK. However, in recent years there have sadly been several high profile fatalities in Turkey involving UK holidaymakers on holiday excursions.
In 2010, a nine-year-old Welsh schoolgirl died in a white water rafting accident on the Dalaman river in southern Turkey. That same week, a British holidaymaker died whilst parasailing when his harness snapped and two other English tourists were reported killed whilst paragliding in Turkey in 2012. Then, in 2013, two people were killed and 20 injured in a hot-air balloon collision in Cappadocia.
Says Mark Lee: “The jeep crash is sadly another example of a tragic fatality resulting from a local holiday excursion booked in Turkey. In our experience, local excursion providers often fail to comply with even the most basic local standards and they are usually also uninsured. As a consequence, it is very difficult to recover anything by way of compensation if something goes wrong.
“If possible, holidaymakers should identify and purchase local excursions from their UK tour operator, prior to their departure on holiday, so that they form part of their holiday package. Tour operators are obliged to select local excursion providers who comply with local safety standards and this therefore reduces the associated risks of the activity. It also means the tourist can recover compensation against the tour operator in this country - based on English levels of damages - if they suffer injury during the course of the excursion.
“Holidaymakers who pay for a local excursion while on holiday should always use their credit card rather than pay in cash. Provided the cost of the excursion is more than £100, he or she may then be able to recover compensation against their credit card supplier in the English jurisdiction if they suffer injury during the course of the activity. While these types of claims are rare, we have successfully handled high value and complex claims against UK banks, including a claim arising from catastrophic injuries caused during a ballooning accident in Turkey.”