Among the intriguing items of interest from the USA’s largest overseas source market for inbound tourism that reached the inbox of the Inbound Report during the past week:
—UK tour operator Jet2holidays has hired private detectives to help the company in its battle against false holiday sickness claims. In a statement, the company said that its investigators will be stationed in resorts, “looking out for touts and claims management companies attempting to lure holidaymakers into making false claims.” The announcement came in the wake of advice put out by the UK Foreign Office warning of a rise in companies encouraging holidaymakers to submit claims for gastric illness during their stay.
Travel Weekly UK had previously revealed that some Spanish holidaymakers were considering dropping all-inclusive to the UK market as a result of a sharp spike in claims, which it says are unfounded.
A Jet2holidays spokesman said: “These touts and companies are peddling fraud and are brazenly handing out leaflets telling British holidaymakers that they can cover the cost of their trip by just filling out a form, irrespective of whether they have been ill or not … Top of Form
The detectives we have recruited have one purpose and one purpose only – to prevent this dishonest behavior from ruining the holidays of our customers.”
“This is fraud and if caught they personally could bear the brunt of the law – not the claims firms. No-one cares more about our customers’ holidays than us, which is why we have decided to invest in measures to tackle the holiday sickness touts in our major resorts this year.”
—UK airlines have called for duty-free drinking on flights to be made illegal. Airlines UK, which represents several major airlines including British Airways, easyJet and Virgin, said the move would reduce the number of air rage incidents. According to Sky News, Airlines UK chief executive Tim Alderslade said airlines are asking for an amendment to the Air Navigation Order to make it illegal for passengers to drink alcohol they have bought in duty-free while on a flight.
The action by airlines followed an incident in April during which 23 passengers from two different stag parties were removed from a flight at Manchester because of disruptive behavior. A Department for Transport spokesman told Sky News, however, that it had no plans to change the rules around drinking alcohol on flights.
—Travel spend by Brits up year-on-year, says new report. Spending on air fares was up more than 8 percent in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period of 2016, according to new data released by Cardlytics—it is an Atlanta, Ga., firm that provides marketers and banks with purchase intelligence—which analyzed the spending behavior of more than three million bank customers, and finding that consumers spent 4 percent more on travel overall, and hotel spending rose nearly 10 percent in the first quarter.
Overall, consumer spending remained steady, despite earlier fears of a slowdown. Cardlytics said this was driven by a boom in eating out, with the amount spent in fast-food outlets rising by 18 percent year on year.