For most of us, our summer holiday is a much anticipated event. We save up, book a long time in advance, ask the boss for time off work, buy new clothes – in short – it is a big deal!
What happens then, when you reach your destination or resort, head for the beach, only to discover it’s nothing like the brochure promised. Those turquoise seas and white beaches are replaced by litter,debris and runaway construction work. Filthy streams or sewage pipes running down into the sea; which turns out to be a grey foamy mess of floating plastic bags or worse? We don’t always have transport on holiday so quite often we’re stuck with what’s within walking distance of where we’re staying.
Many of us are rightly very upset and disappointed by this situation. In the UK, we have a certain ‘watchdog’ mentality of recording the probelms we encounter on holiday. This is great if something gets done about it, but often we just receive an apology from the holiday company, perhaps a partial refund if we’re lucky. But the beach? Nothing gets done.
What to do about it?
- Firstly do bear in mind that in most cases the hotel you are staying at will not be directly responsible for the beaches nearby (unless it’s their own private beach). However if the beaches are advertised in their brochures as part of the holifay and include pictures which are misrepresentative, then it’s my opinion that you have a right to complain.
- While you’re still away , complain to the tour company representative in the resort straight away. The rep should provide you with a customer complaint form.
- Take photographs or video footage to back you up
- Back home, there are plenty of travel community sites like www.tripadvisor.com where you can register and write reviews of the places you’ve visited. This lets others know what to expect of the same desitinations.
- Keep writing those letters of complaint, to both the agent you booked with and also directly to the hotel. If they don’t know they won’t be able to fix it! Don’t assume someone else will make a complaint, or leave it weeks and weeks before you get round it. Anythng over 28 days is too long
- If you can find out who the local council is that is charge of the beach, write to them too.
Corona Save The Beach – Getting something done
This summer, one of the best ways of getting something done about dirty beaches on holiday is to send in your photo or video evidence to Corona Save The Beach
Corona have pledged to clean up and protect the worst beaches in Europe and the UK – and keep them that way. Visitors to the website can vote on which beaches they consider to be in most need of help. This is a sure fire way of getting attention where it’s needed.