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  1. ITV Report

Bogus holiday sickness claims costing travel industry 'over £240m'

Bogus holiday illness claims could drive up the price of a holiday. Credit: PA

The government has launched a crackdown on bogus holiday sickness claims that are estimated to be costing the travel industry up to £240 million.

The Call for Evidence investigtion is being launched today in wake of a report by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) that found a 500% increase in claims between 2013 and 2016.

The findings are contrary to travel industry data that shows globally incidence of illness in resorts has actually declined in recent years.

False insurance claims for gastric illnesses like food poisoning being brought by British holidaymakers is believed to estimated to have cost the industry over £240m in 2016, ABTA said.

The resulting costs to the industry could be past on to holidaymakers, driving up the prices for families.

The upsurge in holiday sickness claims in the UK is partly fuelled by touts operating in resorts. Credit: PA

The upsurge in holiday sickness claims in the UK is partly fuelled by touts operating in European resorts.

Justice Minister Dominic Raab said: "Bogus claims against tour operators risk driving up the price of summer holidays abroad for hard-working families who have earned a break. We're taking action to deter these claims, and protect holiday-makers from being ripped off."

Tour operators often settle holiday sickness claims out of court, rather than challenge them because the legal cost to tour operators can be out of proportion to the damages claimed.

Ministers have put forward proposals which would mean tour operators would pay a set sum depending on the value of the claim.

These proposals will be considered by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee, which is responsible for setting rules on legal costs.