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Holidays: All-Inclusives Uncovered? - Tonight

With summer fast approaching, many families will be shopping for holidays, and an ever popular choice for us Brits is the ‘all-inclusive’. As the name suggests, with an all-inclusive holiday you pay up front and get your accommodation, food and drinks included.

It’s a simple concept that’s proved an attractive choice for many holidaymakers and now more than ever holidaymakers are finding it a tempting prospect, with bookings for all-inclusives expected to be up by around 14% compared to last year.

“All inclusives have become very popular again. And the main reason for that is really the security of the amount you're going to pay. Lots of people want to go on holiday at the moment but are worried about the price of the pound, it's kind of bouncing around, taking a bit of a rollercoaster ride”

– Rory Boland, Which? Magazine

Someone who knows more than most about all inclusives is John. He was a holiday rep for 20 years until 2016, and in that time saw all-inclusives increase in popularity.

Credit: ITV / Tonight

“In the hotels I worked in, they would cut corners with what they would do with the food. So for example if you had ham in the morning on the breakfast trolley you might then find it in the buffet cart at lunchtime for a Russian salad.”

– John, former holiday rep

Sometimes things don’t quite go to plan on holiday, and when things do go wrong, they can go badly wrong.

Holidaymaker Chris Gillan travelled to Mexico three years ago with his wife for their wedding anniversary and a week into his holiday he began to feel unwell.

“I’d woken up feeling funny. Me and my wife went and sat by the poolside and it started to get progressively worse, I started to get really bad headaches and feel really dizzy so we went back to the hotel room. I remember laying on the bed and I just had this sudden urge that I was going to throw up. I barely made it to the sink and just threw up what I can only describe as just blood.”

– Chris Gillan

Chris was rushed to hospital and given immediate medical treatment. It turns out that the area of Mexico Chris had travelled to had been subject to a parasitic infection called cyclospora. Public Health England had issued warnings about the infection, which had first affected travellers the year before Chris’ holiday.

After 24 hours in hospital Chris was well enough to be discharged, and he managed to carry on with the rest of his holiday, albeit with a limited diet and no alcohol.

Following his holiday, Chris contacted a law firm who has taken a group action against TUI on behalf of 400 holidaymakers who all say they were struck down by this same parasite over a three year period.

“There was a duty placed on TUI to tell customers before traveling to Mexico, the moment that they knew of an outbreak in the resort, something that was likely to affect people, I mean if you imagine people who have for instance poor immune systems traveling to a resort like that and then succumbing to an illness like cyclospora, that's dangerous.”

– Nick Harris, Simpson and Millar

In a statement, TUI said:

“We’re sorry to hear of Mr Gillan’s experience. As this matter is now subject to legal proceedings it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.

We’d like to reassure customers that we regularly audit all of the hotels we feature in respect of health and safety, including hygiene.”

– TUI

So what’s the best way of making sure you get the perfect holiday for you?

Credit: ITV Tonight

Our reporter Hayley Hassell went online to look for a holiday for herself and her family to Tenerife. Searching different sites, Hayley found the same holiday on Jet2, Thomas Cook, On The Beach and the cost differed from £3677 at the cheapest, and £4369 at the most expensive.

Then Hayley decided to try something she hasn’t done for years… ring a local independent travel agent. And they could get her the deal for £3560, the cheapest price of all!

So wherever you are jetting off to this year, make sure you’ve done a bit of homework to get a good deal, check that you’re satisfied with the company you’re booking with… and enjoy that sunset on the beach, at no extra cost.