Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Advice for a Cyprus wedding
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Tuesday 02 April 2013
Q. We are about to pay £3,000 for a one-week all inclusive holiday in Cyprus for a family wedding. We are worried that with all the banking issues that we might pay five-star and get two-star because staff, suppliers and even the hotel have not been paid. Can you advise?
A. If you have booked with a UK tour operator I don't envisage any problems. Under the Package Travel Regulations, the firm is obliged to deliver the holiday it promised.
British travel companies have been following developments in Cyprus closely, and will be making sure that contracts are fulfilled, and that suppliers and staff are paid.
It has been an extremely stressful time for the people of Cyprus, but I imagine that one consequence of the crisis will be that the island will re-focus on delivering first-rate holidays once again, and that standards should, if anything, improve still further.
My one concern is: if you have booked a "DIY" holiday, with flights and accommodation in separate transactions (eg as sold by Travel Republic, LowCostHolidays, etc) then the protection you get is far less robust. While you would be at liberty to take legal action against a Cypriot hotel that failed to deliver the promised quality, it would prove more cumbersome and less likely to yield a favourable result than tackling a UK-based package-holiday company.
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