Letter: No raving

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AIRTOURS HAS achieved many things in its short history, but we have yet to claim responsibility for the resignation of a British vice-consul.

I refer to your travel editor's article, "Holiday firms turn on to rave culture" (Travel, 6 September), in which Jeremy Atiyah claims: "Leading tour operators are offering tailor-made sunshine trips to young clubgoers, promoting the sort of non-stop partying that prompted the resignation last week of the British vice-consul in Ibiza in protest at ravers' degenerate behaviour."

Tour operators sell holidays and are not in any way responsible for the excessive way in which some people who buy those holidays choose to behave while they are away.

Our Escapades holidays are designed to appeal to the youth of today. The Escapades brochure does not speak the language of the drug and rave culture at all; rather, it is the language of young people who are looking for fun. And, like it or not, drinking is part of their definition of fun.

Young people visiting Ibiza with Airtours are encouraged to take excursions with like-minded individuals. In keeping with guidelines drawn up by the local authorities, there are never more than 50 holidaymakers in a group. In addition, there are always at least four Airtours representatives in order to ensure that drinking does not get out of control. This is helped by the fact that alcohol on the island is cost-prohibitive and there are no free-drink gimmicks available.

The focus of these group excursions is fun. Any young person who insists on drinking to the point of becoming out of control will be refused admission to bars and clubs visited by the group and that person faces a long, sobering walk back to their accommodation.

That they may bare their bums or have sex with a stranger en route is surely a question of morality for the individual, their family and society in general - not for their tour operator.

CHRIS MOTTERSHEAD

Airtours Holidays Ltd

Rossendale, Lancashire

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