TUI investigates claims 140 clients fell sick on same Cape Verde holiday

By Lisa James
02/03/2023
Home » TUI investigates claims 140 clients fell sick on same Cape Verde holiday

TUI’s legal team is looking into complaints that 140 people on a dance holiday in Cape Verde came down with a serious sickness bug.

The complainants are among 200 people who travelled to Cape Verde as part of a Northern Soul dance group in October 2022.

It was the group’s first trip abroad after COVID restrictions were lifted and they stayed at the four-star Riu Funana.

Trip organiser Kevin Bourne said he and others in the group fell ill with sickness and diarrhoea and were still unwell ‘weeks afterwards and were unable to return to work’.

On behalf of the group, Kevin has contacted law firm Irwin Mitchell.

The 140 complainants are in addition to almost 1,000 holidaymakers who have already instructed Irwin Mitchell after falling ill at seven hotels in Cape Verde last year, including the Riu Funana.

Complaints from holidaymakers staying at the hotel include testing positive for a variety of serious bacterial infections, including shigella, E.coli, salmonella and campylobacter.

In the latest case, Kevin, 64, from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, organised the three-week trip from 5-26 October 2022. He became ill on 14 October.

Kevin said: “After being unable to meet for so long due to COVID restrictions, this trip was meant to be a special opportunity for our group to all gather in one place. It was meant to be a special treat and celebration of Northern Soul that turned into a nightmare.

“Many of us were ill for weeks afterwards and were unable to return to work.”

He claimed: “I’m told that the local resort pharmacy was under so much pressure from sick people, that it was running out of medication. It really was that bad.”

He added: “I’m particularly angry as I organised this on behalf of the group. I now feel a responsibility to get all of us answers.”

Irwin Mitchell said the group got in contact because they were unhappy with the response they got from tour operator TUI, when they followed its complaints procedure on returning to the UK.

Irwin Mitchell Senior Association Solicitor Jatinder Paul said: “We’re already representing almost 1,000 British people who fell ill in hotels in Cape Verde last year so it’s concerning to receive these further reports of illness.

“What’s particularly concerning is the sheer numbers of those affected, many of whom have undergone medical tests and have been diagnosed with serious bacterial infections by doctors.

“Shigella, E.coli, salmonella and campylobacter are all very serious pathogens which can lead to severe illness and even death in some cases. Their effects should never be underestimated.

“If during the course of investigations issues are identified, it’s vital that lessons are learned to prevent other holidaymakers falling ill in the future.”

TUI issued a statement to Travel Gossip to say: “We are concerned to hear of the cases in Cape Verde as the health and safety of our customers is our highest priority.

“Unfortunately as the claims are now being investigated by our legal team, we are unable to comment further.”

This week, the UK Foreign Office updated its guidance for Brits travelling to Cape Verde to warn there has been an outbreak of dysentery in the region.

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