Thanks to technology, digital cameras can make holiday photographs look truly fantastic. Which is great when you want to show off your holiday snaps to your friends. But not so great when it comes to choosing your holiday hotel or resort.
A new research study by travel website GoCompare found that one in seven of those polled thought that ‘awful’ surroundings had been cropped out of the photographs. In fact, four in ten thought that their holiday companies’ websites and brochures had been misleading about their resort or hotel while 28% said the location was not as described. Another four in ten told the research company that their hotel room was nothing like the photo.
There is naturally a fine line between playing down an unsightly building and removing it altogether from the photo, but it seems that many British holiday makers feel hotel owners and travel companies cross that line and stray into something that resembles sharp practice, if not outright deception.
Although they may feel aggrieved, surprisingly few (just 11%) actually do something about it. For the moaning minority, their grumbles were successful, as they either got a room upgrade or a refund on their money. Other forms of redress are also open to them, especially if the holiday firm is a member of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) or Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (ATOL).
Complaining clearly pays off and holidaymakers, who spend a significant proportion of their annual income on their hols, should clearly do it more often.
What’s at stake here, of course, is retaining the holidaymakers’ trust and travel firms can hardly complain if their customers prefer to use social media websites, such as TripAdvisor, when deciding on a hotel, than the hotel’s own website. The photos there may not look quite so professional, but at least they’ll be closer to reality.