The majority of all claims brought by UK residents for injuries occurring in foreign lands are brought under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992  (or PTR for short).  The PTR apply to package holidays sold after 30th December 1992.  A package holiday is a holiday sold or offered for sale in the UK, which includes transport and overnight accommodation in a pre-arranged package sold at an inclusive price.

The PTR provide that the holiday supplier is liable to the person enjoying or receiving the holiday for the proper performance of the obligations arising under the holiday contract.  These are effectively claims brought under contract law as extended by the PTR.  It is therefore vital to preserve all contract documentation and we will need to consider the written booking conditions and any implied terms.  For example, if a hotel has a swimming pool, it is implied that the pool will be reasonably safe or that a hotel will be properly maintained.  However, “reasonably safe” and “proper maintenance” are to be judged by the local (not UK) standards, and it is frequently necessary for an expert to be appointed to advise what the local standard is.  It can also be of vital importance to keep the names and addresses of any witnesses to the accident who may since have returned to the UK.

The package tour operator might be able to successfully defend the claim if the failure which caused the accident was a failure of a third party (other than the holiday-maker or holiday provider) unconnected with the travel/accommodation paid for or it was due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the package tour company or its suppliers.