- You have requested feedback about our trip last week to the picturesque area of Sort for a family adventure break. Please find following my brief summary:
All of the offered excursions need to be reviewed for suitability and health and safety.
The Hydrospeed should not be offered.
The Mountain biking everyone should be given a pep talk before they commence there were unpleasant accidents as a consequence
The Canyoning should have the water tested for bacteria. So when people fall ill from accidentally drinking it you know what the problem is. Or indeed if the water is too infected the trip does not happen. The water testing kits are easily available.
The hotel was way too basic. Pool too small, rooms too small for 3 star but the holiday price was high and in Spain 3 star is usually far better (Barcello chain or Tryp Indalo). Given the activities a balcony was essential.
The location of Sort. .. dull place if there are no evening activities such as quiz night or entertainment offered then the location needs to compensate.
Could have offered more alternatives such as guided walks on the rest days into the scenic landscapes safe energising and healthy. This is what people would have been happy with. Everyone including the kids really loved the first walk on the Sunday.
It's a pity that the blind greed of making money on excursions took away any common sense of what is appropriate to offer.
The planned activities are enough. It is a holiday and there should be a balance struck.
We had to take our son to the local clinic as he was extremely ill on the Thursday right through to our return and even on Sunday in London we were in the A&E with him. When they heard what he had been upto they tested him thoroughly for bacteria. ......blood test, urine, chest x rays – all of it. This meant he missed out planned activities and a group meal.
In summary any company working for you or subcontracted by you to take your clients - need to be made to comply with basic H&S standards that are commonplace here in the UK. They should meet your due diligence expectations and know what is right for the type of clients you are sending.
Anyone who says they had a wonderful time are not lying but I think they are so utterly relieved to have walked away unscathed they are in denial also as the week progressed the level of alcohol consumed increased and I would not be surprised if this was partly attributed to their activities during the day .
There were traumatised people, scared kids, exhausted kids and bashed parents from hitting rocks on the riverbed . ..I can continue but really I think you get the picture by now. Not my idea of a relaxing family break.
I hope this will encourage you to review the excursions and how the week is run in general and potentially avoid any serious problem occurring in the future.
We are interested in the Morrocan Trip offered but are not in the frame of mind to give it a serious thought right now.
Published on: 09 September 2016
Thank you for your feedback, Anna. We’re particularly disappointed that you were unhappy with your time in Spain – especially as this trip regularly receives great reviews. I’ve looked into all the points you raised, both here and in our separate correspondence, and I am confident that we’re maintaining high levels of health and safety during this holiday.
While you felt that we shouldn’t offer Hydrospeed activity because of the potential for injury, our Explore leaders conduct a full briefing prior to all activities. Before beginning the Hydrospeed, they’re clear that it requires a reasonable amount of strength to hold on to the float while manoeuvring through the water.
Just like the Hydrospeed, Maxi gave the group a full briefing ahead of the mountain bike activity. This briefing included how to use the brakes and gears as they’re on opposite sides to the UK – as is which side of the road you use. Our Explore Leader makes sure that each member of the group is comfortable with their bike before setting off and, once again, they lead the activity. Although it’s true to say that one 15 year old fell off his bike during your trip, his injury was minor and didn’t impact his holiday.
While I sympathise that your son was ill, your UK doctor didn’t link his bug to the water. In terms of your point about checking the water for bacteria, I have to be clear that this isn’t a closed area of water. The canyoning takes place in the wild, and the water is constantly moving. Sort is an adventure sport area where we use one of the most reputable companies to arrange our trips and, between us; we don’t have any concerns about the water quality.
It’s a shame that you were also unhappy with the hotel and location. We’re clear in our overview that we stay in Sort because it’s the ideal backdrop for such an activity based holiday, and there are bars and restaurants for you to enjoy in the evening. The hotel receives good ratings, not least because of its pool, and you can also enjoy the benefit of extra space if you opt for the apartment.
I note that you only participated in the guided walk through the national park, and that you feel we should offer more, similarly paced, activities during the holiday and we’ll bear this in mind when we next review the trip.