Quality is not only top of the agenda in the Balearics, but also a serious concern in the UK with regards to package holidays. BBC's much feared Watchdog consumer programme is about to tell tour operators that package holiday standards are falling and that complaints are on the increase. During an address at the ABTA annual convention, the Watchdog programme's Mark Killick told the tourist industry that “things are getting worse, not better.” Apparently, the number of complaints received by Watchdog at the peak of the summer season doubled to 2'000. A Majorcan hotel, where more than 30 guests suffered gastric problems and illnesses was cited as a prime example. Despite plenty of talk about improving quality and standards of service, Watchdog says that the fact that the number of complaints has doubled speaks for itself and that something has got to be done. However, Watchdog's comments has only served to anger the travel industry and ABTA. ABTA's Mori survey last week stated that 92 percent of British package holiday clients surveyed said that they were satisfied with their holiday, up by five percent of the 87 percent polled in 1998. Of the 2'000 complaints, over a quarter targetted the UK's leading four tour operators. Nevertheless it appears that next summer, the spotlight will be on package holiday standards and the statement by Watchdog, tour operators fear, is merely encouraging tourists to complain.

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