Bravo, Bravo! Concern for Public Health & Safety is alive and kicking!
Why am I in a congratulatory mood? It is as a result of the latest article from the Daily Mail entitled:
'‘Code Brown’: Hotel threatens £1,400 fines to rowdy Brits caught pooing in swimming pools in disgusting new 'logging' craze that exposes guests to harmful bacteria'.
But hang on, can this be really true, that 'rowdy Brits' have now slunk so low that they have taken to toiletting in hotel swimming pools?
The report centres around a letter that is apparently being circulated to guests staying at the Holiday Village Red Sea in Egypt by First Choice. The article claims that:
- 'Rowdy teens, students and boozed up Brits are behind a revolting new craze';
- 'Travel Experts' are claiming that 'logging' [deliberately defecating in swimming pools] is one of the reasons behind holidaymakers illnesses;
- 'Party-poopers are purposely ruining holidaymakers' getaways';
- Apparently, 'Children as young as 10 are now believed to be taking part'!
The article features the letter [which appears undated] offered by First Choice which states that:
- 'There have been numerous incidences of excrement being found in the pools lately. We understand that accidents can happen, but the frequency of this suggests that it no longer remains accidental';
- The letter calls on holidaymakers to be vigilent of this activity and to report anything suspicious;
- The letter subscribes to everyone agreeing that such behaviour is 'unacceptable and quite disgraceful';
- Anyone found engaging in this activity will be 'evicted' along with their 'families' and that their contract with First Choice will be 'cancelled;
- The perpetrators are then warned that they will have to pay for new accommodation and flights;
- They are also warned that they will be 'prosecuted' and fined [slight confusion here - the article suggests the hotel threatens fines - the letter suggests prosecution - are we to assume by the Public Authorities in Egypt?], and
- Holidaymakers are asked not to use the pool in the have an 'upset stomach or diarrhoea' and that children should wear 'swim nappies'.
The report not only highlights the Red Sea Resort but also the Holiday Village in Sarigerme in Turkey as apparently suffering recently with the same problem!
So, what do I make of this story?
For a start, I am not going to comment on the statements made by the 'travel experts' within this piece; their experiences are within their own particular knowledge.
Secondly, the article suggests that there is a 'youth' or 'drunken Brit' conspiracy for a new craze called 'logging'; is there any substance to this?
Well I decided to research this and carried out searches in Google, Trip Advisor & Facebook; this would surely flush out the perpetrators or the 'craze'? I carried out searches using the following terms:
- 'Logging in Pool';
- 'Poo in Pool';
- Pooh in Pool;
- 'Sh****ng in Pool;
- 'Sh*t in Pool';
- 'Cr*p in Pool';
- 'Cr****ng in Pool'.
Guess what? Nothing! No great teenage conspiracy; no drunken Brit tomfoolery, in other words, no evidence that there exists any form of 'game' within the social mediums that would attract participants to this 'craze'!
There are however a number of videos of people suffering with faecal accidents in swimming pools within YouTube; take some time out, watch the said videos and note how embarrased the people look when such accidents occur - do they look comfortable to you - how do you think holidaymakers feel when it happens to them?
Thirdly, where is the evidence; where are the perpetrators and the prosecutions (it was interesting to note that people would be prosecuted, presumably with good evidence and the protection of the rule of law and Consular assistance?)? Is this a new problem now facing UK Tour Operators?
I must tell you, there is nothing new in this story whatsoever!
We have reported on this 'phenomenon' for quite some time! For years we have heard stories from holidaymakers whereby tour operator representatives within hotel complexes are heard to cry out:
- 'Poo in the pool';
- 'Code Brown, Code Brown';
- 'Baby poo-poo'.
In our main article (2009), we referred to the 'obscenity' of the 'Code Brown' strategy and how we were concerned that holidaymakers could be 'scapegoated' and attention diverted away from the real cause of the problem; a failure of good management of pool safety.
In that article asked the question of whether this was a tactic to 'manage any litigation'?
In the present circumstance rather than offering a letter to holidaymakers I would make the same challenge I made in 2009 (which coincidentally was about the Holiday Village in Sarigerme and First Choice) when I stated:
"If tour companies/hoteliers are truly confident in their claims that these are deliberate acts, then they should have the courage to involve the authorities at first instance - if they do and do so properly, with appropriate evidence & a high measure of responsibility, they would surely have the support of the holidaymaker?"
So you can gather that our views in 2014 remain the same as in previous years, particularly in light of the complaints we have received this year on water quality [including the mantra warnings around the pool], that:
- Tour Operators really should either publicly reveal this 'new craze' evidence or give up on this angle;
- That holidaymakers should not be swayed by such comments - it's simple, if a hotel (like the Holiday Village in Sarigerme or the Holiday Village Red Sea) has a recent or past history of illness, challenge what is said to you, don't just accept such stories without seeing the evidence, and
- Holidaymakers who make judgements about other holidaymakers need to follow the adage, 'there but for the grace of God go I' - it is not always the case that holidaymakers will have the same great experience as you; you too need to assess the evidence and challenge it where it is not forthcoming and not make rash judgements!
So if I am to repeat 'Bravo', it is going to be toward the UK holidaymaker, who often finds themselves unwittingly in extraordinary circumstances and not toward a tired old story that is not supported by evidence!