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British holidaymakers may be paying over the odds

10 March 2005
The consumer watchdog Which? has conducted an investigation revealing that British holidaymakers are paying more than their European counterparts for the same holiday.

Which? found that a Thomson holiday to the Rui Palace Maspalomas Hotel costs British travellers £760 for a week in September, but only £575 for Germans and £523 for Dutch people.

For a group of four, this could add up to almost £1,000 extra on the British holidaymakers' bill.

For Bob Tolliday, editor of Holiday Which? magazine, this price discrepancy is "absurd" and should not be allowed.

Trading standards officers also reacted negatively, saying this practice could be illegal and calling for the European Commission to investigate.

"The EU is supposed to be a free single market," Bruce Treolar, package holiday expert at the Trading Standards Institute, commented.

"There is no reason why companies should be allowed to favour one consumer against another."

However, holiday companies claim that comparing prices across countries is inevitably misleading as they are the product of various factors, including airport taxes, business overheads, market competition and even employment costs.

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