Safety raised as main concern when booking holiday villas

Holidaymakers see safety as a major consideration when are booking an overseas villa, according to new research.

Solmar Villa Holidays found that 87% of customers agreed or strongly agreed that they would be more likely to book with a company which carried out accommodation safety checks than those that didn’t.

Almost half (46%) intend to take two overseas holidays in 2023, and more than a quarter plan to go abroad three times or more. 

Just one per cent are planning to stay at home this year.

The most important factor when booking a villa is location, with 20% this was their main priority, ahead of cost (19%), reputation of the travel company (19%) and villa amenities (16%).

Solmar chief executive Julie Blake said: “It’s obvious people will want to know their villa is safe before they book, so the findings weren’t too surprising.

“The problem is, there is a risk that customers will assume that just because the provider is Abta covered, or a UK brand, that someone from the company has actually checked the villa to make sure it is safe.

“One of things that came out the pandemic is that some companies may be looking for ways to protect profits by dispensing with things that aren’t deemed necessary, including elements like local support teams and in-person safety checks.

“But a tick box questionnaire filled in by the villa owner is just no substitute for an independent person going in to check that everything really is OK.

“Safety isn’t something we will compromise on. I’ve got children and I’ve got morals and I don’t want to wake up and find out someone has died or been seriously injured in one of our villas because we haven’t done due diligence.

“I would advise anyone booking a villa to really check what sort of safety assessments have been done and to check who they would be dealing with to resolve their complaint should they experience any problems.”

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