Travel News » April 2009 » Sailing Holiday Firm Causes A Storm

Sailing Holiday Firm Causes A Storm


Hundreds of holidays were cancelled last week after the world's largest sailing holiday specialist suddenly closed all of its resorts in Turkey.

Sunsail, which offers more than 800 sailing holidays in 28 destinations worldwide, said it had shut down the 3 resorts because of a demand by the Turkish government that 80% of its staff working there should be Turkish.

The company said those who had already booked trips to its resorts in Turkey had been offered alternative holidays in Greece or Antigua or a full refund. But some have struggled to find a suitable replacement, highlighting the need to take out comprehensive travel insurance with 'Cancellation' cover.

According to reports in The Telegraph, Sunsail staff claimed the company had been forcing them to work illegally in Turkey using tourist visas instead of 12-month working visas, which cost £207 each. Some were arrested by Turkish police and deported.

A spokesman for Sunsail, which is owned by travel giant Tui, said a review was under way to ensure that such an incident did not happen again. He added that the company was working with Turkish authorities to try to resolve the situation so that Sunsail could return to Turkey.

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