A Harrogate travel agent has warned local holidaymakers to be vigilant when making bookings to avoid scams and avoidable upset.
Holidays VIP have seen a surge in holiday bookings since covid restrictions were lifted.
But the independent travel agency, which is headquartered in Harrogate, is encouraging consumers to book with trusted travel businesses after it was revealed an average of £1,168 is lost by those affected by holiday fraud.
Thousands of holidaymakers also suffer in long queues and experience flight cancellations.
Holidays VIP is revealing a number of ways holidaymakers can fall victim to fraud, including bookings made through fake websites which appear genuine, false advertisements placed on social media and legitimate websites, and misleading communication through WhatsApp, social media and email.
Andy Herridge, Director at Holidays VIP said:
“Booking through a reputable business is always the safest way to avoid fraudulent bookings and to ensure you get the best offers possible for your holiday.
“Holiday scammers are using new tactics which are harder than ever to detect, with some victims not even realising they’ve been scammed until the day of their holiday.
“To ensure your holiday is in the safest hands, it’s always best to visit a trusted travel business in-store or online, which not only provides holiday protection and expert advice, but also delivers the best deals, saving both time and money.”
In addition to fraudulent bookings, consumers in recent weeks have faced holiday uncertainty with disheartening airport staff shortages, flight cancellations and long queues, often leading holidaymakers unsure of where to turn to.
Sarah Roberts, Senior Travel Consultant at Holidays VIP said:
“After a long period of travel uncertainty, it’s no surprise that the public are ready and raring to get back on a plane to their favourite destinations.
“The vast majority of holidaymakers enjoy their trips without a hitch, but for those worried about either scams circulating or disruptions at airports, we encourage them to book through a trusted local travel business which can provide the latest advice and will be on hand to assist if any issues arise.”