Holiday Deals

Reference Library – Holiday Deals

Tourists charged £3300 for dinner in hummus restaurant – but they ‘should pay more’, says owner

A group of Chinese tourists have been hit with a 3,300 bill after visiting a restaurant in Jerusalem but the owner of the restaurant insists he should have charged them more.

The eight diners at Abu Ghosh restaurant, which is named after the popular tourist town, were stung to the tune of NIS 3,150 ( 630) for main courses (including 30kg of stuffed mutton), NIS 4,000 ( 800) for private hire, NIS 5,900 ( 1,176) for alcohol, and a NIS 1,500 ( 300) service charge despite the fact that the bill said that service was not included.

The bill | How much?!1

The restaurant, which seats 300 diners, is far from lavish: it is popular for its cheap and cheerful dishes of hummus and kebabs. The tourists paid the bill at the time, but have since refuted it, saying that they didn t order the alcohol or 30kg of meat and have enlisted the Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association to help fight their corner. But restaurant co-owner Jawdat Ibrahim told the Guardian2 that the bill was justified: I was told they were very important people and they wanted to reserve a special section of the restaurant on Friday night, our busiest day. We provided them with their own bar and expensive drinks and a whole stuffed lamb, which cost me a lot.

They seemed happy and gave us a large tip and then someone put the bill on Facebook! People don t understand of course we have meals that cost $15 but this was special.

Tourists Charged £3300 For Dinner In Hummus Restaurant – But They 'should Pay More', Says Owner The village of Abu Ghosh is popular with tourists Credit: Alamy

Ibrahim claimed that the group stayed for nine hours, and became drunk and rowdy. The truth is that I thought that they should pay much more, since I had no other diners that day, he told Israeli business newspaper Globes3. But Yossi Fattal, CEO of the tourism association, said that the group rented a private room while the rest of the restaurant remained open to the public, and the alcohol had been put out on the tables and was not ordered by the Chinese. He said they stayed for four hours not the nine hours that Ibrahim claimed.

Tourists Charged £3300 For Dinner In Hummus Restaurant – But They 'should Pay More', Says Owner Abh Ghosh Restaurant, where the eight tourists racked up a 3,280 bill Credit: AP/Sebastian Scheiner

The association has since published the bill to illustrate the importance of fair and polite treatment of tourists, said Fattal in a statement.

Tourists are an important sector of the country s economy There may be a billion Chinese, but they may not all be suckers. By behaving this way, we are with our own hands destroying the budding potential of the Chinese market for Israel. These Chinese said they would not be back and would not recommend their friends to visit Israel.

Tourists Charged £3300 For Dinner In Hummus Restaurant – But They 'should Pay More', Says Owner This is what 4,090kg of hummus looks like Credit: Alamy

Jawdat Ibrahim is a bit of a local celebrity: he lived in Chicago for six years, and won $17.5 million in the Illinois State Lottery, then returned to his home country as a businessman and philanthropist. In 2010, he set the Guinness World Record for the world s largest hummus dish, which weighed 4,090kg.

The row continues.

Tourists Charged £3300 For Dinner In Hummus Restaurant – But They 'should Pay More', Says OwnerTop tips for finding a cheap flight Play! 01:49

References

  1. ^ The bill | How much?! (cf-particle-html.eip.discountholidays.info)
  2. ^ Guardian (www.theguardian.com)
  3. ^ Globes (www.globes.co.il)

Syrian tourist board promotes its beach holidays as civil war rages

The Syrian tourist board has the hardest job in marketing: amidst a five-and-a-half year conflict that has killed nearly half a million people, triggered the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War, reduced many towns to rubble and sucked in jihadist groups bent on terror, is has the unenviable task of promoting holidays to the country. Talk about a tough sell.

But despite the obvious challenges, the Syrian Ministry of Tourism seems dedicated to its cause with the release of a new promotional video plugging beach breaks to the coastal town of Tartus.

embedded content

Nestling on the shores of the Mediterranean, the resort certainly looks like an idyllic spot for a getaway; the tourist board s two-minute video depicts sandy shores, azure waters and jet skiers skimming through the surf. Palm trees and parasols add to the Discount Holidays © holiday aesthetic. It’s all a far cry from most of the footage emerging from the rest of Syria, which reveals the grim reality of life on the ground for millions of citizens, who face anything from government-backed airstrikes to terrorist attacks.

Syrian Tourist Board Promotes Its Beach Holidays As Civil War Rages A couple looks out to sea on the sandy shores of Tartus Credit: ALAMY

Though Tartus, an Assad stronghold, appears in the video to be unaffected by the conflict, the resort was struck by a series of deadly bombings in May, which Isil claimed responsibility for. It is also located less than 100km from war-ravaged Homs, where forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad are dropping napalm on citizens1.

Syrian Tourist Board Promotes Its Beach Holidays As Civil War Rages Tartus is less than 100km away from the war-ravaged city of Homs Credit: GETTY

Like the Syrian Ministry of Tourism, the Northern Ireland tourist board had a similarly tough job enticing visitors at the height of The Troubles. In an interview with the BBC in 1974, the then tourist chief Robert Hall conceded that Northern Ireland was not a very attractive place for obvious reasons, however, he claimed it was safer than New York.

I read last week that there are nine murders a day and 1,000 muggings a day in New York, he said. Well I reckon we re better than that.

Prior to civil war breaking out in 2011, Syria had a burgeoning tourism industry; its glut of World Heritage Sites attracted tourists from around the world, though many of those Unesco-listed sites have, alas, been destroyed during the conflict.

In pictures: Syrians enjoy night out one mile from frontline2

References

  1. ^ are dropping napalm on citizens (www.discountholidays.info)
  2. ^ In pictures: Syrians enjoy night out one mile from frontline (cf-particle-html.eip.discountholidays.info)

Thomson will NOT honour holidays booked at wrong price as more …

Discount Holidays © Holiday giant Thomson is refusing to honour holidays to Florida as more families say their trips were cancelled after being booked for the wrong price. Kristopher Meredith, 29, and his partner, Paul Hales, had their 15-day break scrapped after being told it had been sold incorrectly at Thomson s Manchester Fort store.1

The party of six was quoted a price of about 200 each for the holiday,2 working out at nearly 1,400 in total with additional booking fees. Mr Meredith says he is now considering reporting the issue to trading standards in a bid to force Thomson to honour the booking, reports Manchester Evening News.3

MEN Thomson Will NOT Honour Holidays Booked At Wrong Price As More ... Kristopher, Jake Hales and Kristopher’s partner Paul Hales

It comes as two more families came forward, saying they have faced the same issue and have had holidays to Florida cancelled after booking online and in store.

Read More

Bosses at Thomson4 said the problem was due to a rare system error . The company maintains it was within its rights to cancel the Discount Holidays © holiday due to terms and conditions. But Mr Meredith said that despite being offered the 750 that he put down as a deposit back, he is refusing to accept the refund.

He said: They have still got our money, because if we accept the refund it shows that we accept what they have done.

For us, the main thing is that we want to go on that holiday.”

MEN Thomson Will NOT Honour Holidays Booked At Wrong Price As More ... Kristopher Meredith is now considering reporting the issue to trading standards

The M.E.N. has spoken to two more families who report the same problem, including a family with two young children said to be devastated at the cancellation.

Read More

A spokesperson for Thomson and First Choice said: While we always offer exceptional value for money, unfortunately a rare system error last weekend resulted in a small number of holidays being sold for prices that were simply too good to be true. The cancellation caused a mix of reactions on the MEN s Facebook page, with some siding with Mr Meredith and others with Thomson.

MEN Thomson Will NOT Honour Holidays Booked At Wrong Price As More ... More families claim to have faced a similar Discount Holidays © holiday problem

Lindsey Heil said: It s clearly the wrong price. But it was Thomson s fault so they should honour the holiday.5

“I wonder why the agent didn t realise it was a mistake- she surely should have questioned that price! Jim Sherlock said: Who in their right minds would expect an Discount Holidays © holiday let alone a dream Discount Holidays © holiday for six to be 1,400?

References

  1. ^ told it had been sold incorrectly at Thomson s Manchester Fort store. (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ holiday, (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ reports Manchester Evening News. (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
  4. ^ Thomson (www.mirror.co.uk)
  5. ^ holiday. (www.mirror.co.uk)

1 2 3 38