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RIU Hotels & Resorts and TUI: A safety concern for German travelers?

RIU Hotels & Resorts and TUI: A safety concern for German travelers?

eTurboNews -

RIU Hotels & Resorts just bought 10 million Euros in the form of 1.1 million shares in TUI AG, holding now a stake of 3.56% in the largest tour operator in Germany.

Is this bad news for travelers? It just might be.

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Does it mean TUI is no longer concerned about safety? It may very well be the case.

A recent mystery shopping report on one of the Caribbean RIU Resorts raised alarming concerns for customer service, safety, and quality of the RIU chain.

eTN reached out to TUI but there was no response. There was a response from RIU, but a template response with no substance.

Here is the background.

Some RIU resorts are still using traditional over-sized room keys with the room number engraved on it. You see these keys on empty beach chairs, swimming pool tables, bars, simply everywhere guests are present. The size of the key makes it impossible to put them into a pocket, and the room number imprinted on them is an open invitation for anyone with bad intentions.

The same hotel was flooded with theft reports, reports of rape, and drug dealings, but RIU Corporate Communications stated to eTurboNews there was no security concern.

RIUs’ response was:

“Our records don’t indicate that the traditional key and key chain result in more insecurity. In any case, and aiming to modernize all of our offers, all of the newly constructed and renovated hotels (which represent the vast majority) introduce electronic key cards. This will be the case for this hotel in the near future.

“I’d also like to reiterate that we take safety and the wellbeing of our clients very seriously and that we are fully cooperating and coordinated with the Jamaican authorities. We cannot share details and figures, as we only do so with official auditors and authorized representatives, but we want to state that we fully comply with all regulations. Apart, we are carrying out other extra measures such as training for our employees.”

While many hotel groups including Marriott and Hyatt are employing a large safety and security team with hundreds of cameras monitoring every inch of their resort 24/7, RIU hotels often have no security whatsoever and are relying on local police.

GMs from competing hotels and hotel organizations are well aware of the problem at RIU resorts, and eTN talked to a former GM saying he quit his job about security concerns and the company being unwilling to invest in employing a security team.

The eTN mystery shopper stayed at a RIU resort for 3 nights and 2 nights had no room service provided and no manager was available to speak to the guest.

When he checked in at midnight at a sold-out RIU resort, there was not one single towel in the room, and sand and dirt was in the shower. A cleaning staff was not available until 8 am.

Requests to RIU customer service were responded to with a statement that they were surprised the guest had a complaint, but no reimbursement was given due to the low room rate ($265/night).

Reading on Trip Advisor’s website indicates that alcoholic drinks in RIU’s all-inclusive resorts are so weak, that after 20 rum tropical drinks, one will have a sugar rush, but won’t feel the alcohol.

Food is labeled incorrectly or not labeled at all, and many guests posted that it’s simply “disgusting.”

In the meantime, Luis Riu, CEO of RIU Hotels & Resorts, declared that the purchase operation “represents a further step in the historic collaboration between the two companies and further evidence that the fourth generation of the family, just like the third, remains committed to the future of joint business with the world’s leading tourism group.”

The historic relationship between TUI and RIU dates back 50 years, having been formalized in 1977 with the creation of RIU Hotels S.A., a hotel development company with a 49% stake held by TUI and 51% by the Riu family. RIUSA II S.A. was founded in 1993 as a hotel operations company in which both firms hold a 50% stake. RIU has been a shareholder of TUI AG since 2004.

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