'Balcony risk' to British tourists
17 June 2016 08:04
Balconies can be great fun if the right care is taken
Holiday balconies pose a significant risk to tourists who travel abroad, Britons are being warned.
Travel officials have made a plea after six balcony-related serious injuries and three deaths since the beginning of last year.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and ABTA have issued a six-point plan aimed at helping Brits abroad avoid such accidents.
2016 balcony accidents
• This June, the press reported how a 34-year-old UK tourist abroad sustained injuries to the spinal cord after he tried leaping into a pool from a hotel balcony
• The FCO has been alerted to three serious balcony plunges already this year
Meanwhile, back in 2015, tour operators reported to ABTA that three Britons had died and three were seriously injured after falling or jumping from balconies.
Emergency medical bills taken care of
Of course, no-one expects to have to spend part of their holiday in hospital.
But should anyone fall off a balcony - and providing they were exercising due care - they can claim 24/7 emergency medical help from their travel insurance.
This should also cover any painkillers they require afterwards if they take out the right policy.
Such cover also offers protection against lost passports, stolen possessions and mislaid luggage.
ABTA and the FCO's 6 balcony no-no's
• Take special care when on the balcony after imbibing alcohol as people's judgement could be impaired
• Don't try and jump from the hotel balcony into the swimming pool below
• Don't stand up on a hotel balcony's furniture
• Never attempt to pass things to people on an adjacent balcony
• Never attempt to climb onto an adjacent balcony
• Don't climb, sit or lean over a hotel's balcony railings or wall
What the experts say
ABTA's Nikki White says that too many British tourists are getting hurt in a moment's thoughtlessness.
The FCO's Will Middleton urges holidaymakers not to place themselves in danger by mixing alcohol with balconies.