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Spotless rooms more important than child safety: survey's surprising results

11th September 2013 Print

In a poll that aimed to discover the top-ranking issues worrying parents when taking their children on holiday, travel specialist Teletext Holidays found that the cleanliness of the hotel rooms is the most important concern for just under a quarter of parents (24 per cent), ranking above pool safety (17 per cent) and general safety in and around hotels (14 per cent).

Similarly, when it comes to spending time on the beach, the top concern was cleanliness, with 19 per cent of parents selecting this factor. This comes above beach safety and the worry of sunburn or sunstroke (both 16 per cent).

The research also revealed that picky eaters are causing their parents worry, as 23 per cent of those questioned are most concerned about having a variety of places to eat when they opt for a holiday resort; this concern ranked higher than live entertainment and the availability of kids' clubs. Parents seem more inclined to trust airlines to provide the food their children will eat, however, with only six per cent of parents saying the availability of suitable food in-flight was a concern.

While review sites may be popular with holidaymakers looking for tips and warnings before booking a holiday, it seems other people's experiences can't sway parents' choices as much as two other factors. Reviews were a concern for 19 per cent of the mothers and fathers questioned, yet the accommodation's star rating was a slightly more popular worry (20 per cent). However, the overall cost overshadowed all other holiday booking concerns, ranking top for a quarter of respondents.

Amy Patel, Senior Marketing Manager from Teletext Holidays, commented on the surprising findings, suggesting that the issues that concern parents the most - the cleanliness of hotel rooms and beaches, and the availability of suitable food throughout their stay - perhaps replace safety worries in the forefront of parents' minds as they are issues they may feel hotels are more likely to overlook.

"While these new statistics reveal that parents are looking for high standards of food and cleanliness from their holiday accommodation - and at a competitive price as cost is also a top-ranking concern - we feel they also show that parents have come to expect high standards of safety in holiday accommodation, too."

She continued: "While it is good - and a mark of the travel market's accomplishment - that parents feel comfortable enough that hotels and resorts will take the measures necessary to ensure all their guests are as safe as possible, we feel it is also important that parents remember to stay as alert to potential dangers on holiday as they would be at home."   

Despite parents' relative lack of worry about safety measures in accommodation, the statistics suggest this attitude does not extend to the journey to and from their destination: it seems mothers and fathers do not feel able to let their children out of their sight during travel, as getting a guaranteed seat next to their child ranked as the top concern during flights.

Teletext Holidays has created an interactive resource displaying its findings and providing tips on everything from booking to beach safety to help families enjoy the best holiday possible.