UK tourists in Morocco warned to 'pay twice' for hotel or be 'locked out'

A UK holidaymaker has been told to pay for holiday hotel room twice or "she'll be locked out". Nicola Bartholomew, 46, booked her break through travel agent Loveholidays and checked into Labranda Targa Club Aqua Parc near Marrakech, Morocco.

But less than 24 hours after she had arrived news filtered in that the collapse of tour operator FTI Group could have a knock-on impact on her holiday. Nicola said the hotel had asked her to put down an extra £300 to keep her hotel room until her departure.

She said: "It was absolutely diabolical. They wanted Loveholidays to confirm they would get the money.'' Annie Cox, 24, added: "They let us check in and then they kicked us out our room, cut our wristbands off and left us to rot in reception for seven hours.

READ MORE UK braced for 'first' 30C heatwave of year and it will last 72 hours

"There is no chance that money is getting back to me", she said. A Loveholidays spokesperson said: "Last week the FTI Group, the parent company of one of our many suppliers, Youtravel, filed for insolvency. 'Only a very small portion of our customers are affected by this and we are working hard to minimise disruption to their holidays. We are aware that a small number of hotels have asked affected customers who are already on holiday to pay for their rooms again. We are absolutely committed to covering these costs and are working with affected customers, and the hotels involved, to make sure this happens.

"We are very sorry to hear of our customers' experience at this particular hotel and can confirm the hotel has accepted payment directly from Loveholidays." In a statement on Monday, FTI Group said: "After a lengthy and complex investor process, the entry of a consortium of investors was announced in April 2024. Since then, however, booking figures have fallen well short of expectations despite the positive news. In addition, numerous suppliers have insisted on advance payment. As a result, there was an increased need for liquidity, which could no longer be bridged until the closing of the investor process.

"The filing for insolvency has therefore become necessary for legal reasons. We are currently working hard to ensure that trips that have already started can be completed as planned. Trips that have not yet begun will probably no longer be possible or only partially possible from Tuesday, 4 June 2024."