Welsh hotelier fined for 'false claims and bookings'


Welsh hotelier fined for 'false claims and bookings'Stock photo, Aberystwyth: Rex

A hotel owner in Aberystwyth, Wales, has been fined for grossly misleading guests about his holiday properties.

Emyr Davies, 40, was told by town magistrates that he had "degraded" the area's tourism industry, and he admitted 12 charges of using unfair business practices, according to the BBC.

Davies, who owns three hotels in the seafront resort, was fined £8,400 and ordered to pay costs of £3,000 and compensation of £2,200.

A previous hearing was told he continued to use star ratings from Visit Wales even though the tourist body had revoked gradings on his properties, Ty Belgrave House, the Four Seasons and the Queensbridge Hotel in Aberystwyth.

And he booked guests at his "four-star" Four Seasons accommodation even though it was full, forcing people to stay at his own home because there were no rooms available.

Others ended up in lower graded accommodation in other hotels owned by Davies.

One reviewer on Tripadvisor described him as "real-life Basil Fawlty", while another customer arrived at the Four Seasons expecting to see a "newly-refurbished" room and found it filthy, with peeling wallpaper, floor vinyl that was lifting up, and mould in the bathroom.

Davies' defence counsel told the court his client's first language is Welsh, and that he did not understand the meaning of "newly refurbished".

Dafydd Edwards, Ceredigion council's cabinet member for environment, regulation and planning, said the council had only prosecuted as a last resort after Davies repeatedly ignored their advice and warnings.

According to the BBC, he said: "Not only have we worked to protect consumers and visitors to Ceredigion, we have acted to stop the unfair advantage that Mr Davies attempted to create for himself by misleading customers about his facilities."

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