Statements to W5 from resorts and travel companies
Madeline McNair and Stephen Grant, W5 Producers
Published Saturday, November 17, 2018 8:00PM EST
Below are statements from resorts and travel companies, in reaction to our investigation.
STATEMENT FROM BAHIA PRINCIPE HOTELS & RESORTS
The Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts takes any allegations by guests very seriously as our company does not tolerate any forms of inappropriate behavior by any of our employees. We are a family-owned company and have always strived to create a safe and welcoming environment for all our valued guests at each of our 25 properties.
We can confirm that the employee referenced in the case Ms. Christine Dayman was dismissed earlier this year and is no longer working with the company.
Should a guest ever feel an employee or fellow guest has exhibited unwanted behavior of any kind, we strongly encourage them to immediately come forward and ask to speak with an on-property manager who can address and document the situation accordingly. Bahia Principe has very strict procedures and protocols that include, amongst others, upon receiving a serious complaint from a guest while still on property, we can contact local authorities to investigate the matter while also offering the guest access to medical assistance. It is imperative that we are alerted of any wrongdoing or while a guest is still on property to immediately respond accordingly.
We wish to be unequivocally clear: there is absolutely no place for sexual harassment of any kind at any of our properties.
We continuously review and update our internal policies and procedures to ensure we meet the highest industry standards and provide ongoing training so that each and every one of the more than 15,000 individuals we employ understand and follow that same commitment.
STATEMENT FROM RIU HOTELS
This is Ana Mateos, Press Manager in America at RIU Hotels.
Thank you for contacting us. Unfortunately, we are unable to share any details regarding an incident involving one of our clients as we always have to protect their privacy. What we can say is that we have a strict policy of zero tolerance against any type of aggression of harassment against our guests or employees and that we always take very seriously any report regarding such matters in any of our hotels. In the unfortunate event that and incident might occur, our priority is the well-being of the victim and to accompany them during the entire process that they might have to follow locally, be it medical, legal or local authorities' attention.
Ana Mateos Martín
Press Manager America
STATEMENT FROM SUNWING
“On July 31st, 2016, we were informed by Riu Santa Fe hotel management of an alleged sexual assault. Shortly after being briefed, we contacted the Canadian Consulate on our customer’s behalf to notify them of the incident and sent one of our local representatives to the hospital to offer assistance. According to our representative, the police were present at the hospital and took a statement from Ms. Pickering. Given the authorities were in the process of the investigation upon our arrival, our representative was denied access to her hospital room. He did share his contact information with her family and offered to be available to them 24/7 to assist with whatever they needed.
The next morning our representative, along with one of our supervisors met with Ms. Pickering and the hotel’s General Manager. Based on reports we have been privy to, it is our understanding that Ms. Pickering had been given an opportunity after being discharged from the hospital to press charges but decided against it. This account of events is also consistent with the information we received from the local Canadian Consulate who advised us that they were informed by police of her decision to not press charges. At the end of this meeting, she advised our local representatives that she was reconsidering her decision to press charges but since her return flight was later that day she was concerned about how long the process would take and potentially missing her flight. We provided her with the option to return at a later date in the event that initiating this process could not be completed that same day and advised her that if she had to stay in destination, we would provide her with assistance throughout. She did not come back to us with her final decision and chose to leave on her originally scheduled flight that day.
We are extremely empathetic about what occurred to Ms. Pickering and treated this matter very seriously. Our local representatives in destination receive ongoing training on procedures to deal with sensitive issues such as this one and we treat every case with the upmost confidentiality. However, if we do not have customer’s consent to press charges we are not authorized to take further action. Besides advocating on behalf of our customers and providing detailed documentation of the incident, our role is also to assist customers in the form of liaising with authorities and providing translation assistance. We can also look to revise their travel arrangements to return home earlier or stay later, if requested “
STATEMENT FROM TRANSAT
First of all, we want to express the fact that we take this type of allegation very seriously. As a member of the travel and tourism industry, we endeavour to encourage and support appropriate behaviour by our employees, customers, suppliers and partners and we offer our collaboration in this regard.
Although situations of this kind are extremely rare, we urge our customers who ever encounter them to immediately report them to their Transat representatives at destination and to file a police report. Our role is to assist our customers as soon as we are aware of a situation.
Note that we will not give any interview on this matter.
Directrice Marketing, médias sociaux et relations publiques
Marketing Director, Social Media and Public Relations