TUI under fire over £71-a-head “snow village” in Finland that’s still being built


A “DISGUSTED” holidaymaker has hit out at TUI after she paid £391 to visit a “snow village” in Finland – only to find the place half built.

Clare Gates and her family were on a holiday in the country and decided to make a day trip on Friday to the village near Yllas.

Clare, from from Whitby, North Yorkshire, paid £71 each for four adults and £56 each for two children, including coach travel.

When she arrived however, she found much of the site still under construction and was told it does not officially open until this Thursday.

Sculptors were still working on the snow village

Pictures show scaffolding, wiring and tools lying about inside the ice hotel.

In two pictures, a sculptor can be seen still working on the site next to a ladder and a wooden pallet.

But TUI advertise the snow village as a “one-of-a-kind complex, made entirely from ice”.

They suggest guests will be able to have: “Dinner in the ice bar then dance in the igloo disco, before crashing out at the ice hotel. ”

A furious Clare, 48, took to social media to complain to the travel company.

She shared the disappointing images with the caption: “Just been charged €468 for 4 adults and 2 children to visit the snow village in Finland which is not even finished!!

“Only opens on 12th – why are you selling this at this price? Disgusted and really, really angry.”

To make matters worse, Clare claims she and her family paid over the odds by booking the excursion with TUI.

Scaffolding was still up inside the ice hotel

Clare complained directly to TUI, who said they were: “Really sorry” to hear that Clare felt the experience had not met expectations.

They added: “Most excursions are contracted by third party suppliers and we act only in the capacity of agent.”

Speaking today, Clare said: “On arrival we entered a small room where there was a video playing of previous displays which were spectacular.

“We then saw a fabulous sculpture of a face and two hands, together with the chapel. These were magnificent.

“But we then learnt that the village was only opening on 12th and these early visits were arranged with TUI.

“Tickets to the village were €18 and we paid €84 per adult and €66 for a child with TUI.

“I was livid. I am astounded that the reps hadn’t even been out to the village to see what they were selling. You can’t sell a half finished event for that price!

Clare said she was “livid” after paying so much for the underwhelming experience

“TUI’s response is generic and seeks to avoid liability. The contents do not surprise me.”

Last week, TUI were forced to apologise after being accused of “ruining Christmas for hundreds of children”.

The travel company had apparently overbooked tours to visit Santa in Rovaniemi, Finland leaving many families, some of whom had spent £2,000, short changed.

Children were apparently left “in tears” after queuing for hours in the snow before being told they had to leave to catch their flight home – without seeing Santa.

A TUI spokesman said: “We are very sorry to hear of Ms Gates’ experience on her holiday and thank her for bringing this to our attention.

“We are currently investigating this further and we will be in contact with Ms Gates to discuss this matter.”