Holiday operators will meet with the government in an attempt to control the growing numbers of claims made after people have fallen ill while away.

The Association of British Travel Agents says it has seen a ‘significant’ increase in the number of gastric illness claims being made by holidaymakers on their return.

Some of the biggest consumer law firms in the country have created departments dealing specifically with these types of claims.

But it has also been claimed that claims management companies are targeting tourists while they are still on holiday to make claims and promising them damages of up to £5,000.

ABTA is now collating evidence to present to the Ministry of Justice in a lobbying mission to bring greater regulation to the sector.

A spokeswoman for ABTA said: ‘An increasing number of these claims are unsubstantiated, and we believe this is being driven by the aggressive sakes practices of some claims management companies touting their services to holidaymakers either in destinations or in the UK.

‘ABTA will be meeting with the MoJ, which regulates claims management activities, to highlight our concerns and to ensure it takes the necessary action to safeguard the system from fraudulent claims.’

She added: ‘It is important that holidaymakers who have a genuine claim are protected, and people should be aware that it is illegal to pursue a fraudulent case.’

Conservative MP Craig Tracey, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Insurance and Financial Services, has said he intends to raise the ‘extremely worrying’ issue.

He told the Mail on Sunday: ‘We’ve got to protect those people who have genuine claims and perhaps we need to introduce a cap on solicitors’ fees similar to what happened with whiplash claims.’

ABTA is advising holidaymakers who return to the UK and want to pursue a claim to use its own dispute resolution service.

‘Otherwise, they can make a claim for anything up to £1,000 for health and safety-related problems through the small-claims court, which offers an easy to use and relatively low-cost service,’ added the spokeswoman.

‘We would advise customers to pursue their case through these routes, rather than via a claims management company, who will typically take a significant cut of any successful claim.’