A FAMILY is furious after paying TUI almost £400 to visit a “snow village” in Finland, which they say is only half finished and not even officially open.
Clare Gates and her family were on a holiday in the country and decided to go on a day trip to the village near Yllas.
The family, from Whitby, North Yorkshire, paid £70.62 each for four adults and £55.49 each for two children, including coach travel, for the day trip last Friday.
When they arrived however, they found much of the site still under construction and was told it does not officially open until this Thursday.
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 advertised 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”.
Furious Clare took to social media to complain to the travel company.
She shared the disappointing images with the caption: “Just been charged €468 (£393.73) 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, 48, claims she and her family paid more than four times over the odds by booking the excursion with TUI.
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 (£15.13) and we paid €84 (£70.62) per adult and €66 (£55.49) 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!”
A spokesperson for TUI told Sun Online Travel: “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.”
Snow villages and ice hotels are one of the most popular winter attractions in Finland.
But last year, thousands of families who went to Finnish Lapland were left disappointed by the lack of snow.
In Switzerland, there’s also a snow village where you can build your own igloo.