KEIGHLEY people planning a Hajj pilgrimage this autumn are being warned to use only reputable travel agents.

West Yorkshire Trading Standards has issued the advice following complaints in the past about sub-standard and overcrowded hotels, and poor transport arrangements.

Officers have produced an information leaflet for people intending to make the journey to Saudi Arabia.

Copies have been distributed to mosques, shops and other venues.

Hundreds of thousands of Muslims – including many from Keighley and Bradford – simultaneously converge on Mecca for the week of the Hajj, and perform a series of rituals.

Over the past two years, Trading Standards representatives have visited organisers to provide advice and check compliance with package tour regulations.

Coun Val Slater, chairman of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards committee, said: “There are unscrupulous tour operators who deliberately target the Muslim community, claiming to specialise in organising Hajj packages.

"These air tour operators do not have a licence, are breaking the law and do not provide legal protection for travellers.

"Consumers need to be aware and make sure that they ask for the ATOL number when making enquiries about a Hajj pilgrimage trip.”

Pilgrims are also advised to seek all information about terms and conditions of the booking, the accommodation, transfers and meal plans in writing.

Visit for further information and to download a copy of the leaflet.