Travel industry reaction to Michael Gove’s plans to shorten school summer holidays

The Guardian has a report considering reaction from the travel industry on what might happen to prices for trips and flights if the school summer holiday were to be shortened…

Education secretary Michael Gove’s proposal last week to shorten the school summer holidays to four weeks instead of six caused debate over its implications for children’s well-being and education, childcare, and the employment terms of teachers. But it could also have a major impact on the travel industry.

Prices for trips and flights to popular destinations currently skyrocket during school summer holidays because there is a huge demand from families with school-age kids. Shortening the period when they can travel could increase prices even further at busy times.

Malcolm Bell, head of Visit Cornwall, said: “If the government wants to hurt hard-working, striving families, this is the best way, as holidays in the UK and overseas would become far more expensive in peak periods.”

When schools started to enforce rules about term-time absences, the industry saw a greater spike during peak periods, said a spokesperson for easyJet.

However, some operators said if the holidays were staggered across different regions, and for a longer period, and other holidays such as Easter were made longer, there could be a positive impact, and prices may fall. There could be more bargains, said Cathy Rankin, marketing manager for Pierre & Vacances, if some UK holidays no longer coincided with European schools. Cumbria Tourism head of policy Richard Greenwood argued a new timetable would have to safeguard the UK’s valuable tourism industry, which generates £114bn per annum, supporting 2.65m jobs.

More at:  Travel news: Industry reaction to Michael Gove plans shorten school summer holidays

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