Survey reveals impact of Gove's term-time holiday crackdown
The majority of travel companies have already taken a financial hit due to a tightening of the law stopping families from taking children on holiday during school terms.
A survey of 54 travel firms found that 85% had seen a financial impact on their business since the law changed in September 2013, with 66% saying this had forced them to cut departures and/or staff.
The poll, undertaken by Travelzoo and the Chartered Institute of Marketing Travel Industry Group (Cimtig), also found that seven in 10 felt the government had no right to interfere in the process of taking a family holiday.
It also revealed widespread anger at education secretary Michael Gove, with 67% saying it was “unacceptable” that he enforced the change before consulting the travel industry.
Before the changes, headteachers had the power to allow children up to 10 days’ leave during term time for a family holiday. Parents who do so now face a £120 fine per child outside of “exceptional circumstances”.
Richard Singer, Travelzoo’s European managing director, added: “We’ve seen cases in the media recently where parents have now been fined for taking their children out of school for holidays.
“A quarter of the travel companies we surveyed said that they might have to put prices up during the summer holidays to counteract the drop-off of families travelling during term time.”
Singer has created an online petition on the government’s official website to call for a cut or suspension of Air Passenger Duty (APD) over the summer school holiday period. More than 38,500 people have so far signed it.