A crusade to highlight the high cost of holidays during school holidays is being instigated by the European boss of Travelzoo.
Richard Singer has initiated a personal e-petition to Parliament by calling on the support of Travelzoo’s 3.2 million UK subscribers and money-saving website MyFamilyClub.
He is appealing for support to help the e-petition reach 100,000 signatures that will trigger a debate in the House of Commons by the Backbench Business Committee.
Father of one Singer claims families are stuck in a ‘parent trap’ of government legislation, taxes and tour-operator price-hiking in school holidays.
He has put forward three steps to helping solve the dilemma:
- A more realistic and flexible approach from the government to restrictions around when parents can take their children out of school for family holidays. A blanket ban on all family holiday during term time is unworkable and some leniency for parents of young children with good attendance should be considered.
- The suspension or reduction of Air Passenger Duty during the school summer holiday weeks to help lessen the cost of flights during this peak period.
- A review by the travel industry – especially the leading operators – of what can be done to help families during school holiday periods.
The e-petition will focus on step two of Singer’s call to help alleviate the ‘parent trap’ and will call on Whitehall to temporarily suspend APD for the two-month summer family-holiday period to relieve the financial challenge facing British families.
A survey by Travelzoo and MyFamilyClub revealed that more than 70% of families would be put off booking their summer holiday during the peak summer months as the cost is on average 40% higher than at other times of the year. The poll of 2,000 people also revealed that 80% of families feel they are being penalised by the travel industry through the annual price hikes during peak season.
Travelzoo and MyFamilyClub will urge subscribers to sign up to the e-petition through a social-media campaign and push across their email publications and websites.
Singer said: “British families, through no fault of their own, cannot enjoy or increasingly cannot afford to take an annual summer holiday together because of the combined impact of restrictive legislation on family holidays, increasing taxation on travel through APD and the annual price hikes during school holiday dates.
“Both personally and in a professional capacity I feel that there must be a more creative solution to solving what we are calling the ‘parent trap’ on family holidays.”
Gemma Johnson, chief executive of MyFamilyClub added: “Parents are now being forced to pay extortionate prices for a family getaway in peak periods or go without and the travel industry are the only winners.
“Families are being squeezed from every direction and the family holiday is now a luxury for most families. We are supporting the e-petition and are asking our members to do the same; we urge the government to take note of this petition and to do more to practically help families as they face yet another bleak financial summer.”
Click here to see the petition and follow #fighttheparenttrap on Twitter.
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