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Prominent members of the travel industry are being invited to form a Holiday Council in a bid to reduce the cost of a family break during school holidays.
Father-of-one Paul Cookson, who has been lobbying for a change in holiday prices for 18 months, has come up with the idea of a council to get the industry around a table with education and government representatives to discuss the issue.
He has invited 12 senior executives from companies such as Virgin Holidays, Thomas Cook, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Bourne Leisure to join, as well as representatives from the Department for Education, and Tracey Crouch, minister for sport, tourism and heritage.
Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, and Mike Beven, commercial director of Brittany Ferries, have so far agreed to join.
Cookson wants the council to meet quarterly and devise solutions or proposals for government. Holidays can be up to five times more expensive during school holidays, he said.
“From day one, I have said the industry and government should come together and discuss this issue, rather than blame it on supply and demand. How do we look for a solution? Do we want to reduce the summer holidays to four weeks and stagger them throughout the UK?”
Cookson argues the Department for Education needs to lead any change, but with assurances from the industry it will affect prices.
Cookson’s Holiday Price Increase Group has 18,000-plus Facebook followers. The group supported an e-petition to cap prices during school holidays, which was debated in parliament last year.
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