The UK travel industry is concerned that Government plans to rationalise the school year will change holiday patterns, concludes a new report into the family holiday market by Mintel.
The report suggests that the proposed Standard School Year could mean that the same number of holidays are squeezed into a shorter period, that holidays move to different months, or that fewer family holidays are taken overall.
"Parents may be tempted to go overseas during the two-week October break when the weather in Britain is less conducive in an effort to compensate for the shorter summer break," said Mintel's consumer analyst Amanda Lintott.
"Furthermore, parents may find it difficult to take time off from work in April if school holidays do not coincide with Easter. Families will also be less inclined to go away if exams are scheduled for April and May rather than June."
Mintel predicts that British families will spend around £15b on holidays this year and take 42 million trips, mostly in the UK.
Although a large proportion of trips are visits to friends and family, Mintel forecasts that domestic families will take 12 million package holidays lasting more than four nights during 2004.
by Angela Frewin
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