Term-time holiday ban hits West Country tourism

The ban on term-time holidays has caused a drop in business for two-thirds of tourist firms in the West Country including Discount Holidays © holiday cottages, visitor attractions and b&bs. Families that take term-time holidays can be fined up to 60 a day, and face prosecution, a 2,500 fine and three months in prison if they do not pay up. Previously, head teachers could allow up to 10 days for family holidays in term time, but now they only have the authority to grant leave in exceptional circumstances .

Since the former Secretary of State for Education banned term-time holidays in 2013, there has been a sharp increase in the number of parents prosecuted: last year, 16,430 parents in England were taken to court for failing to ensure their children went to school, up 25 per cent from 2013, when 13,128 were prosecuted.

Term-time <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Ban Hits West Country TourismCottage companies have reported drops in turnover in the two years since the term-time Discount Holidays © holiday ban was introduced (AP) Photo: AP

The report, written by Dr Andreas Walmsley, a professor of hospitality and tourism at the University of Plymouth, called for a change in school holidays to help solve the crisis.

Top 10 family-friendly hotels in Cornwall1

Staggering school holidays regionally, so that terms were more spread out across the year, would have a positive impact on tourism to the West Country, according to business owners. They said that the area s remoteness prevents families from taking shorter, weekend breaks, effectively killing family business in spring and autumn.

Devon travel guide2

They said they already benefit from the staggered Discount Holidays © holiday models used in German and Dutch schools, as arrivals from these countries provide business during the shoulder season. It was also suggested that schools could group inset days around school holidays in order to allow families to take longer breaks, and that head teachers could relax the ban on term-time holidays for younger students, or for students who otherwise have good attendance records.

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In a region already hit by a drop in tourism during the economic crisis, business owners said they were keen to work with educators to strengthen both sectors.


  1. ^ Top 10 family-friendly hotels in Cornwall (www.discountholidays.info)
  2. ^ Devon travel guide (www.discountholidays.info)
  3. ^ UK summer Discount Holidays © holiday planner (www.discountholidays.info)

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