Travel marketers relish six-term school year

Travel marketers could be winners if plans to introduce a six-term school year come to fruition, according to the English Tourism Council.

The ETC has welcomed the proposal, devised by an independent commission set up by the Local Government Association, which represents the English local authorities. The body says that the spread of holidays will allow operators to extend bookings and may lead to seasonal attractions staying open longer.

Mary Lynch, chief executive of the ETC, says: “This could help spread the holiday season more evenly throughout the year. This would lighten the load on tourist hotspots that struggle to cope with huge numbers at peak times.”

The term changes would be introduced gradually in 2003, with the school year starting in August. There would be three breaks of ten days (including Christmas), a summer break of 27 days and two five-day breaks spread over the year.

Under the current set-up, 17 per cent of trips for the year by UK holidaymakers happen in April and May, and just eight per cent in October. The new scheme is expected to raise the October figure to 12 per cent. Marketing around the October break would increase to encourage families to use the off-season period.

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