HC Deb 13 February 2004 vol 418 c193W
Tim Loughton

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will discuss with the travel industry the differential pricing of holidays out of school term time. [152073]

Mr. Ivan Lewis

My Department has an on-going relationship with the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), with whom we are in discussion on the issue of holiday pricing. ABTA advises that if parents book early, discounts may be made available for holidays out of term time. We also know that some local education authorities work in partnership with local tour operators to offer incentives to parents to take their children on holiday outside term time. Good practice on this issue is available at: www.dfes.gov/schoolattendance I am currently considering how this good practice could be implemented in all areas.

The Office of Fair Trading has the power to look into holiday pricing if there is evidence of anti-competitive behaviour. At present, they have no such evidence.