The Debate Continues on Peak Holiday Price Rises

Holidaymakers say the price rises are just due to supply and demand, but some consumers see it as profiteering.

Since the government set up its e-petitions website in the United Kingdom the fifth most signed petition is one that asks authorities to “enforce action that caps the percentage increase on holiday prices in school holidays.” Holidaymakers say that it is just supply and demand but most consumers see it as profiteering. Over 165,000 people have signed the petition thus far. Essex resident Donna Thresher, a mother of two, set up the petition. She thinks that when holiday companies are selling package trips during school holidays they should be forced to advertise term-time holiday costs, which would allow customers to see the price difference.

Manchester resident Theresa Greenwood, who has four children, agrees with the proposed cap saying it would stop many parents from being “priced out of even the cheaper end of the market.” Debbie Bower from Sheffield, another parent that signed the petition says, “It is wrong to allow 300%-plus increases in school holidays for so-called supply and demand.” Nigel Walton, a father of four, wants to stop holiday companies from “profiteering” during school holidays by imposing a cap of 50% above term-time prices.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills responded to the e-petition by saying it was “for businesses to decide the market worth of their products.” Also speaking against any kind of cap was travel journalist Simon Calder who said, “If that [price cap] were to happen then you might as well just close down the whole holiday industry because they simply could not make any money.”

To avoid high demand in short periods, the Association of British Travel Agents said they “would welcome” the staggering of school holiday dates. This is a system that is already used in several European countries. A recent poll of travel agents found 85% favored “staggering by region” in the United Kingdom. Plymouth resident, Emma Lowther, agrees with the concept. The mother of one says, “I think they should stagger some of the term times so that demand for holidays would go down and instead would be spread out, so holiday companies would not have ‘peak times’.”

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