Government urged to support family holidays

TUI's Peter Long
TUI’s Peter Long

The Family Holiday Association (FHA) has called for the UK government to offer more support and funding to help disadvantaged families take a holiday.

The charity’s president Peter Long, who is chief executive of TUI Travel, asked the government to assess public spending and help the millions of families that do not get to have a holiday.

“As the Prime Minister rightly said recently, the government should do everything possible to support and strengthen family life in Britain today. Therefore every government department will be held to account for the impact their policies have on families.

“Whoever assumes power after the forthcoming election. I urge the following to happen: all the GBP500 million currently allocated by central government for family breaks must be ring-fenced and not diverted by local authorities, and the government must have a greater understanding and appreciation of the positive impact a simple break can have on family life,” Long said at the FHA’s Holiday Matters conference at WTM today.

HolidaysMatter-stdMore than two million families cannot afford a holiday and five million people cannot even go on a day out.

Long added: “We want to raise awareness of the positive impact that holidays can have on people’s lives. Holidays help to make stronger, healthier, happier families and perhaps most crucial of all, they contribute to a healthier, happier society which benefits everyone.”

FHA has seen a 21% increase in funds from its corporate partners but launched its new Holidays Matter network yesterday.

The network provides a framework for companies built on several aims. These include the ability to help people benefit form holidays; a network of businesses and groups to provision holidays for those less fortunate; an aim to influence policy at a local and national level and to learn from models used in Europe.

“We believe that Holidays Matter. They broaden horizons, provide a break from every day stresses and strains and create memories that last a lifetime. We simply cannot afford to have so many people excluded from the many benefits a break or day trip can provide,” said FHA director John McDonald. “Creating a network to share ideas and best practice under the Holidays Matter banner is the next logical step to advancing co-ordination and delivery in this vital area.”

Companies can join the network by completing a firm and can show the mark if qualified.

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