Some 38% of parents who holidayed with their children said that the threat of fines had affected their ski holiday plans, with half again of those having to abandon a family ski holiday altogether.
This fall comes despite almost half of all parents surveyed by luxury family operator Club Med when the legislation was first announced claiming they’d defy the ban and take their kids out of school anyway.
It’s no surprise that family ski holidays are falling by the wayside, with parents caught between a rock and a hard place. Take your children out of school and you face fines of up to £60 per child, per parent, per day, and even a possible jail sentence if you don’t pay up. Obey the law by taking your holidays in either Christmas, February half term or Easter holidays and you’ll pay double.
The victims of this inflexibility is not just the ski industry but children and families who might otherwise have benefitted from an enriching, healthy holiday experiencing a foreign culture and language – not to mention quality family time.
One solution was controversially put forward by Lee Quince, of Bedford-based tour company Mountain Base who offered to pay their customers’ fines. According to Quince the new law was ‘taking the piste’. We couldn’t possibly comment – suffice to say that all of the family ski trips we have covered in the upcoming issue of Snow Magazine were taken during the Easter holidays. Maybe we’re just teacher’s pets.