ENGLISH holidaymakers are travelling north of the Border to fly off on their summer break in an attempt to cash in on the different school holiday terms in Scotland.
New figures have revealed a 20 per cent increase in the number of English travellers choosing to fly from airports across Scotland in a bid to save up to 50 per cent on the average family holiday.
Prices for holidays both in the UK and abroad soar during the school holidays due to increased demand for flights and hotels.
Travel agent Barrhead Travel said it had noticed a substantial leap in the number of people from south of the Border who are willing to travel hundreds of miles in order to save up to £500 on their break.
“The school holiday season is always a popular time for families to take their summer break, and thus attract peak prices from tour operators,” said Sharon Munro, Barrhead Travel’s chief executive.
The vast majority of the English travellers have opted to take their holidays at the end of August, when Scots children have gone back to school, but pupils at school in England are still enjoying their six-week summer break, which ends in September.
Scottish school pupils begin their holiday earlier than those in England – usually at the end of June, while children from south of the Border stay in the classroom until mid July.
“Flying to a Spanish resort in August can cost the average English family of four twice as much as it would to fly to the same resort at the end of June because of the school holiday period,” added Ms Munro.
“As the Scottish school holidays finish at the beginning of August, we’ve discovered a notable increase in the number of English families looking to travel towards the end of August from airports in Scotland in a bid to reduce the cost of their holiday.”
She added: “In this tough economic climate, families are really feeling the squeeze and are looking for any means possible to make their cash stretch that little bit further.
“With the average family of four able to save around £500 on an all-inclusive break to destinations such as the Costa del Sol and Majorca, it’s really no surprise that they’re willing to travel a few extra hours to board their flight.”
A spokesman for VisitScotland said extra passengers travelling to Scotland to use the airports could generate additional income for the economy.
“We would anticipate that visitors looking to travel out from the country could give tangible benefits to the local area,” he said. “Whether it’s eating in a local restaurant, travelling in a taxi or staying overnight in one of our hotels, it all benefits Scotland’s visitor economy, which is worth £11 billion annually.”
Scotland’s airports have already said they anticipate a bumper summer. Edinburgh airport’s new owner, Global Infrastructure Partners, reported earlier this month that it had already experienced its busiest ever summer season, while Glasgow airport reported its busiest June for five years.