Saturday 3 December 2016

Leaving Cert holidays are back with a bang

Claire Mc Cormack

Published 28/02/2016 | 02:30

PARTY TIME: Students are heading to party mecca Magaluf for a break after summer exams. Photo: Gerry Mooney
PARTY TIME: Students are heading to party mecca Magaluf for a break after summer exams. Photo: Gerry Mooney

The opulent post-Leaving Cert holiday is back to boom-time levels for 2016. Tourism experts say they have experienced a 30pc increase in exam students booking flights abroad, with figures reaching the highest levels since the recession first hit.

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Hot spots for the outgoing class of 2016 include the Mediterranean party islands of Majorca, Ibiza and Crete.

Pat Dawson, CEO of the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA), estimates that between 10,000 and 15,000 students have already booked.

"Almost every flight out of the country on July 1 and 2 is full of Leaving Certs. We're seeing a massive boom on recent years. They've been booking since October and November last year," he said.

For now, the trend is most prominent among students in urban areas.

"They're going in their masses from every second school in Dublin and Cork. The majority are from better-off, middle-class schools but they're not all D4," said Mr Dawson.

Meanwhile, 'the bank of mum and dad' is also expected to fund summer breaks for cash-strapped adult children.

Tourism experts in the UK are predicting a surge in the number of parents taking their 20 and 30-something children with them when they go on holiday.

UK travel agencies have dubbed this "genervacation". Travel experts expect figures to skyrocket due to increasing financial pressure on young people

Alex Gibson, senior lecturer in the school of hospitality management and tourism at Dublin Institute of Technology, said: "An obvious driver in Ireland would be the fact that with the housing squeeze, we are seeing adult children stay longer at home and it would be reasonable to assume that this would feed directly into an increase in this type of holiday-taking."

Sunday Independent

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