BUSINESS IN SHORT

Three travel agencies leave

THE NUMBER of travel agencies operating in Slovakia is gradually decreasing. Fifteen companies have gone bankrupt since 2002, three of which declared bankruptcy this year. The majority of them were small firms, the TASR newswire reported on August 7.

THE NUMBER of travel agencies operating in Slovakia is gradually decreasing. Fifteen companies have gone bankrupt since 2002, three of which declared bankruptcy this year. The majority of them were small firms, the TASR newswire reported on August 7.

There are several reasons for the critical situation of travel agencies in Slovakia, according to the Slovak Association of the Travel Agents (SACKA). During the crisis the number of sold trips decreased, which might have resulted in a decline in the financial reserves of smaller companies, despite the slight improvement of the situation in the past two years, as reported by TASR.

Other factors include the change in the political situation in some of the agencies’ key destinations, the increasing number of clients who buy trips at the last minute and the behaviour of holidaymakers who are interested in high-quality hotels for the cheapest possible price.

“This might have an impact on the future of travel agencies,” said Stanislav Macko, head of SACKA, as quoted by TASR.

Macko added that the bankruptcy of travel agencies is nothing extraordinary, even in developed European countries. He mentioned as an example the big German company GTI Travel, which went bankrupt in January 2013, as well as the bankruptcy of four travel agencies in the Czech Republic, as reported by TASR.

At the moment there are more than 300 insured travel agencies active in Slovakia, which is not a small number for Slovakia, Macko said.

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