Travel agencies at risk and holidaymakers confused over govt’s statements

Agencies complain about the government's approach.

A Czech Airlines plane lands at Košice airport on June 15, 2020.A Czech Airlines plane lands at Košice airport on June 15, 2020. (Source: TASR)

Tour operators have been put in danger as a result of the government’s call on people to spend the summer holidays in Slovakia.

Simultaneously, their clients are said to be bewildered by the contradictions made by the government, which is pleading the public to avoid international holidays even though Slovakia has reopened to many European and several other countries.

Slovak Association of Tour Operators and Travel Agents President Roman Berkes said that travel agencies hesitate to invest in adverts and provide clients with holiday offers, even for the countries considered of low risk by Slovakia, including Croatia and Cyprus.

A campaign against holidays abroad

“The state’s campaign to holiday at home, as well as recommendations not to travel abroad made by authorities, go against the efforts of tourist operators,” Berkes said, as reported by the TASR newswire.

Related articleSlovaks change holiday plans. They want to stay home Read more 

He added the situation in travel agencies is critical and the government should face the situation.

“Clients are hesitant, and, based on the state’s plea, do not buy holidays abroad,” Berkes noted.

This is believed to also be the reason why tour operators have been losing clients since November 2019.

Help in a pandemic

The government adopted, in May of this year, changes to the law on tours; travel agencies and clients have time until August 2021 to find a compromise over the cancelled holidays due to the coronavirus.

If no agreement is reached by this time, tour operators will have to return money to clients. Berkes has claimed this change does not cause any problems to travel agencies, unlike the government’s contradictory approach.

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