Head of Exim Tours tells daily that Czechs are buying fewer package vacations abroad


The head of the largest Czech travel agency Exim Tours, Ferid Nasr, is predicting travel agencies in the country will take a hit this summer, as many Czechs are avoiding classic travel destinations as a result of the migrant crisis and local instability, writes Czech daily Lidové noviny.

Photo: archive of Radio PraguePhoto: archive of Radio Prague Gauging the market, Mr Nasr told the newspaper he expected to see a drop of about 20 percent in the sale of package vacations year-on-year. When it comes to package vacations, the head of Exim Tours Ferid Nasr sees the situation on the Czech market as less than sunny, suggesting in Lidové noviny that fears over the migrant crisis, instability and other threats in a number of classic destinations were driving numbers down. The drop in interest has also reflected in the lower number of available summer charter flights. He told the newspaper that this season would be the first without “last minute” offers, adding sales year-on-year would plummet, in his estimate, by 20 percent.

As a result, the agency has curbed offers to destinations like Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, and some of the Greek islands by 50 percent. Instead, it appears Czech vacationers opting for package deals are choosing destinations further north or west: Bulgaria or Italy, Spain or Mallorca, where, Lidové noviny notes, hotels are posting high interest, with some 80 percent of capacity already sold out in peak summer months compared to half of that in 2015. The travel agency said that the firm had reacted by boosting vacations to including airline tickets to Italy and Spain and increased offers by car to destinations in Austria, Italy, Hungary and Slovakia, tenfold.

Others may opt for more exotic locations half the world away if they can afford it, or are rediscovering vacations at home or on the Dalmatian coast, a longtime favorite, where travelers are well-familiar with conditions. Although terrorism is not mentioned explicitly in the article in Lidové noviny, it is alluded to as one reason Czechs may be shunning vacations at formerly popular destinations in North Africa; the visual accompanying the story shows tourists laying wreaths on a beach in Tunisia where a devastating attack took place in the summer last year.