18th August 2016

TOL.cz: Martin Ehl: The Dangers of Patriotic Tourism

Central Europeans have been used to traveling to cheap, warm places in the tens of thousands. But the last couple of years limited these possibilities, and a bit more expensive places in Spain, Italy, and Greece have forced them to think twice about their holidays. Already in 2015 people were thinking more about security and destinations closer to home. Slovakia, for example, ended in first place as a holiday target for Czechs with traditionally popular Croatia only second.
Such trends have apparently accelerated. The Polish weekly Polityka recently reported that by the end of July there had been a 7 percent decline in foreign trips made by Poles in comparison with last year. According to one poll about 12.6 million planned to spend their vacations in Poland – 1.8 million more than last year. Similarly, research done by eCall in Slovakia revealed that half of the respondents wanted to spend their vacations in their home country.

The domestic tourism boom has a significant political dimension as well. Simply put, even though there are very few immigrants and refugees in post-communist Central Europe, people feel threatened. And some domestic travel agencies have even cleverly managed their campaigns since the winter to show that the only safe place to have a vacation is one’s home country.

Read full article (in English) by Martin Ehl of the Hospodarske noviny daily published by the tol.cz portal.  


Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic