Czech and Polish tour operator marriage promises major changes on local market
The marriage of Czech and Polish tour operators Čedok and Itaka looks like creating a formidable negotiating force on the regional market faced with airline operators and hotel companies.
Čedok’s history goes back to 1920 but it has been overtaken on the Czech market by rivals. By some estimates it now rates as the country’s fourth biggest tour operator. Itaka was created in 1989 and from around 2009 has established itself as number one on the much larger Polish market.
Financial details of the takeover, with Čedok’s former owner US-based Odien Group is stepping out of the tour operator market altogether to focus on hotels and resorts, have not been made public. The deal still needs to be approved by the Czech competition agency.
Čedok managers have in the recent past blamed some of their recent misfortunes on losses associated with some of their choice tourist destinations being blighted by the immigrant crisis and terrorist attacks.
Čedok’s policy of serving exotic destinations with smaller passenger planes looks like being one of the early casualties of the change. The tour operator was in this case, and for that matter often in the past, left trying to put bums on seats with packages that were a relatively hard sell for the relatively weak Czech market. With more success, Itaka has made serving the luxury market on its hallmarks and successes.