Czechs mass buying holidays to Turkey amid lira crash


Czech travel agencies are reporting extraordinary interest for holidays in Turkey, as Czechs are enticed by the rapid crash of the Turkish lira, Czech Television reported on Monday.

Turkey’s year-on-year inflation reached a 19 year high in 2021, rising by 36.08 percent. Noticing the country’s economic developments, Czech tourists are now flocking to buy holidays in the Mediterranean state.

Kateřina Pavlíková, the spokesperson for one of Czechia’s largest travel agencies Čedok, told Czech Television that travel offers are in high demand.

“Ahead of Christmas, we offered a special advent trip, which combined visiting sites with shopping at local markets. It got completely sold out.“

It is not just Anatolia, but also Istanbul that is being targeted by Czech tourists. The spokesman of Čedok competitor CK Fischer, Jan Bezděk, told Czech Television that sales have exceeded pre-pandemic rates by 30 percent.

“Turkey is currently the number one destination for 2022 summer holidays. It has even jumped ahead of long-term first spot holder Greece.”

A weak lira means that Czech tourists will primarily save money on services and when shopping outside of their hotel resorts. This, according to Czech Television, includes things such as renting boats, paying for sun loungers, or entering aqua parks. Some of the related prices have fallen by a fifth when compared to 2020. However, hotels and air tickets still have to be paid for in euro.

Flights from Prague to Istanbul are currently being offered by Turkish Airlines and the budget airline Pegasus. However, the rise in interest means that, from May, Czechs will also be able to fly directly from the Czech capital to Antalya Airport located in the south of the Turkish mainland.

Just as the Turkish lira is falling, the Czech crown is strengthening, reaching CZK 24.9 to the euro at the end of 2021.

Most foreign experts blame Turkey’s current currency crisis on the policies engineered by the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Some warn that inflation could reach as high as 50 percent by March if rates are not immediately and aggressively hiked. However, Turkey’s president insists that the country’s currency crisis is largely under control and has urged Turks to keep all their savings in lira.