Survey: Czech vacationers aiming to spend less on summer holidays

July 1st in the Czech Republic is considered the official start of the summer holidays, a time to kick back with family and friends and the perfect time to go on vacation. But this year there’s a difference: Czechs, like most of their neighbours, are feeling the bite of the economic crisis. According to a new survey released on Wednesday, those planning on going on vacation certainly won’t give up their holiday, but will be looking for ways to save.

Some 56 percent of Czechs went on holiday last summer and this year that number is not likely to change, at least not much, says the new Factum Invenio survey, maybe around 51 percent. What is different among those who do go on holiday - at home or abroad - is that most will be hoping to spend less. The main reason? The continuing economic crisis. A little earlier I spoke to Tomáš Motl, who headed the new survey:

“The impact of the economic crisis is mainly that three-quarters of those who are planning to go on vacation want to save money in buying their vacations. The percentage who will pay for holidays will be the same, but they will be hoping to save.”

What are some of the strategies they are applying?

“The first thing is that they want to spend less on meals out in restaurants, trips and things like that. Secondly, they want to pay for cheaper accommodation. And, thirdly, they will go during the off-season. Off-peak. And of course, they are waiting for last-minute offers and for special discounts.”

Trips abroad are generally more expensive than vacationing at home: have we seen a drop in the number of those wanting to go abroad?

“What we are seeing is a clear decline in those who will make use of travel agencies. There, there has been a five-percent drop in those who will use travel agencies compared to those who will go on their own. Clearly, there is an outflow of clients from travel agencies, with vacationers planning on organising their holidays on their own.”

Travel agencies have tried to counter the drop in clients (which Wednesday’s survey cites as 44 to 39 percent) by offering more attractive packages as well as cooperating with strategic partners, such as banks, to be able to offer more advantageous services and discounts. They hope that new clients, wanting to save money and go on vacation this year, will get on board. Important to add, some 41 percent of Czechs aren’t planning any summer holiday at all, but that number hasn’t changed significantly since 2008.