AUTHORITIES in Slovakia expect that this summer season will be better than last year’s, which due to Coronavirus was greatly affected in 2020.
However, besides being optimistic, the assumed volumes would remain below the pre-pandemic levels, as the President of the Slovak Association of Travel Agencies (SACKA), Roman Berkes, noted.
Most of the holidays booked on Slovak travel agencies last summer were delayed for this season due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Even though most of them focus on European destinations, they include in their offers non-European destinations as well, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“Of course, travel agencies are already controlling the flow of finances more closely, so that they can respond easier to changes and, if necessary, return money to the client immediately,” Berkes said.
Berkes has noted that the pandemic situation in Slovakia and at holiday destinations, as well as Coronavirus protective measures are important for a successful summer season. However, unexpected and fundamental changes in anti-pandemic measures could lead to confusion and uncertainty to already planned holiday trips.
In general, European countries’ tourism has been significantly affected by the virus, as the European Statistics provider, EUROSTAT, has revealed.
The number of EU tourists accommodated nights number had dropped by 61 per cent from April 2020 to March 2021, marking a record of 1.1 billion tourists, whereas 12 months before the pandemic started (April 2019 to March 2020), there were 2.8 billion tourists accommodated for overnight stays in Europe.
Slovakia’s number of nights spent by the international guests has declined to -80 per cent, and the number of nights spent by the domestic guests has dropped to -23 per cent, marking a total of -59 per cent decrease.
As SchengenVisaInfo.com previously reported, the country recently opened the borders to fully vaccinated travellers and started issuing the EU Digital COVID-19 Vaccination Passport to its citizens, which document aims to ease travelling across the EU amid the pandemic.
All passengers who have been fully vaccinated with the European Medicines Agency authorised vaccines (Moderna, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Janssen), recovered from Coronavirus recently or havetested negative for the virus are eligible to enter Slovakia without being subject to restrictions imposed to halt the spread of the disease.
Previously, the country’s authorities announced that they are also reinforcing the border crossing with Austria, Czechia, Poland, and Hungary by deploying over 500 Financial Administration and Prison and Judicial Guard Corps, intending to ensure public order related to Coronavirus.