In the first quarter of 2022, 1.1 million travelers bought a tourist trip. This is about 700,000 people more than last year, and at the same time about 900,000 less than in 2019, according to the data of the Tourist Guarantee Fund (TFG). Marek Niechciał from the Insurance Guarantee Fund drew attention to the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and inflation on the behavior of some customers.
According to the data from the Tourist Guarantee Fund, provided to the Polish Press Agency, from January to March this year, tourism organizers concluded over 426 thousand. contracts for tourist events involving almost 1.1 million travelers. There were about 700,000 people deciding to leave this period. more than a year ago, as well as by about 120 thousand. more than in the fourth quarter of 2021.
However, compared to pre-pandemic times, this number is still lower. In the first quarter of 2019, the number of travelers deciding to buy a tourist event in a travel agency was nearly 2 million. In the first quarter of 2020 – when the pandemic started, it was about 1.35 million people – according to TFG data.
The fund said that most of the nearly 1.1 million tourists covered by contracts with travel agencies chose holidays abroad (in Europe or beyond) with a charter flight – over 600,000 people chose this option. people. Trips in Poland or to neighboring countries were ranked second – over 300,000. people. In turn, over 100,000 customers of travel entrepreneurs chose to travel to one of the European countries together with transport, but other than a charter flight, e.g. by coach.
The impact of the war in Ukraine
As Marek Niechciał, the member of the management board of the Insurance Guarantee Fund (UFG) noted, some of the purchased tourist events had to be canceled due to aggression. Russia to Ukraine. – In this situation, clients of travel agencies could count on a full return of funds paid from the Tourist Aid Fund – said Niechciał.
In the first quarter of this year. TFP began accepting applications for withdrawals, and in the second quarter the Fund disbursed funds with a total value of over PLN 175.5 thousand. zloty. – It was the first time that withdrawals from TFP were launched – noted Marek Niechciał.
He indicated that the war had an impact on the mood of customers. – Some people postponed the decision about a possible departure. From the beginning of the year to the outbreak of the war, the number of contracts concluded was growing, and in March their number was about 30,000 lower than in February. However, these are not such large drops as we observed in the periods of the greatest restrictions related to the pandemic – reported Niechciał. As he assessed, Poles apparently missed traveling and needed rest. – Rising prices of such trips may be a barrier for some – added the representative of the Insurance Guarantee Fund.
How to check the organizer?
The fund reminded that it is worth checking the organizer before purchasing a tourist event, for example on the website of the Tourist Guarantee Fund tfg.ufg.pl. On the website you can find a register of tourist entrepreneurs. Currently, over 4,400 tourism organizers and entrepreneurs facilitating linked travel arrangements are registered in Poland.
TFG emphasized that it is not worth deciding on offers from entities that do not comply with the regulations. As it was added, an example of this is the stories of people injured by one of the entrepreneurs, disclosed at the beginning of this year, who offered trips to Zanzibar without statutory requirements.
The Tourist Guarantee Fund (TFG) was established in 2016 at the Insurance Guarantee Fund, which provides its service. TFG provides additional security in the event of the insolvency of travel entrepreneurs. Insurance Guarantee Fund, incl. runs a nationwide insurance database, which is used by, inter alia, insurance companies for the purposes of contract pricing and claims settlement.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / SALVATORE DI NOLFI