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Organized tourism in 2023
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Organized tourism in 2023

Last update: 07.06.2024
ilustratívny obrázok/illustrative image
Publisher: Statistical Office of the SR
Topic: Sectoral statistics
Domain: Tourism
Publish Date: 07.06.2024

Travel agencies recorded the second best year since the turn of the millennium, interest in exotics also increased significantly

Travel agencies improved their balance sheet from previous years. The number of clients equalled the year before the pandemic, compared to the best year of 2018, only 3% of clients were missing. Foreign and domestic organized tourism progressed significantly, among foreign destinations, interest in more exotic countries considerably increased. However, travel agencies still lacked foreign guests, compared to 2019 their number decreased by 40%.

More than 1.1 million people used services of the Slovak travel agencies (TA) and tour operators in 2023. Compared to the previous year, they recorded a 66% increase in the number of clients and thus equalled the values of the years before the pandemic. The Statistical Office of the SR has currently published data on organized tourism for the year 2023, which summarizes the performance of travel agencies and tour operators.

Last year, Slovak travel agencies and tour operators finally overcame the three-year period of slumps caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which extremely hit the tourism sector. In the first two years of the pandemic (years 2020 - 2021), TA lost approximately 80% to 90% of clients, less than 230,000 people travelled annually. In the following year 2022, although the number of clients increased sharply, it still reached only slightly above the values of the best years 2018-2019.

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In the list of the most popular holiday destinations, the exotic is preferred more and more

The largest, three-quarters share of organized tourism was represented by holidays of Slovakian residents abroad, so-called passive tourism. Last year, 825,000 people travelled abroad in an organized way. Year-on-year, the number of foreign stays increased by 78% and was even a fifth higher than before the pandemic (in 2019).

"Last year, the largest number of Slovakian residents travelled on holiday abroad through a travel agency since 2000. The most frequently chosen destinations were Turkey, Greece, Egypt and Tunisia," said Veronika Töröková, Director of the Department of Methodology and Synthesis of Business Statistics of the Statistical Office of the SR. Egypt and Tunisia thus returned to the top of the TOP 10 destinations. At the same time, more than 50% of travel agency clients went to these 4 countries.

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In terms of the dynamics of year-on-year development, interest in more exotic destinations continued to increase, especially Vietnam and Cuba, but also Tunisia, Cape Verde, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Numerous increases in the number of clients traveling to these countries were recorded. Vietnam recorded up to 14 times higher interest compared to the previous period, Cuba attracted an 11 times higher number of clients. These destinations also recorded an extraordinary increase compared to the pre-pandemic period. The reason was mainly introducing the regular direct flights from Slovakia, as well as extending the supply of travel agencies to include new, non-traditional destinations.

The purchase of holidays through TA to traditional summer destinations such as Bulgaria, Croatia and Italy also increased last year, but it was far from reaching the pre-covid level. Interest in these destinations was only about half as compared to 2019.

Domestic organized tourism is growing

The successful year was also supported by an increase in the number of clients travelling within Slovakia through TA. Domestic organized tourism increased year-on-year the number of clients by 4% to 84,000 people. Their number even exceeded the values before the pandemic (2019) by more than 10%. This was mainly due to travel agencies and tour operators having its registered office in Žilinský kraj, Trenčiansky kraj and Nitriansky kraj. The largest, two-fold increase in the number domestic guests was reached by entities having its office in Žilinský kraj compared to 2019.

The interest of foreign visitors in Slovak tourism is growing

Last year, the increasing interest in services of the Slovak TA was also recorded by foreigners, with 60% more organized visits to the territory of Slovakia year-on-year. However, travel agencies were still missing 40% of visitors from outside the borders by the numbers from 2019. Foreign tourists preferred one-day trips without overnight stays, it was almost 95% of all arrivals. The most people arrived from Austria (53 thousand), the United States of America (42 thousand) and Germany (26 thousand). These three countries accounted for more than 60% of all arriving persons.

Turnover exceeded pre-pandemic numbers

The total turnover of travel agencies and tour operators increased year-on-year by almost 40% last year. They reached a value of EUR 907 million, which was at the same time a fifth more than in 2019. Almost 95% of the achieved volume was represented by turnover from passive tourism.

All three components of tourism – active, passive and domestic tourism – reported year-on-year double-digit growth. Only active tourism, i.e. turnover from foreigners for stays in Slovakia, registered a significant lag behind pre-covid turnover.

Note: The reporting obligation applies to all travel agencies, tour operators and other tourism service providers whose main activity is classified in code 79 of the SK NACE Rev. classification. 2 registered in the Business Register and natural persons registered in the Trade Register, who provide tourism services according to the entity's address (registered office).

Data sources in Datacube.:

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  • Statistical Office of the SR
  • Lamačská cesta 3/C
  • 840 05 Bratislava 45
  • Slovak Republic
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  • +421 2 50 236 335
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While publishing of the whole information report or its parts, please state the source of information, the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic. The Statistical Office of the SR creates high-quality statistics useful for society according to 16 principles regarding the institutional environment, statistical processes and outputs in line with the Code of Practice for European Statistics.

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