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Poland: Tourists hesitate as travel agents go under

Poland: Tourists hesitate as travel agents go under
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Times are tough for travel agents in Poland, with holidaymakers spooked after a spate of firms went bust.

Eight Polish travel firms have gone under since the start of July. Those left are struggling to reassure nervous customers that they can book up with confidence.

“The bankruptcies that we have heard about in the media made clients afraid that if they buy a holiday tour they might not get their money back or they won’t get to go on holiday or they might even be unable to return from their holidays,” said Elzbieta Strawa, a travel agent at the Rainbow Tours company in Warsaw.

Polish tourist authorities are playing down the problem, arguing that the troubles of the national industry should not be blown out of proportion.

“If we look at the European Union, at the countries which can be compared to us, then we can say that the number of bankrupt companies is much smaller than in other European Union countries,” said Polish Tourism Board boss Tomasz Rosset.

However tourists from Poland have been left stranded across the world after travel agents folded. The industry’s woes may be, among other things, a knock-on effect from the demise of Polish budget airline OLT which suspended all flights in July.