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Can Central Europeans afford going on holiday?

Prague, Czech Republic – How many Hungarians, Poles, Czechs and Slovaks can afford going on at least one holiday every year, and how do they compare with other Europeans?

This week, Eurostat released some interesting facts about Europeans’ holiday habits. More specifically, the EU’s statistical office revealed how many European citizens can and cannot afford to take at least a 1-week annual holiday.

The figures may come as a surprise to those for whom summer months and sunny days necessarily implies holiday, traveling and discovering new cities, regions and countries.

As it turns out, more than one fourth (28.3% to be precise) of the EU population, aged 16 or more, couldn’t afford a one-week annual holiday getaway in 2018 (compared to 39.5% five years ago).


The report also points to significant differences between EU member states: in several countries, more than half of the population was unable to afford a one-week holiday away from home every year, including Romania (59%), Croatia, Greece and Cyprus (51%).

At the opposite end of the scope, Swedes (10% who couldn’t afford it), Luxembourgers (11%), Danes (12%), Austrians (12.5%) and Finns (13%) reported the lowest proportions of people saying they couldn’t afford a holiday in 2018.

In Central Europe, the Czech Republic (21%, compared to 40% ten years ago) was the only country with a below-EU-average share of the population who couldn’t afford a one-week annual holiday in 2018. When taking some days off from work, Czechs usually travel within the country or to neighbouring Slovakia, as well as seaside, Mediterranean destinations like Croatia, Italy and Greece.

According to Eurostat, Poland (34.5%), Slovakia (41%) and Hungary (42%) all had among the highest proportions of people whose income and revenues were not sufficient to pay for a one-week getaway from home.

In all the Visegrad Group countries, however, the situation appears to have significantly improved compared to ten years ago, when the share of people who couldn’t afford a 7-day holiday stood at 61%, 54% and 66% for Poland, Slovakia and Hungary respectively.

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