Grzegorz Bosowski: the crisis may show that traveling with travel agencies is safer

Grzegorz Bosowski, CEO
Grzegorz Bosowski, CEO

Travel agents play a huge role in the current crisis – for many months they were the only conversation partners for clients, they helped them understand the situation, and showed available solutions. We talked to Grzegorz Bosowski, CEO of, about the impact of the epidemic on the market of outbound travel in Poland.

Adam Gąsior: How would you briefly describe the current situation in outbound tourism?

Grzegorz Bosowski: I have a sense of déjà vu, we returned to the situation from spring. We do what we can. First of all, we are trying to deal with the negative message about traveling, which prevails in the mass media, and with the ignorance of customers.

AG: There are fewer and fewer clients in travel agencies, although the situation in the country is getting more and more dramatic. Shouldn’t it rather encourage people to travel abroad?

GB: In the face of information chaos, customers are afraid to leave the country, because they do not know when and why next government decisions will be made to restore quarantine and lockdown. It is not only about the decisions of the Polish administration, but also other countries. We, of course, explain that traveling is safe, that now it is better to go somewhere safe, to spend time on a warm beach and get away from reality for a while.

AG: How else can you convince your customers to travel?

GB: We present three arguments in communicating with customers.

First, we show that there is no reason to be afraid of traveling. Thousands of people have gone on a relaxing holiday since July, when tourist trips were released, and apart from the famous Egyptian test setback, no other events or numerous infections have been recorded.

Second, we are actively fighting the myth that traveling is dangerous to health. For five months, we have been showing films on our website about the safety of traveling by plane in the times of covid, about how to care for safety and hygiene at airports and in hotels. This is what customers appreciate and I know it convinces them. However, this is still not enough.

Thirdly, we are professionally prepared and we inform our clients – on a daily basis and reliably – about where to fly, which rules apply and where, what to do when something unforeseen happens (e.g. infection). We have a very good Hanse Merkur insurance, which includes protection in the event of falling ill with covid-19 and reimburses the costs of resignation.

AG: How do you compare this year’s November to last year’s?

GB: November has always been a poor sales month, this year there were also problems with covid-19. December events sell a bit better, customers are interested in winter holidays.

For the first time in several years, our e-commerce sales formula gives us an advantage over stationary offices. From spring, we attach great importance to informing customers about the coronavirus, about the activities related to it, and the introduced regulations. Thanks to a lot of work that our team has done on positioning and SEO, we are very high (usually in first place) in search engines when a clients are looking for useful information related to travel. As a result, in August we had a greater viewership of our website than in August 2019.

AG: To what extent has the current crisis changed the agents’ situation?

GB: The coronavirus time has shown a great positive role of travel agents. Customers could not reach the tour operator’s hotline and we, the agents, took on the task of solving all problems and explaining the intricacies of regulations. For many months we were the only conversation partner for our clients.

Moreover, the situation with covid-19 proved the superiority of trips with a travel agency. A client going abroad via a travel agency is completely “looked after”. He is very well informed, insured and does not have to worry about anything, even in the event of an adverse event. Individual travelers do not have such luxury.

I hope that when the crisis and the limitations associated with it pass, the tourism industry will be able to reach customers with the message that we are better organized, that buying trips in travel agencies makes sense.