Record-High Number of Slovaks Living Abroad Return Home to Vote in Election

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illustration picture (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, February 28 (TASR) – Slovaks living abroad are returning to their home country to vote in the general election in record-high numbers, Pelikan travel agency, the largest airline tickets purveyor in Slovakia, reported on Friday.

Demand for airline tickets to Slovakia significantly exceeds that from the period prior to the presidential election. Four in five Slovaks have only bought a one-way ticket.

According to Pelikan, the number of Slovaks who have bought airline tickets with arrival to Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest or Kosice for the February 29 weekend is 133 percent higher than in the comparable period before the 2016 general election.

As many as 80 percent of Slovaks have chosen one-way airline tickets, while this share was a little over 50 percent four years ago. Pelikan noted that two one-way tickets are in the vast majority of cases more expensive than one return ticket. A part of Slovaks thus might have decided to return to the election impulsively, willing to invest more money due to the election. “After reflecting these data on the whole Slovak airline ticket market, these are thousands of people,” said Pelikan PR manager Jozef Rybar.

Rybar noted there’s need to consider the fact that contrary to the presidential election, Slovaks are able to vote by mail in the general election. “Therefore, Slovaks’ current demand for airline tickets is enormous and definitely a record-high in the history of the elections in Slovakia,” he said.

According to Pelikan’s data, Slovaks are returning home to vote in the election chiefly from Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Denmark and Belgium. These are countries where a considerable number of Slovaks have been working or studying.

Pelikan analysts filtered out as many as possible external influences from election statistics, including the general growth in the number of passengers in air transport, currently decreased interest in travelling due to coronavirus spread, new flight lines and clearance sales of tickets by airline companies.