Contribution to the intl. conference Czech-Slovak Day of the Family Business, Prague, 2021. Published in Rodinné podnikání: Mezigenerační milníky a generátory jejich hodnoty (in Czech) [online]. Prague: Univ. of Finance and Administration, 2021, SCIENCEpress. ISBN 978-80-7408-232-0.



Family Business of the Tour-Operators
and Travel Agencies


Aleš Krejčí

Department of Economics and Management, Faculty of Economics, University of Finance and Administration, Prague, Czech Republic

World Trend marketing & public relations, Prague, Czech Republic




The tourism market is very different from industrial markets. There is a significant difference in the number of entities on the market and the size of companies in terms of the number of employees – compared to industrial markets, the situation on the tourism market is completely inverse. Other differences are due to the specifics of transport, accommodation, spa and other services. This paper therefore focuses on one segment of tourism, namely tour operators and travel agencies (TO/TA) in the Czech Republic, and his experience with family business. The aim was to conduct an introductory qualitative survey of TO/TA management’s views on family business, its advantages and disadvantages, and the succession process in the company. The vast majority of them are small companies with up to 50 employees or small entrepreneurs employing less than 10 people. At the end of the summer season 2021, a short anonymous questionnaire has been addressed to all relevant members (i.e. doing business only as TO/TA) of both professional associations, the Association of Travel Agencies of the Czech Republic (ACK) and The Association of Tour Operators and Travel Agents of the Czech Republic (AČCKA). From 419 addressed companies 33 managers (founders, owners or directors) responded.

Respondents from functioning family TO/TAs mentioned among the disadvantages of this business model mainly the negative impact on family relationships, next the marginalization of managerial mistakes of a family member, the inability to advance other employees to management of (small) companies, the dependence of the whole family’s income on a single financial source and the excessive penetration of work and private life (a consequence of stronger engagement of managers than is common in the TO/TA environment). Among the advantages mentioned were the greater resilience of a company in crisis situations and better communication and management in the company, as well as the substitutability in management, a financial „cushion“ of family resources and greater trust among members of management. Succession in most family TO/TAs has not yet been decided, only in a quarter of companies has this process been successful or is still ongoing. In addition to the well-known problems of succession, such as rigidity in the management of the company by the founder or insufficient respect of the successor among employees, a loss in the successor’s interest experiencing the time-consuming work in TO/TA was mentioned. Despite the fact that tourism is one of the most affected areas of the economy in the covid crisis, only one respondent withdrew from the intention of family succession for this reason; most respondents cited the main effects of the crisis as a change (reduction) in the portfolio of services and the financial loss of advances sent abroad.


Keywords: family business, tour operator, travel agency, succession

JEL Classification Codes: D2, L1, L2, L8