According to the Czech Tourism Union (ČUCR), tourism in Prague faces financial losses of billions of korunas, a figure which continues to grow. As Covid-19 measures are still in place, without a quick and effective solution to the current situation, a dramatic impact on the entire Czech Republic and its economy can soon be expected, the union said, calling on Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib of the Pirate Party to take action. According to an earlier statement by the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of the Czech Republic, Prague accounts for 60 percent of tourism in the Czech Republic.
Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, 8.4 million guests visited the capital, according to ČUCR President Viliam Sivek. Of these, about 6.8 million were from abroad.
“In the first half of this year, it was less than 1.9 million visitors. There were just over 286,000 foreigners. It is obvious that such a decline is driving down the whole of Czech tourism,” he noted.
ČUCR also criticized political parties for putting tourism on the side of their agenda.
According to Sivek, it is necessary to support inbound tourism, which, unlike other European Union countries, has remained in the Czech Republic without direct state support.
According to Jiřina Mašič from the Association of Travel Agencies, travel agencies focused on inbound tourism reported an annual turnover of around six billion korunas (€236.1 million), and their clients spent another six billion korunas in the Czech Republic on other tourist services. Now, according to her, these numbers are practically “at zero” for the second year in a row. Mašič assumes that this trend will continue at least until the spring of next year. Other countries, such as Poland and Hungary, are also struggling with the slump in tourism.
ČUCR also criticized the resolution of the Prague City Council to ban buses from entering the center of Prague. “The current change in allowed entrances in Prague means, for example, that instead of one minibus for 24 people meeting the EURO6 ecological standard, which would bring guests to a congress hall, at least six taxi cars will have to ensure the transportation. That doesn’t make sense,” said Jiří Vlasák from the tour bus initiative.