From the scenes to a real adventure: the Czech Republic is an irresistible destination for film enthusiasts and a sought-after location for film crews

In the last five years, almost half of the tourists in the Czech Republic have visited a place where a movie, fairy tale, or series was filmed. According to a survey by the Czech Tourism Office – CzechTourism, the most frequent destinations included chateaux and castles such as Hluboká nad Vltavou, Bouzov, Červená Lhota or Karlštejn, as well as the cities of Český Krumlov and Prague, especially their historic centers. Film travelers often choose Lednice, Telč, Hoštice, or Karlovy Vary as their destination.

The film industry has an irreplaceable place in the state’s economy. Filming brings income not only within the film as such, but also in other areas. Those who provide staff with accommodation, transport, work in the construction industry, in gastronomy or perhaps work in the clothing sector benefit from it. Up to 60% of the income from filming goes to these segments.

Box office blockbusters and major films are often produced in Prague in the Czech Republic. Thanks to the well-preserved architecture, filmmakers often shoot in the center of Liberec, even though it often represents another city, such as Vienna or Hamburg. Other sought-after places are, for example, the romantic Bouzov castle, our largest rock city of the Adršpašsko-Teplické rocks, the Bohemian Paradise area, the Rococo castle Dobříš, Krkonoše or perhaps one of the oldest and most important royal castles in the Czech Republic, Křivoklát.

“The Czech Republic is one of the sought-after locations for foreign productions. In addition to the costs incurred in hiring domestic actors or renting venues pay off compared to other countries, they also appreciate the local fans and the skill of the “Czech hands”. Let us recall, for example, the admirable crystal from Sklárna Pačinek in the film Na nože: Glass Onion with Daniel Graig in the lead role. “Czech glass from the small North Bohemian village of Kunratice near Cvikov has reached Hollywood fame,” says František Reismüller, director of the Czech Tourism Office – CzechTourism, adding: “The film generates income not only thanks to foreign films shot here, but domestic films also contribute to the budget to a large extent creation. Although there was no Czech representation at this year’s film Oscars, our cinematography did well last year. This is also confirmed by the rich participation of the Czech Republic in international film festivals. Among others, the feature-length film Brothers, the sci-fi thriller Point of Recovery, or the series Volga are definitely worth mentioning. All these works also scored points at the Czech Lion 2024 award ceremony.”

Filming location and tourism are connected by excellently functioning vessels. CzechTourism or its tourist portal Kudy z nudy are often partners in audiovisual projects. In the past, the continuation of the James Bond series Casino Royal, the first part of the Chronicles of Narnia trilogy, the action film Mission: Impossible, and the Oscar-winning film Edith Piaf have been beneficial for the Czech Republic, not only from an economic point of view. In the last two years, for example, the story of the former CIA agent Gray Man or the sequel to the movie Redemption 2, which was originally supposed to be filmed in Australia, but due to the lockdowns, the creators decided to shoot it in the Czech Republic. And Bollywood movies full of spectacular musical scenes and emotional shots are definitely worth mentioning. The magic of the shots resonated with the Indian audience for a long time after watching the Bollywood blockbuster Superstar, Jab Harry met Sejal or Bang Bang and contributed to an increase in demand for the Czech Republic.

“The film invites long-term travel around the world. Thanks to places known from the movie screen, many foreign tourists decide to vacation here. The same applies to Czech residents who set out to discover foreign countries that they have seen in movies or on television. Among other things, our survey showed that almost 48% of Czechs have recently gone or are planning to go on a trip or vacation in their country based on the inspiration of a film or series that appealed to them,” adds Petr Janeček, head of the Tourism Institute of the Czech Tourism Office – CzechTourism .

There are two types of tourists who travel for film. Everyone expects something a little different. The more common one gets excited about a certain country, region, or city thanks to the film and wants to get to know it for himself. It is then in the given locality whether it is ready for tourists or prepared for travelers, whether it has built sufficient infrastructure, functioning services, and even with increased tourism, it can ensure the privacy of the locals and reduce the carbon footprint that greater mobility brings. The second type of person can be called a Film Tourist with a capital F. A fan of audiovisual works who wants to see the locations, i.e. the place where his “heartthrob” was filmed. The so-called film-induced tourism is also appearing in the Czech Republic. In general, these people mainly travel for fantasy films or witch sagas. And lately, in connection with the boom in platforms for streaming movies and series, also for action pictures.

“Film plays an important role in marketing and in promoting interest in individual countries. We attract filmmakers from all over the world with, among other things, favorable incentives, kind treatment, and excellent professionals in the field that foreign productions hire. It’s all a matter of supply and demand, economic benefit and sustainability leaning in all directions. The wise know that if “And yet it spins!” is paid, it will help everyone,” concludes Veronika Janečková, director of the product management, research, and B2B cooperation department of the Czech Tourism Headquarters – CzechTourism.