Prague has long been one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, ranking in the top 10 of capital cities by visitor numbers and beating other well-known cities such as Vienna, Berlin and Venice, despite its relatively small size. Equally, the Czech capital has long suffered from tourist blight and overtourism, and is now trying to shake off its reputation as a cheap place to get drunk and party. I spoke to Jan Herget, head of CzechTourism, about swapping stag parties for symposiums, how Michelin stars could lure foreign tourists out of the capital, and why inflation might perversely be a good thing for Prague – and much else besides.
Tourist numbers have gone up since last year but still, less people are coming to Czechia than in 2019. Is CzechTourism aiming to get those numbers back to where they used to be?
“Sure, but if we look at the numbers from the second quarter, it’s pretty good, because it’s actually only 6000 tourists less. But if we look at the numbers in more detail, then we see that there is structural change – we see more Czech people, and many more people from surrounding countries like Poland and Germany. We are missing tourists from Russia, naturally, due to the war, but also from China and a little bit from Korea and America. But it’s going in a good direction, because thanks to the long-haul direct flights from Seoul and now from Taipei, it’s increasing and getting better and better.”
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Author: Anna Fodor