Prague City Tourism focuses on domestic tourists

Photo: Björn Lazay, Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Barbora Hrubá, photo: Prague City Tourism Archives

“We cannot expect the number of visitors to reach the number we had before the crisis anytime soon, that is, the years and years to come. We have to take into account that other countries may have closed borders or a state of emergency in place and another very important factor is fear. We have to take into account that a lot of people will be afraid to travel abroad, will not want to travel abroad for a very long time.

Are there any nationalities that could come back sooner?

“Certainly, it will be people from neighboring countries and from Europe. However, the problem is that over 80% of visitors to Prague come from abroad and now we need to focus more on the domestic market, which can never replace the number of foreign visitors we had. But that’s one of our safest options at this point – to focus on Central Europe, neighboring countries and mainly the internal market. “

Photo: elPadawan, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

You have now started a project to attract Czechs to the capital, haven’t you?

“Yes, this is a special campaign that will run from June to September and its aim is to bring as many Czechs as possible to Prague. There will be discounts and free entry to monuments, museums and galleries in Prague, because we want to show locals that Prague is an interesting city and that they can enjoy it like never before without the crowds in the center. However, we understand that the prices in other parts of the country are very different from those in Prague and we are aiming for overnight stays.

What attractions will Czechs in the country visiting Prague want to see? Are we talking about new trendy neighborhoods or usual tourist destinations?

Old Town Square, photo: Pedro Szekely, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

“In the first wave, we would expect people to want to visit the traditional sites – Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, Prague Castle, places that they weren’t willing to visit because there there were so many people and maybe remember what Prague was like when they were young, maybe thirty years ago. But since most Czechs have been to Prague before and seen all these sites, we try to lure them to new trendy neighborhoods with interesting restaurants and cafes, like Holešovice or Karlín.

Are you not worried that with an economic crisis following the coronavirus crisis, people will not have money to spend in Prague?

“Tourism as an industry is of course probably the most sensitive to any crisis, economic more than any other, because if people start to lose their jobs and run out of money, the first thing they will stop doing is is to travel. This can have a really destructive impact on the city itself as tourism as an industry is extremely important for the capital as there are services and other industries that are very closely related to it. So this is one of our biggest fears: how hard will the crisis hit and what the impact will be. So with other institutions – also private companies, hotels, etc. – we are trying to restart tourism as quickly and efficiently as possible. “

Photo: Twang_Dunga, Flickr, CC BY 2.0

You said you will aim for overnight stays – but is it likely that the Czechs will come to Prague to spend the night? Wouldn’t they be more inclined to come for a day trip?

“Yes, that’s why we are launching the mentioned campaign which will offer visitors more benefits as they stay. Basically, for each night spent in Prague they will get two points which they can use to enter a monument or site, museum or gallery… so for two nights they will get four points and so on. This is one of the ways we try to help them save money, as domestic visitors who come to Prague usually do not stay in hotels, they come for a cultural or sporting event and then return home. them or they stay with their friends and family. So a big part of the campaign is to show them that there are reasons why they should stay longer in the city.

Photo: Giorgio Raffaelli, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0

What about foreign tourists nearby – from neighboring states or EU member states who may come during the summer months – in the short time before the situation worsens again with a second wave of pandemic? What are you doing to attract them?

“At this point, we don’t have a specific campaign going on, as there are still quite a few restrictions in place, the situation is changing every day, but we will certainly launch campaigns as soon as possible to attract foreign tourists to the region. city. We will use the fact that in general Prague is seen as a very safe city around the world and the way the city and country has responded to the pandemic is also something we can highlight in our campaign – that Prague is a place where you do not have to be afraid and you can come and enjoy your vacation here.

Berta D. Wells