The Czech Republic is marking 25 years since the start of the Velvet Revolution which toppled the communist regime. The country has since undergone a dramatic transformation from totalitarianism to a free-market democracy, affecting virtually all areas of life. The changes have been especially marked in Prague and other big cities but in the regions, the transformation has been less smooth and often more painful. In our special programme today, we look at how two historic Czech towns, Mikulov and Stříbro, have changed over the last 25 years. More
One on OneSearch for authenticity driving “insider” tour trend, says Mirka Charlotte Kostelková of Eating Prague Tours
Tailored tours for relatively small groups with particular interests have become a trend in the tourism industry in recent times. One such excursion available in the Czech capital goes under the banner Eating Prague Tours and sees locals taking visitors to restaurants, cafés and food stores and offering them an “insider’s” insight into Czech cuisine. I discussed its services – and more – with Eating Prague Tours’ operations manager, Mirka Charlotte Kostelková. More
In Business: Czech financial institutions revise down their economic growth forecasts for this year, the government favours nuclear and coal power in its long-term energy plan, the forex interventions launched by the Czech National Bank last year have attracted more foreign visitors to the Czech Republic and the largest Czech hotel – Hilton Prague - has been put up for sale. More
The forex interventions launched by the Czech National Bank last year, in order to weaken the crown, have brought a higher number of tourists to the Czech Republic. In the first two quarters of 2014 the number of tourists from neighbouring countries rose on average from 6 to 10 percent, with the highest number of visitors from Austria and Slovakia. However the interventions negatively affected the profit margins of travel agencies.
Business NewsPrice of exotic vacations jump as a result of weak crown and other contributing factors
Czechs planning on an exotic vacation in the sun and by the sea this winter are in for an unpleasant surprise. Compared to last year, prices of package vacations are up, between seven and 10 percent. According to Czech Radio, the weakened crown, the cancelation of charter flights to Thailand, and even fears over Ebola, have all played a role. More
Prague City Tourism has just launched a million-crown-campaign aimed at attracting more Czech visitors to Prague. The campaign provides a powerful incentive for people to overcome their reluctance to spend money at home: a wide variety of the best beers, special discount offers and good food. I asked Kateřina Pavlítová, Marketing Director at Prague City Tourism, to tell me more about what the campaign has to offer. More
Prague is to ban people from offering guided tours of the city from the area beneath the astronomical clock at the Old Town Hall. The prohibition is set to come into effect from November 5. The guided tour sellers will be allowed to ply their trade at other spots elsewhere on the historic Old Town Square, which attracts millions of tourists every year. The Prague authorities also want to introduce exams for would-be guides and to be allowed to re-examine those who currently hold licenses to give tours.
In Business News this week: Czech farmers expect bumper harvest this year; Škoda seeks to boost sales of Fabia on local market; number of Russian tourists drops by 15 percent this year; Less Mess Storage acquires three storage facilities in Czech Republic; and local distilleries expect good season this year. More
Tour de Beer, Hula-hoop in Prague, Roast Sausage or River Valley Jogging Tour – these are just some of offers on a new website called Guidilo. The unusual travel service wants to help visitors from all around the world to get to know Prague through an authentic experience. Basically anyone living in Prague can register on the site to offer their own original tour of the city. More
Old Town Square in the middle of a typically busy tourist-filled summer’s day. In front are several food stalls, which are a relatively new feature for the Old Town. They are selling crepes and hams and sausages and one unmistakable stall is selling what is known as Trdelník. It is a sweet delicacy that is baked on a coal fire; it is tube-shaped, so it rotates around the heat much like a spit roast piece of pork. And it has become quite an unmistakable item, which has been marketed as something which is “Old Bohemian”. I am going now to find out what some tourists that have bought the pastry make of it. More