Long queues have been forming at Prague Castle recently after security was beefed up at the popular tourist site. Now it has been intensified further with the introduction of walk-through metal detectors. Officials say the measure protects visitors, though critics say less obtrusive approaches could be taken.
Beefed up security at Prague Castle is leading to long queues, as tourists are forced to wait to have their belongings checked by a ring of police, soldiers and Castle guards. The latest measures, which have just come into effect, are causing major disruptions at one of the Czech Republic’s top tourist sights.
Although the Czech Foreign Ministry on Friday toned down its travel warning for Turkey, the uncertain situation in the country has led many Czechs to change their travel plans. Czech travel agencies say security concerns have cut the sale of package holidays in Turkey by a half. Only around 80, 000 Czechs will be spending their holidays there this year, compared to 162 thousand in 2015. The price of package tours has dropped significantly as a result.
Czech travel agencies say they expect the attack in Nice will result in a further drop in the number of Czech tourists heading for France. According to the Association of Czech Travel Agencies the number of Czech tourists visiting France this summer will be at least 30 percent lower than it was in 2015 when close to 140,000 Czechs visited the country. At present the country’s biggest travel agency Čedok has no package tours in Nice. A package tour heading for France this weekend, which was to have visited Nice, has been offered an alternative route.
Segway operators in Prague are considering legal action if the city’s authorities go ahead with a planned ban on the two-wheeled electric vehicles. A spokesperson for the Segway Association of the Czech Republic, which comprises 25 operators, said it would sue the city for losses incurred. From mid-August Segways should be barred from city centre pavements, cycle paths and pedestrian zones, where they have become a familiar sight in recent years.
Most tourists visiting the Czech capital converge on just a few spots in the city, crowding the streets along the so-called Royal Route that leads from through the Old Town Square to Charles Bridge – missing out on many other interesting places that Prague has to offer. Now, city councillors from the district Prague 7 have decided to change that. Last week they announced their plan to become the city’s new cultural district with an alternative to the Royal Route.
Prague councillors have unanimously agreed to ban Segways from the historic centre of the city. Once a final vote has been taken on the matter the two-wheeled electric vehicles should disappear from the area’s pavements, cycle paths and pedestrian zones, where they have become a common sight in recent years. Councillors on Tuesday did not set a date for when the Segway ban will come into effect.