As an expert on protected landscape management, Michal Hošek is used to working in breathtakingly beautiful environments. However when he was sent to northern Georgia in 2012 he had no idea of the ties that would bind him to its pristine nature and warmhearted people. He recently visited Radio Prague’s studio to talk about his work in Georgia, his love for the country and the challenges of developing a tourist infrastructure in a country still largely undiscovered.
Czech hotels and other accommodation facilities saw a record number of tourists in the second quarter of 2019. According to data released by the Czech Statistics Office on Thursday, the overall number of tourists accommodated in Czech hotels, bed and breakfasts and campsites reached 5.8 million, which in an increase by 4.9 percent on the previous year.
Czechia has 12 cities, towns and other historic sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List. They are as diverse as the magnificent center of Prague and rural cottages in the village of Holašovice in the South of Bohemia. Does inclusion on the prestigious list still help local authorities to keep them preserved? And aren’t the growing crowds of tourists becoming more of a problem? Vít Pohanka looked for the answers, both in the Czech Republic and at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.
A ban on beer bikes in the centre of Prague which was so have come into
force in August will have to be postponed due to a complaint filed by firm
supplying the Beer bike Prague company with beer.
The postponement was confirmed on Friday by Prague Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr, who said it would take a matter of weeks to respond to the complaint.
Prague City Hall has been fighting to restrict various commercial activities in the city centre which are kitschy or tarnish the image of Prague.
These include various Disneyland characters on Old Town Square, Segways which were banned at the end of 2016 and most recently beer bikes which city hall has described as “alco-tourism”.
Prague Castle remains to be the most popular tourist destination in the
Czech Republic, according to figures put together by Czech Tourism agency.
Last year, it attracted over 2.4 million tourists, a nearly three-percent
The Petřín funicular with over two million visitors placed second, while Prague Zoo was the third most visited site with over 1.4 million visitors.
Among the other top 10 most visited landmarks are Prague's Old Jewish quarter and the Petřín tower, as well as the former industrial complex of Dolní Vítkovice in the North Moravian city of Ostrava.
Janek Rubeš is the face of Honest Guide while Honza Mikulka does the camera and all the technical stuff. Their videos, highlighting great spots to see in Prague and warning visitors of scams to avoid, are huge and their YouTube channel has over 435,000 subscribers. Now they have produced the book Honest Guide Prague, with illustrations by Eliška Podzimková, text by Rubeš and photos by Mikulka. I discussed the unorthodox guide book with the two guys outside their “second home”, the pub Lokál U bílé kuželky.
Český Krumlov introduces tariffs for buses entering tourist hotspot
Český Krumlov, which draws over a million tourists every year, has begun imposing charges on buses entering the South Bohemian town in a bid to regulate short-term visitors, Czech Television reported. It is the first scheme of its kind in the country, though similar measures are in use in Salzburg and other places in nearby Austria.
The local authorities say up to 20,000 coaches arrive in Český Krumlov every year. The tariff per vehicle is CZK 625 with advance booking and there are two designated bus stops in the town.
A new guide to Prague, called Curator, attempts to show the city to locals and tourists in a different light. A group of three art historians have handpicked the best of Prague galleries, contemporary spaces, paintings and sculptures, art cafés and art in the streets and interviewed people who have something to say about them. Instead of the traditional sights and overpriced tourists traps, Curator invites its users to discover interesting, and lesser-known places lying off the beaten tourist track.
Václav Havel Airport, also known simply as Prague Airport, has continued to attract more passengers every year since 2013 and a number of new projects ranging from transport, commercial infrastructure and customer service are expected to boost its competitiveness with other regional airport hubs. I asked the airport’s spokesman, Roman Pacvoň, about the airport’s plans for the future.
Czech travel agencies have noted a steady rise in clients over the age of sixty, reflecting increased spending power among seniors looking to enjoy – in many cases –a long overdue foreign holiday. With the population rapidly ageing, this demographic will be an ever-greater part of agencies’ clientele. And a demanding one, at that.