The government agency CzechTourism has long promoted the Czech Republic as a Land of Stories for foreign visitors but more and more Czechs themselves are choosing to vacation here rather than going abroad. By current estimates, this summer will see a million more Czechs spending their holidays in their own country.
Any Czech will tell you their country is one of most beautiful in Europe and many themselves of course enjoy vacationing ‘at home’, either rediscovering areas they know well or visiting famous places they never found time to see earlier. This summer the trend of vacationing at home has gone up: the reasons are varied – from an interest in active recreation (hiking, biking and other sports) – to fears over terrorist attacks.
The country’s Confederation of Commerce and Tourism estimates that the number of Czechs taking holidays at home this summer will jump by one million from seven million in 2015; Czech Radio spoke to Jana Guličuková who is spending her holiday with her family in the region of Liberec in North Bohemia. One stop? The mountain Ješted, with its iconic space-age hotel.
Another area which has seen a rise in the number of visitors this summer is Harrachov in the Krkonoše Mountains – a main attraction for skiers in the winter – and cyclists now. A visitor by the name of Karel, from Nymburk near Prague, told Czech Radio this:
“It’s very nice here… We opted to stay in the Czech Republic and there are many things to see, many places we’ve never visited before.”
The downside in the increase of tourists is that longer waiting lines have grown in places and there is more crowding than usual at popular sites. But Harrachov’s mayor Eva Zbrojová makes clear all tourists are welcome:
“Every single tourist is a plus for Harrachov and its residents. Of course, this pertains also to fees which the town accrues. We are all doing our utmost to keep tourism at a high level and for it to increase.”
Other popular destinations besides Liberec and mountain areas include Šumava and South Bohemia.