It's that time of year again. When the first sunrays glisten off the small plastic replicas of the Petrin Tower being sold on Charles Bridge and the evening chorus of flocks of stag parties can be heard across the Old Town. The tourist season is upon us; another wave of the estimated 6 million people who visit the city each year. And it's no wonder. Prague has a lot to offer as a tourist destination: stunning architecture, cultural heritage and of course you can't leave out the national drink. But I can never help but wonder how many visitors are
A record number of tourists came to the Czech Republic this year for the Easter weekend, according to tourism analyst Jaromir Beranek. He told the Czech Press Agency that up to 280,000 visitors were accommodated in the country over the weekend, representing an increase of up to a third on 2005. Mr Beranek said that was partly due to the coincidence of Easter with the last weekend of the skiing season.
The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has brought over 1,000 American experts in tourism to Prague this week. Their goal is to become specialists on the Czech Republic and other Central European countries with the help of sightseeing tours, seminars, and a trade fair at which Czech and Central European travel agencies are presenting their holiday packages.
A Dutch tourist was injured by a heavy pile of snow which slid off a rooftop in the town of Jachymov on Saturday morning. The 40 year old tourist allegedly ignored warnings and went out to see what was happening when the first pile of snow came down from the roof of a nearby building. A much heavier load hit him several minutes later, causing multiple fractures, concussion and shock. He is being treated at a hospital in nearby Karlovy Vary.
After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 thousands of Western tourists flocked to Prague for their first-ever visit to the Czech capital. This intense interest lasted for several years and together with the city's architectural treasures it ensured a steady stream of tourists. But now - more than sixteen years later - the Prague tourist authorities have a new goal: to keep tourists coming back for more.
Welcome to Spotlight, Radio Prague's travel programme taking you on a continuing journey through the Czech lands. In today's edition, though, not a destination but a look at trends in tourism. This week, the state-run agency CzechTourism, together with the private Association of Czech Travel Agencies, released tourism statistics for 2005 as well as the forecast for 2006. According to the survey, the outlook for the Czech tourist industry this year will once again be favourable.
The Czech Republic currently has several institutions that promote it abroad. CzechInvest and CzechTrade, for example, focus on business and economics. CzechTourism is self-explanatory, and the country's numerous Czech Centres around the world mainly concentrate on culture. But the work of these agencies has never been co-ordinated. Until now that is. On Wednesday the government announced that Czech-Canadian Otto Jelinek is to become the country's first International Co-ordinator for Economic Activities.
A quarter of a million visitors are expected to spend Christmas and New
Year in the Czech Republic, a tourism monitoring agency told
Hospodarske noviny. Most tourists are expected to visit Prague, though
the country's health spas will also do good business in the next couple
Meanwhile, around 12,000 Czechs are planning to spend the festive season on exotic beach holidays, while twice that number will go skiing abroad.
Some 2.9 million foreign tourists visited the Czech Republic in the first six months of 2005, the CzechTourism agency has said. Compared to the same period last year, the number increased by more than eight percent. The capital Prague, the Karlovy Vary region and the South Moravian region saw the most visitors, with Prague taking a 60-percent share in Czech incoming tourism.
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