With the first snow having already fallen in the country, Czech mountain resorts are getting ready for the upcoming winter season. At a conference at the office of Czech Tourism on Tuesday representatives of the Czech Mountain Resorts Association unveiled their plans for this winter, which they hope will see more snow than in previous years. I spoke with the association’s spokesman Petr Souček and I first asked him how successful the summer season had been:
The Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism, the Czech Chamber of Commerce, and Atrium Czech Real Estate Management (managing the Flora shopping centre in Prague) held a joint-press conference on Monday warning that legislation passed this year – forcing large retailers to close their doors on seven state holidays – will lead to a net loss in revenues of around four billion crowns across the Czech Republic. Additionally, the grouping warned that the new law would lead to job losses, not just among cashiers or sellers but also cleaners and security. By contrast, the bill had support from the unions as it would allow employees in the service sector time off. October 28 is one of seven state holidays when large retail stores will not be allowed to sell products.
Some 54,000 Czechs are expected to travel to Dubai in 2017, which is an increase by about one fifth on the previous year, Dubai’s office for tourism said in a press release on Thursday. The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing of Dubai opened an office in Prague this week. It is set to launch a campaign in the Czech Republic and other central and eastern European countries to promote Dubai as a tourist destination for families with children.
Tourists are getting ripped off even more in Czech tourist hotspots by retailers and restaurant owners, according to figures from the Czech Trade Inspectorate. It found around 40 percent of businesses were guilty of unfair practices in the second quarter such as overcharging with restaurants frequently selling short portions of food and drinks. This compares with around a third carrying out such practices in the same quarter of 2015. The office handed out fines in 148 cases with the total amount of fines coming to 300,000 crowns.
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.
In Magazine: People in Jindřichův Hradec link up to form human Olympic rings, special mobile toilets are travelling around the country within a cancer awareness campaign, Czech trams in Ukraine all head for the Scrap Metal Yard, Czechs have the world’s second prettiest stamp and Špilberk Castle has a new tourist attraction – a night in the dungeon, bad food and forced labour.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has toned down its travel warning for Turkey. The ministry is no longer advising Czechs against travelling to Ankara and Istanbul, although it recommends exercising a high degree of caution. In the case of Ankara the ministry advises putting off all non-essential trips. A warning not to travel to the south-eastern parts of the country remains in place. Tourists visiting other areas have been asked to remain vigilant, avoid large gatherings and crowded places and register with the ministry’s travel data base.
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