CzechTourism has launched its biggest ever advertising campaign aimed at encouraging Czechs to spend their holidays in their own country. The state tourism body’s project aims to promote various kinds of leisure activities rather than specific tourist destinations. Markéta Chaloupková is in charge of the CzechTourism campaign. I asked her if getting Czechs to vacation at home was a big challenge.
It’s twenty years since the fall of communism, but there are some Czechs nostalgic for aspects of life before 1989. Many older people, for example, have fond memories of the factory workers’ holidays organised by Communist Czechoslovakia’s trade union organisation, the ‘Revolutionary Trade Union Movement’ or ROH for short. Now, a Czech travel agency is offering them the chance to relive those holidays at a dilapidated mountain hotel in neighbouring Slovakia. Rob Cameron went there to have a look.
Anyone visiting the area of southwest Bohemia throughout May to October shouldn’t miss a tour of Švihov Castle, one of the country’s most significant water castles found not far from Plzeň. Founded in the late 16th century, the castle represented the best defence system in its day – a combination of high fortifications and moats that put off the most obstinate of would-be attackers. Today the castle offers two tours, which include a look into its inner courtyard, a private chapel and the armoury.
The Central Bohemian town of Beroun has just earned the title of Historic Town of the Year 2009. The prize, which comes with a million crown award for the city, honors towns and cities in the Czech Republic that have excelled in preserving and renewing their monuments and historic buildings. Sarah Borufka reports.
The imposing Teplá abbey complex is sited around a dozen miles from the spa town of Mariánské Lázně, in western Bohemia. Its story is one of an enterprising religious community that was the main force in developing the whole region, its destruction under Nazism and then Communism and its tentative comeback today on the back of tourist income.
Traveling has just become a lot more convenient for Czech gays and lesbians. A new holiday brochure provides an alternative to lengthy internet research to find a place to stay that is gay-friendly. The “Pink Go!” brochure boasts gay-friendly hotels, cruises catering to homosexuals and even gay-only accommodation. Sarah Borufka has the story.
For centuries, the northern Bohemian town of Žatec has been the centre of hops growing in the country. Known as the home of hops and beer, the town is now trying to cope with a decline in its traditional industry. It recently launched a multi-million euro tourism project called Temple of Hops and Beer – but it is also slowly coming to terms with recent history that saw the town’s original German population replaced by Czechs in the aftermath of WWII.
Long standing complaints by Czech drivers that they are being harassed by German and Austrian police have hit new heights amid reports that they have taken a humiliating turn. Former prime minister Mirek Topolánek says there is a clear case that European open border rules have been broken. His successor Jan Fischer has called on the Czech interior ministry to investigate.