Slovakia has become the most popular tourist destination for Czech tourists, overtaking Croatia. Some 837 thousand Czechs travelled to the neighbouring country in 2015 – rising by nearly three-quarters compared to the previous year, according to data released by the Czech Statistical Office this week.
Croatia slipping to second was somewhat unexpected: the country, with its seaside, had been the Czech number one tourist destination for nearly two decades. The number of Czech visitors to Croatia last year dropped by eight percent compared to 2014, to some 721,000. France, meanwhile, registered the second-largest jump in the number of Czech tourists: 20 percent.
According to Petra Báčová, spokeswoman for the Czech Statistical Office, there are several factors behind the increased interest of Czech tourists in Slovakia. One of the reasons is the lower prices of fuels, which encourage Czechs to travel to the neighbouring countries, including Germany and Hungary. This season, Czech travel agencies also expect an increased interest in Poland, the head of Kovotur travel agency, Jiří Hájek, told the daily Mladá Fronta Dnes.
Another factor behind the growing interest in countries close to the Czech Republic’s border is the current migration crisis and the situation in the Middle East, Mrs Báčová said. According to data from the Czech Statistical Office, the number of Czech tourists travelling to Egypt dropped by 37 percent in 2015 compared to the previous year. There has also been a marked drop in tourists travelling to Spain (by 24 percent) and to Greece (by 10 percent).
Last year, more than four million Czech tourists travelled abroad for longer stays, which is an increase by 3.5 percent. The number of domestic stays, on the other hand, dropped by 7.6 percent year-on-year.
The trend of taking shorter holidays also continued in 2015. The average time spent abroad dropped from 8.2 days in 2014 to 7.7 days last year. The average costs of an average holiday dropped by 120 crowns per person to 12,468 crowns.
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