More than 600,000 tourists are expected to visit Prague during December, many of them coming especially to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere in the city. Among the biggest highlights is the traditional Christmas market on Prague’s Old Town Square, which will open this Saturday with the lighting of Christmas tree. I asked Barbora Hrubá from Prague City Tourism to tell me more about what visitors to Prague can see and do during the festive season this year.
The number of Czechs who travelled abroad during the summer increased by 25
percent compared to 2017, according to the data released by ERV travel
insurer on Thursday.
The most popular destination of Czech travel agencies this year was Greece, followed by Turkey, which saw twice as many Czech tourists as last year. Croatia and Italy continue to be the most popular holiday destinations for Czech tourists travelling by car and bus.
Czech tourists spent on average 9.4 nights on their summer holidays last year, compared to 9.6 in 2017.
Prague is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. However, though visitor numbers are rising, the occupancy rate of the city’s hotels in July fell by over four percent. According to the Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants, shared accommodation platforms, such as Airbnb, are mainly to blame.
The occupancy rate of Prague hotels in July fell by 4.4 per cent in annual
terms. Members of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants say the boom in
shared accommodation services, in particular via Airbnb, is behind the
drop, according to a survey by the ČTK news agency.
Airbnb’s share of overnight stays in Prague stood at 14.7 per cent last year, up 4.7 per cent from 2016. The areas renting out the most flats via shared accommodation are the historical quarters of Nové Město and Staré Město, and the district of Žižkov.
The number of guests staying in the Czech Republic through Airbnb last year rose 52 per cent to 1.02 million. Corresponding figures for its competitors Flipkey, HomeAway, House Trip, Vacation Rentals and Vrbo were not released.
The number of tourists in Czech hotels, hostels and camps rose to 5.5
million in the second quarter, a 4.6 percent increase year-on-year, the
Czech Statistics Office reported.
The data indicate that the increase is also due to a higher number of Czechs holidaying at home. There has been a 7.9 percent increase in Czech holiday makers, the number of foreign visitors increased by 1.6 percent.
The biggest number of foreign tourists are from Germany, who make up a fifth of all foreign visitors, followed by tourists from Slovakia and China. Tourist figures have been rising for five years in succession now.
The most popular tourist destination in Prague last year was traditionally
Prague Castle with 2.3 million visitors, a 13 percent increase
The Petrín funicular with 2 million visitors came second and Prague Zoo was the third most popular tourist destination, according to data made available by Czech Tourism.
The city hall on Old Town Square saw a drop in the number of visitors, most likely due to renovation work on Prague’s famous Astronomical Clock.
Prague has seen an increase in tourists from Asia and a marked revival of
visitation by Spanish tourists, up nearly 40 per cent, according to a poll
of hoteliers by state news agency ČTK, which noted some face a shortage of
Some 1.5 million tourists booked accommodation in Prague hotels in the first quarter of this year, a nine per cent increase in annual terms. Of them, 83 per cent were from abroad, with most tourists coming from Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom.
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