Today: Sunday, 12 July 2020 year

As Prague emerges from lockdown, the city eyes a different kind of visitor

As Prague emerges from lockdown, the city eyes a different kind of visitor

Prague, one of the most beautiful cities of Europe, is using the coronavirus-induced lull in visitors to rethink its strategy to tourism, Emerging Europe reports.

The new approach aimed at helping Prague to cope with the Covid-19 disruption and to improve the whole approach to tourism. The old city authorities want to attract more local and domestic Czech visitors to the capital and making the city more appealing for residents.

While Prague us enormously popular with foreign visitors – over 10 million came in 2019 – they stay for an average of just two and a half days, mostly crowded in the Old Town, which has become a problem for the locals who live there.

“We want a different type of visitor who visits more than the most famous monuments in the city centre,” says Barbora Hrubá of Prague City Tourism.

To achieve this, Prague will run a campaign from June to September which will include discounts and free admission to monuments, galleries and museums.

The new strategy should help solve at least two municipal problems: to create revenue for businesses that are struggling and to make Czechs who live outside of the capital feel more welcome here.

The unexpected bright side of COVID-19 for Prague

One of the good results of the coronavirus lockdown is understanding that Prague, in fact, hasn’t belonged to its residents for over the decades. Now, the local realized that want to know their capital city better.

That is why another part of the new tourism initiative is an attempt to raise further the profiles of Holešovice and Karlín – two neighbourhoods that have become increasingly trendy in recent years.

City officials are hoping that by rethinking the tourism strategy with locals paramount in their thoughts, Prague will also become more attractive for foreigners and more native for locals.

In fact, there is no replacement for international tourism, the municipal authorities say.

“It’s clear that local tourism will never be able fully to replace the hole created by a lack of international guests. Many tourist-facing businesses are likely to fail in the coming year — depending, of course, on how long foreign guests stay away,” Hrubá explains.

But the general picture of tourism in the city is unlikely to change. Once all travel restrictions are lifted, Prague is likely to once again be dominated by foreign tourists.