The Czech Republic lags behind in its efforts to bring back foreign tourists


According to the executive director of the Association of Travel Agencies of the Czech Republic, Michal Veber, the Czech Republic lags behind the competition of neighboring countries in efforts to attract foreign tourists, and tourism revenues are still significantly lower than they were before covid.

Even the higher activity of Czech tourists cannot compensate for the decrease in income from foreign tourists. The neighboring states, which are direct competitors, have started to work intensively to get non-European tourists to come to them, said Veber at the Brno tourism trade fairs Go, Regiontour and Caravaning. The Czech Republic, on the other hand, significantly reduced support for the CzechTourism agency.

According to Weber, the Czech Republic lacks revenues of 30 billion from foreign tourists. Since the beginning of covid, the Chinese disappeared, with covid and the war in Ukraine, the Russians. That is, tourists who not only spent here for services, but also liked to buy products typical of the Czech Republic. “We have 17 UNESCO monuments, the Chinese know Czech garnet, Bata, cosmetics. Now he is gradually returning to travel. But no one is trying to restore the direct air connections that existed,” said Veber.

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The ski areas in Špindlerův Mlýn can offer two new slopes by the coming season, and the Melida company, part of the TMR empire of billionaire Igor Rattaj, intends to continue investing in the center. The area in Rokytnica nad Jizerou, which was bought a month ago by another billionaire, Marcel Soural, founder of the development company Trigema, is also awaiting further significant innovations with a new owner. Each of the two planned mountain investments is around a billion crowns.

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The European Union sided with India after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. “But we are not ready for that, to be able to bring Indians to us in large numbers. They can’t travel across half of India for a visa, but we don’t have enough consular staff in India,” Veber said. According to him, this is because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not have money for workers. “But if that person issued a thousand visas for 60 euros (1,500 crowns) each month, and the Indian then spent the money here, the state would make money from that,” says Veber.

Neighboring countries are ahead

According to him, CzechTourism does not have enough money for the necessary promotion abroad. It has fewer than before covid, even though costs are increasing. “Neighboring countries started the race in “Porsche” and we are polishing the “old Škoda”. The tourists are already in Slovakia. At least we have domestic tourists for now, but what happens when they go abroad?” said Veber.

In the winter, Ruzyně will fly to more than a hundred destinations, including for skiing

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In the winter flight schedule, Prague’s Ruzyně Airport will fly to 111 destinations, which is a quarter more than last year. There will also be new connections, for example to Bilbao or Cairo. 46 airlines operate at Václav Havel Airport in winter. This year’s winter flight schedule, which will be in force from November, still does not equal the number of routes from 2019, when flights were made to 121 destinations.


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According to him, tourism directly or indirectly employs 300,000 people and could feed the Czech Republic very well, but the state would have to want to. According to him, the potential is significantly higher. “Next year is the 120th anniversary of the death of Antonín Dvořák, but I have not yet heard the minister (for local development Ivan Bartoš from Pirátů) come and say that we want to show the world that we are a musical nation. Dvořák is loved in the USA. In fact, I haven’t even seen the minister in person in two years. It used to be easier. State administration should sit down with us and figure out how to make it work,” said Veber.

He also pointed out that not only did the minister for regional development not even come to the fair, as was the custom before, but CzechTourism does not even have its own stand at the fair, which was previously unthinkable. In 2018, the share of tourism in GDP in the Czech Republic was 7.8 percent and was one of the lowest in the EU. The data was based on data from The World Travel & Tourism Council.

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The article is in Czech

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