photo: Petr Kouba, PrahaIN.cz/Hotel Don Giovanni, illustration image
Czech hotels, especially those in Prague, celebrated success during Advent, Christmas and the New Year. After a long time, Prague has approached the level of the surrounding capital cities, for example Vienna, in terms of the number of accommodated guests. But the results still do not reach pre-covid numbers.
The extraordinary success of Prague hotels and the improvement of the year-round balance are shown by the December data of the consulting company STR, which are reported in the press release of the Czech Inn Hotels company. Even though many more tourists arrived in Prague during Advent, Christmas and New Year’s this year than last year, the results are still significantly behind the numbers from 2019.
Tourism at the end of the year has its specifics. In winter resorts, this is the beginning of the season, with most accommodation facilities it is more likely to be a minor interruption in the off-season. But the exception is big cities that offer visitors Christmas markets and an unforgettable atmosphere.
Prague has come close to iconic Christmas destinations
Prague can also be included among such cities. After several years, in 2023 it approached iconic Christmas destinations such as Vienna and ranked among the most visited places in Europe. December sales increased year-on-year by 28 percent throughout the Czech Republic. This is the most after Russia and Turkey.
“The Czech market is still far from reaching the pre-covid level, although the successful December 2023 cosmetically wiped away the overwhelming decline. It is also beautiful to see how any activity, interest, anything brings success. Prague’s Christmas markets attract Czechs and foreigners alike, and you can tell from the results. In general, however, we do this very little, for example compared to Hungary and Poland, and it shows,” said Jaroslav Svoboda, owner of the Czech Inn Hotels chain.
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We are lagging behind in the increase in sales, the composition of guests has also changed
When compared to 2019, the Czech Republic’s revenue growth is far below the cost growth. We lag even behind countries that have lower inflation than us. For example, Hungary grew by more than a third, outperforming us in absolute terms.
According to Jaroslav Svoboda, the composition of the guests has also changed: “Czechs clearly dominate, but they have not fully replaced foreigners from more distant countries. When we have faster trains and better highways, more tourists will come here (of course, merchants and so on). We are simply not enough for Poland or Hungary when it comes to building infrastructure.”
Slevomat already reported the increase in interest before Christmas
Martin Hrubý, brand director of the Slevomat.cz portal, confirmed the growth of interest in Christmas stays to our editors already in December. “This year’s trends only confirm the growth of the whole year. In November we sold 70 percent more tours and stays than in October, a similar trend is expected in December. Compared to the covid years, we sell almost twice as many stays and travel than in 2019,” said Hrubý at the beginning of December.
As he further stated at the time, the vast majority of people traditionally travel for Christmas in two and for two nights. On average, they pay 2,900 crowns per room/night. According to him, the most popular destination in the Czech Republic is Prague, followed by South Bohemia and South Moravia.