Prague suffers from the onslaught of tourists. It is visited by 8 million a year and the number is constantly growing
The rising price of flats, crowded public transport or tasteless tourist attractions in the city center are all unpleasant consequences of mass tourism, which affect ordinary Praguers. City and state officials are therefore debating whether the city should be interested in further growth of tourism in the metropolis.
In connection with the recent termination of partnership agreements with Beijing, Klára Dostálová (YES) warns the Ministry of Regional Development, which may lead to a shortage of Chinese tourists. However, Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) counteracts that the number of tourists in Prague has almost tripled in the last two decades. Last year, about 8 million of them welcomed them to Prague.
“Prague does not have to worry about the lack of tourists, because over 8 million of them visit here every year. For comparison: in 2012 it was less than 6 million and in 2000 it was less than 3 million. Our current goal is therefore more sustainable tourism. Some parts of the center already suffer from so-called overturism (excessive tourism), which damages the city with too much burden, “Hřib wrote on Facebook.
The issue of the number of tourists in Prague is currently being addressed mainly due to disputes between Prague and China, which threatens to cancel direct connections with the Czech capital, for example. Travel agencies, together with the Dostálová Ministry, point out that approximately 680,000 Chinese tourists came to Prague last year alone, spending an average of around 5,000 crowns. “I did not understand what the mayor came from, so I informed him in a letter about real numbers, which are based on statistical data,” Dostálová told Tv Nova.
However, the mushroom questions the economic benefits. “Tourists who come to Prague for exploration or culture are welcome here. No matter which country they are from. After all, Chinese tourists do not have to resent popular Prague just because their political representatives do so. In addition, the contribution of Chinese tourists to locals is questionable. Have your own travel agencies, accommodation services or restaurants. When they shop, they are mainly in safe boutique-type businesses in Paris. This does not directly benefit ordinary Prague residents, “he wrote on Facebook.
Hřib spoke earlier for Echo24 about the effort to correct tourism. “We want to focus on attracting the right tourists who, popularly speaking, spend more money, stay in Prague for a longer time and do not burden the local negative effects of tourism. Which he prefers certain groups to others, “said Hřib. “For example, we would like Prague to address congress tourists, so we cooperate with agencies that mediate their events,” he added.
A large number of tourists also got into the issue of building a new runway at Václav Havel Airport. Councilor Petr Hlubuček (STAN) warns that it will bring even more visitors to the city. “The increase in the number of passengers handled at Prague Airport is clearly linked to the consumption of the number of tourists in Prague. Is there anyone who wants even more tourists in the center of Prague? So that the city center does not serve its citizens and its inhabitants, but only the tourist business, “he wrote on Facebook.
“The center of Prague suffers from an onslaught of almost 10 million tourists a year, and this number is growing every year. On the contrary, in Brno, Ostrava, Pardubice, Karlovy Vary or even České Budějovice, they would be happy for more euros, dollars and yuan spent from tourists. This is how the CzechTourism agency should work. It should offer more to foreign tourists other regions than just Prague, “he added.