Prior to the pandemic, Sivek Hotels operated six hotels. Some in the heart of Prague. Today, two of them are open and the company has had to lay off sixty percent of its employees. Only one in eight people remained in the company’s reservation department. Orders do not go, phones do not ring.
“Prague is disastrous. We miss foreign clients, for them it is a cursed city. I have been in business for 32 years, but I have not experienced such a situation, and I remember ‘twins’ or SARS, for example, “says hotelier Viliam Sivek, referring to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the viral epidemic of lung failure in 2002.
I also agree with him the latest survey by the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of the Czech Republic. The black scenarios came true and, according to him, the situation in tourism deteriorated again compared to last year.
Luxury hotels, endangered species
In large cities, hotels are below 20% occupancy and the most affected is Prague. There are currently only 18 percent of the hotels occupied. And the worst ones are the cheap ones.
“It doesn’t even make sense to open the five stars,” confirms Sivek, who says no light is visible at the end of the tunnel yet. According to him, the return to normal will not come until 2023.
In the first half of the year, according to data from the hotel association, Prague services and their hotels reached an occupancy rate of 9.9 percent, compared to the previous 26 percent.
Even before the pandemic, Prague hotels in particular were among the most prosperous in Europe.
“We acted like Napoleons, we were proud. Now we lack foreign tourists and the Czechs, with all due respect, will unfortunately not break out of Prague in any case, “adds Sivek.
41 crowns out of every hundred
Restaurants in large cities, including Prague, are also reporting an outage. And the companies that Czech tourists are now keeping afloat are afraid of what will happen in September. The association thus calls for the support of the field.
“Tourism has great potential for the development of living standards of the population and public budgets bring up to 41 CZK from each hundred crowns that the tourist spends. If the government has to ignore any effective assistance to entrepreneurs in the field, tourism is threatened by another collapse in the coming months, “said Václav Stárek, President of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of the Czech Republic.
According to him, there is an urgent need to activate, at least for the affected regions, the “kurzarbeit” program, which will enable restaurateurs and hoteliers to recruit existing staff and bridge this period.