The reason is the effort to increase the city’s income, which is lower than the expenses associated with tourism. The city therefore approved a memorandum with its company Prague City Tourims and the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of the Czech Republic, according to which a proposal to introduce a new price will be created by March 2022. This follows from the material approved today by the Prague councilor. The current amount of the fee applies from 1 January 2020. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the municipality forgave the fee last year. Tourism is one of the most affected sectors.
“I very much welcome the approval of the memorandum, on the basis of which Prague will invest much more resources in sustainable tourism. However, they will not come from the money of Prague taxpayers, but from the residence fee paid by the tourists themselves, “said Pavel Vyhnánek (Prague Sobě), Deputy Mayor and Councilor for Finance and Budget. “This fee is the only tool by which Czech municipalities can directly compensate for the costs of tourism and with which they can contribute to its economic benefits. Prague, with a higher accommodation fee of 21 crowns per night, lags behind both in Europe and even behind a number of Czech cities. The increase in the fee will help the city and the people of Prague, and I am glad that we are also suitable for this necessary step with the hoteliers themselves. “
Not everyone is excited. For example, Ondřej Prokop (for YES), a representative of Prague 11 and the capital, stated that “the councilor of Prague, led by Mayor Zdeněk Hřib, today began a process of dramatic increase in the fee for tourist accommodation in Prague as part of their government’s endless rise in price. And at a time when tourism employs thousands of people, the collapse is collapsing, “he stated.
However, the Prague government insists that this is a beneficial step. The city also wants to support the image of Prague as a suitable destination for congresses and conferences. The city will also support exhibitions, fairs or other important events, whether cultural or business, which attract cultured visitors.
The councilors of Prague vs. Mayor Zdeněk Hřib today, within their rule of endless price increases, began the process of a dramatic increase in the fee for tourist accommodation in Prague. And at a time when tourism employing thousands of people is collapsing.
“We want to show the best that Prague can enter, and thus make its image a destination full of history, monuments, culture and quality gastronomy. We will be marketing campaigns for a cultured clientele, which is the greatest benefit for the city, “added Hana Třeštíková (Prague to Herself), Councilor for Culture and Tourism. “Such a visitor does not choose his destination according to the amount of the accommodation fee but according to what he can find. Together with the hoteliers, we agree that the increase in the sojourn tax will not affect the attractiveness of our capital, on the contrary, it will help us increase it. “
Tourism in the capital employs more than a hundred thousand people. However, the selected taxes and their subsequent distribution do not have an economic link to the regions and their activity within the budgetary determination of taxes. Thus, although tourism is a component of the Prague economy, Prague receives only a fraction of the revenues that flow from tourism to public budgets.
“Prague has historically accounted for more than sixty percent of the volume of tourism in the Czech Republic. We are very happy that together we managed to find a way to systemically finance tourism support. It is also good news for the inhabitants of the city and the Prague entrepreneur, who in many cases are economically directly or indirectly dependent on the development of tourism, “said Václav Stárek, President of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of the Czech Republic.
Residence fee, which is the only one in the field of tourism direct income of finances for municipalities, supposedly represents an opportunity to gain access to funds that will be invested back into the development of sustainable tourism with high added value and building the image of Prague as a cultured and attractive destination. The fee is paid for each night by a self-service facility in a Prague accommodation facility for a short-term stay not exceeding 60 days.
“Due to the budgetary determination of taxes from the city’s point of view, long-term expenditures in tourism exceed its revenues,” reminded the chairman of the board of directors of Prague City Tourism, František Cipro. “This difference is intended to reduce the increase in the residence fee. We will use part of this income to cultivate tourism and we will be able to make better use of its negative effects. “
From 1 January 2021, the Act on Local Fees allows for an increase in the rate of the residence fee from the current limits of CZK 21 to CZK 50. Český Krumlov, Františkovy Lázně or Valtice, for example, have already used this option.
According to ČTK, the fee in Prague is at a significantly lower level compared to other European cities. The mentioned 21 crowns represents about 0.81 euros. According to the document, for example, in Barcelona it is 1.1 euros, in Vienna 2.11 euros, in Budapest 3.2 euros. More than six euros will be paid by tourists in Rome and Copenhagen, even 19.04 euros.
In 2019, approximately 344 million crowns went to the city treasury on accommodation fees. Last year, her city forgave her for a coronavirus pandemic. In addition, there was a significant decrease in millions of tourists and the city collected only 67 crowns, while at the end of this year it was 34 crowns from January to September.
If the deputies approve the proposal, the new fee rate will apply from the beginning of 2022.