Karlstein, Czech Republic - May 26, 2016: Karlstein Castle is a large Gothic castle founded in 1348 by King Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia.

Czech Republic contemplates 10,000 crown vacation vouchers that companies could write off taxes

A plan to give vouchers to employees to spend on domestic vacations is meant to boost the tourism sector
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A government plan under consideration to revive domestic tourism calls for recreational vouchers worth 10,000 CZK. Companies that contribute to employee vacations in this way will be able to deduct the costs from taxes.

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“We are preparing the Vacation in the Czech Republic program. It is a motivational system that will allow companies to offer employees vacation gift vouchers for their vacation in our country in the Czech Republic,” Regional Development Minister Klára Dostálová (for ANO) told daily

Companies that contribute to employee vacations via vouchers of 10,000 CZK will later be able to deduct the costs from taxes.

The tourism industry is one of the main economic sectors in the Czech Republic, but it heavily relies on foreign tourists, which nationwide make up just under half of all tourists. With borders closed, when castles and other domestic attractions reopen they will have to rely on domestic visitors alone.

“There is a risk of losing 80,000 jobs,” CzechTourism director Jan Herget said.

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The Regional Development Ministry is currently negotiating further support with tourism associations, and a comprehensive package could be introduced in two weeks.

Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism (SOCR ČR) welcomes the efforts to help the tourism sector. “State-funded vouchers could be [part of] a strong enough starter pack, because without support many people will not want to travel at all,” SOCR ČR’s Miroslav Dinga said.

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Parliamentary deputies have already approved a measure so that travel agencies will not have to return fees from canceled travel arrangements to their clients, but will be able to reschedule then instead.

Tourism figures are mostly tracked by overnight stays in hotels and similar facilities. The number of people using collective accommodation establishments in the Czech Republic reached almost 22.0 million in 2019, which as 737,000 more than in 2018 for an increase by 3.5%. The numbers of guests had been increasing for seven successive years, according to the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ).

In total, there were 11.1 million Czech residents using accommodations and 10.9 million foreigners. The number of domestic guests exceeded the number of foreign guests by 218,000. Some people are counted multiple times if they made numerous overnight trips.

Compared to 2018, the number of domestic guests in collective accommodation establishments increased by 4.4% and the number of foreign guests by 2.6%.

In 2019, also the threshold of 57 million of overnight stays was passed, with residents also prevailing. Some 29.8 million overnight stays were by Czech residents, and 27.2 by foreigners.

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