Tourism in the Czech Republic has dropped over 80% due to COVID-19 pandemic, Prague hit hardest

April and May 2020 saw a drop in tourism of over 90% compared to the previous year, while June showed a bit of a recovery

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 11.08.2020 10:43 (updated on 11.08.2020)

The coronavirus pandemic, as expected, had a large impact on tourism across the Czech Republic, with Prague hit the hardest.

In the second quarter 2020, the total number of guests in hotels and other collective accommodation establishments decreased by 82.9%, year-on-year, and the number of overnight stays of guests in collective accommodation establishments decreased by 81.7%, according to the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ).

In April, the number of guests slumped by 98.9%, in May by 94.1%, and in June the number of accommodated guests decreased by 60.8%, compared to the same months in 2019.

The number of overnight stays of guests in collective accommodation establishments reached 2.6 million nights in total in the Q2 2020, which was 81.7% fewer compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

lockdown
Prague during coronavirus measures / via Raymond Johnston

In absolute numbers, it was a decrease by 11.5 million nights. The number of overnight stays of guests from the Czech Republic decreased 66.7% and the number of overnight stays of guests from abroad decreased by 96.2%.

In the period of April through June, five-star hotels in the Czech Republic saw a drop of 93.1% in the number of guests, the largest drop in any hotel category. Pensions did better, with a 72.4% drop compared to the same three months in 2019.

In total, 988,007 guests used a collective accommodation establishments in Q2 2020, which was a decrease by 82.9% year on year. Compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, it was a decrease by 4.8 million guests.

“A ban on traveling, closure of borders and also of accommodation establishments resulted in a drop of guests from the Czech Republic to the level of 30.4% of the last year´s result. The restrictions were reflected even much more in numbers of guests from abroad, only 4.3% of foreigners accommodated compared to the corresponding period of 2019,”

Prague was the most affected region. It saw 138,187 guests and 255,652 overnight stays in Q2 2020. This was a decrease of 93.6% in total guests and 94.9% in total overnight stays. Czechs predominated, accounting for 92,457 guests and 164,209 overnight stays.

Spa colonnade in Karlovy Vary
Spa colonnade in Karlovy Vary

“Unfortunately, current data from the Czech Statistical Office confirm the most pessimistic scenarios of the impact of the coronavirus crisis on tourism in Prague. However, the measures we have taken to support tourism on behalf of the capital are as successful as possible and are successful in motivating domestic tourists to visit Prague. They at least partially dampen this drastic decline,” says councilors. Prague City Councilor Hana Třeštíková (Praha sobě), responsible for culture and tourism, said.

In order to mitigate the effects of coronavirus and restart tourism in Prague, the capital city of Prague, together with Prague City Tourism, launched the In Prague at Home campaign in mid-June. The president of the Confederation of Trade and Tourism, Tomáš Prouza, estimates that thanks to this campaign, the decline of the entire sector will be about a quarter smaller.

Representatives of Prague City Tourism point out  that tourism now targets mainly domestic and cross-border tourists. Visitors from the United States and Asian countries, such as China and South Korea, are not expected until next year at the earliest.

Accommodation providers in the Karlovy Varyregion also missed over 1 million nights that guests did not spent there. The number of guests in collective accommodation establishments decreased nationwide in all Czech regions.

Restrictions of international movements of persons influenced inbound tourism and affected all source foreign markets. The numbers of both arrivals and overnight stays decreased by over 90% as for guests from all surveyed countries, except for Slovakia, where it was at 84.1%, with 31,568 guests. The largest number of guests came from Germany, with 49,896 people accommodated, or 91.2% fewer than in the previous year. All of the top 10 countries for foreign guests were in the European Union.

The coronavirus crisis had also an impact on spa accommodation establishments. They were closed in April and were gradually opening during May. The government offered incentives to get Czechs to visit spas, but this could not make up for the big drop.

Results for the whole Q2 2020 show that the number of guests amounted to one-fourth; however, it consisted mainly by guests from the Czech Republic. In total, approximately 57,000 guests accommodated in spas, of which 51,000 were Czechs. In the year-on-year comparison, the number of residents decreased by 61.5% and that of non-residents dropped by 94.1% compared to the same time in 2019.