The Czech capital is one of the most visited cities in the EU and with the additional revenue it will be able to strengthen its tourism offer even more
Yesterday, authorities in Prague announced their plans to start reinvesting 50% of the city’s tourist tax back into tourism. According to an official statement, the Czech capital will be the first city in the country to start doing so.
The new legislation will come into effect at the start of 2024 and will mainly use the income from the recently increased accommodation fee paid by hotels and restaurants.
The fee is the only direct financial income that the municipality receives from tourists and with the increase, it has now reached 50 Czech crowns per person. This is roughly equivalent to 2 euros.
By reinvesting in the sector, authorities will create a sustainable model for the city’s tourism and boost the cooperation between public and private actors. According to an official statement, this is because the tourists themselves will be paying for the amenities the city environment can provide.
One of the most visited cities in Europe
Prague is one of the most visited cities in Europe, with estimates suggesting that 6 to 7 million foreigners visit the Czech capital every year. Additionally, with domestic tourists, that number can sometimes be as high as 20 million people.
At the same time, it is a relatively small city, with a population of just 1.2 million people and a metropolitan population of 2.7 million. This means that the high volume of tourists puts immense strain on local services like public transport, public spaces, roads and etc.
According to a statement by the city, the chairman of the board of Prague City Tourism, František Cipro, explained that the new policy will help manage that strain, as now Prague will be able to invest much more in urban development.
The future of tourism in Prague
According to City Councillor for Culture and Tourism Hana Třeštíková, the city will invest in sustainable and high-quality cultural tourism, as well as public spaces. One of the main areas where authorities plan to invest is promotional campaigns for Prague’s many cultural offers.
Additionally, this should also strengthen the Czech capital as a destination for business trips, conferences and congresses.
According to Václav Stárek, President of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of the Czech Republic, city authorities have already been very cooperative and have brought quality results for the industry. By introducing the new policy, they will only be able to strengthen that offer.