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Prague redefines its tourism strategy with a focus on sustainability

The target are domestic tourists

  • 20. lokakuuta 2020 17.30
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
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As of last Thursday, 15 October, Prague’s tourism has a new direction to follow, since the capital unanimously approved a Concept of Inbound Tourism. The product of wide cooperation involving political, tourist and planning authorities, the document aims to balance the economic benefits of tourism with the strategic interests of the city and its inhabitants.

Its comprehensive approach sets sights on attracting more domestic tourists and favours sustainable touristic experiences. With this new document, Prague wants to relegate to history its image as a cheap alcohol tourist destination and become again a place for quality living.

A time to reconsider the values of a city

The new multiannual document conceptualizing Prague’s tourism product wants to maximise the advantages of tourism and to minimize the negative effects associated with it, as was explained on the municipal website.

We do not only address tourism itself, but we reflect the needs and interests of the city and its inhabitants. We want to cultivate inbound tourism for a cultured clientele who is interested in the local environment, looking for original, authentic and local products and services and spending more money here," summarized the vision Hana Třeštíková, Councillor for Culture and Tourism.

The concept addresses the issues experienced in the city centre which has long been overwhelmed with street traffic and tourist overcrowding. The economic activity has focused exclusively on visitors managing to push out urban functions of daily use for residents and replace them with functions and services aimed exclusively at tourists, in the opinion of the authorities.

On the contrary, the new concept puts the quality of life of local residents in the first place. It also emphasizes the cultural heritage and uniqueness of Prague and wants to create the conditions for sustainable tourism in the city.

The concept will be implemented through an action plan, which will be developed annually by Prague City Tourism. There will be concrete steps for each area which will be discussed with the respective city councillors. Its implementation will be a joint responsibility of many actors, such as the Capital City of Prague, district offices, as well as other key organizations and institutions at the city and state level, residents, the business and non-profit sector.

Prioritizing sustainable tourism

The time of a temporary tourist halt caused by the coronavirus pandemic has made the local authorities reconsider what tourists currently offer to the city. Hence, the strategy has been worked out so that it bears fruit just in the time when tourists will start returning to the Czech capital.

Prague wants to communicate better with local residents and to increase the share of domestic over foreign tourists. This direction has been confirmed by experts and city representatives who unanimously approved the concept at the Thursday meeting of the City Council

One of the practical ways to create sustainable tourism experiences is by creating new routes leading outside the city centre which is already happening. The authorities are also working on smart tourism application that will collect data on tourism preferences, offering connected services.

One of the tasks remaining before Prague is to become barrier-free. Another goal is to better communicate with visitors so that they are aware of the limits, rules and the proper behaviour in Prague.

Prague wants to achieve this, for example, by developing nightlife that will not disturb the locals as much. The city also wants to create offerings for visitors who return to the capital repeatedly.

"This is the first comprehensive concept of destination management of the city. In the future, we want, among other things, to support tourism outside the main season and target visitor groups that go to Prague for a different reason than to take a quick photo on Charles Bridge or come to Prague for a boundless party," concluded František Cipro, chairman of the board of directors of Prague City Tourism.

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