Czech Tourism Up in 1Q as Germans, Slovaks and Poles Offset Decline in Russian Guests

1 min read

The FINANCIAL — Czech tourism expanded in the first quarter with hotels reporting a 7.1% year-on-year increase in foreign guests to 1.49 million, lured by the mix of a weaker koruna and offerings at local mountain ski resorts, the latest data by the country’s statistics bureau CSU showed on May 11, according to Nasdaq.

The reading reinforces the overall rebounding local economy with the hospitality industry–except some spa areas– proving resilient to declines by visitors from Russia, hurt by their shrinking economy amid low oil prices and Western sanctions against Moscow for its support for Russian-speaking insurgents in eastern Ukraine.

The Czech tourism sector is the country’s second-largest generator of foreign revenue after manufacturing exports, centered on autos and electronics.

Two years ago amid fears of deflation, the Czech central bank intervened in foreign-exchange markets and weakened the koruna by more than 5% to the euro. The bank also pledged to prevent the koruna from appreciating beyond 27.00, while letting the currency trade freely at weaker levels.

There was a 17% year-on-year increase in German visitors in the first quarter to 328,194, keeping Germany at the top of the number of foreign visitors ranking. Slovak and Polish visitors came second and third.

The number of guests from Slovakia and Poland rose annually by 20% and 19% to 103,895 and 97,265, respectively. At the same time the number of Russians declined 48% on the year to 95,885 in the first quarter.

The Western Czech spa region of Karlovy Vary, specifically popular among the Russians, was the only area in the country where the total number of visitors–both local and foreign–shrank in the quarter.

See also  Tourism leaders from across Asia and the Pacific Look to Innovative and Resilient Tourism

U.S. tourists also visited the Czech Republic in growing numbers with their total up 18% on the year at 51,515 in the first quarter.

The number of South Koreans showed the highest year-on-year increase at 41% to 46,364.

 

Leave a Reply