The city of Prague has thrived on tourism to prosper; however, the impact made by the pandemic in the Czech tourism industry has been substantial.
Czech Tourism, along with the Ministry for Regional Development and the Czech Foreign Ministry have launched a strategic plan to combat the negative economic consequences of Covid-19 on what once was a thriving sector.
There was a 50% drop in revenues during 2020, and more than 80% in Prague. This has put around 200,000 jobs on the line, not just in the tourism industry, but in other professions as well, including bakeries, and cleaning agencies.
The 2021 strategic plan of CzechTourism will try to attract tourists from all over Europe, namely from; Austria, France, Great Britain, Italy, Hungary, The Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, and Spain.
This will be done with the help of a campaign by Czech Airlines, targeting France, the UK, Italy, and Spain. The third phase of their strategy aims to bring Americans, Asians, and Russian tourists to the Czech Republic.
However, even if tourism remains essential for the city centre, government officials do express the desire to improve the attractiveness of the city to keep locals happy. Zdeněk Hřib, Mayor of Prague, said, “our goal is to create conditions for sustainable tourism that does not have negative effects on the local population. We are already expanding the greenery in the centre of Prague, fighting visual smog and unregulated accommodation platforms”.
For example, city management aims to improve the image of the centre for Prague-residents, this means locals and foreign residents. One of their projects is to modify Mariánské náměstí for approximately 90 million CZK.
“We are trying to transform and improve public spaces in the centre, which would also become an attraction for Prague residents. In this difficult period, which we are all experiencing, I see it as important to continue such projects and thus give Prague and Prague-residents a positive impetus for the future,” says Deputy Mayor for Territorial Development Petr Hlaváček.
The Czech economy is expected to revive in 2021, with the help of vaccines. GDP is projected to increase between 3% to 5%.
On the other hand, the unemployment rate might grow to more than 3%, while inflation is predicted to decrease by around 2% in 2021.