Photo Credit: Prague Convention Bureau

“The newly created Roadmap is our strategic concept for the next several years”

The City’s leaders, together with the Prague City Tourism co. and in cooperation with the Prague City Hall Institute of Planning and Development, have drawn up a Business Roadmap for tourist visits to the Capital City of Prague. Its purpose is to balance the economic benefits of tourism with the strategic interest of the city and its residents. It thus sets up a new, comprehensive and sustainable approach to tourism issues in the capital. The Roadmap was unanimously approved by Prague elected representatives on Thursday, October 15, 2020.

“The newly created Roadmap is our strategic concept for the next several years, to maximize the positives of tourism and minimize the negatives associated with it. We are not only addressing tourism itself but reflecting the needs and interests of the city and its residents. We want to bring tourism to a new level for a sophisticated clientele, looking for local ambience, and seeking original, authentic and local products and services, spending more per capita,” says Hana Třeštíková, Councillor for Culture and Tourism, adding: “I think we will all gladly see Prague off the list of top destinations for cheap alcotourism.”

The Roadmap is in response to problems typified by the chronically congested city centre, which has trouble coping with the negative effects of overtourism and touristification, whereby the day-to-day facilities for residents are squeezed out and replaced with functions and services targeted solely at tourists. The new Roadmap aims to change that. It is designed for the benefit and better quality of life of Praguers emphasizes the distinctive cultural heritage and uniqueness that Prague has to offer and seeks to create conditions for tourist growth as part of the city’s sustainable development.

Photo Credit: Prague Convention Bureau

The Roadmap will be implemented through an action plan drawn up annually by Prague City Tourism. The action plan will set out concrete steps for each area, in consultation with the councillors concerned. The implementation of the Roadmap will require involvement by all the relevant stakeholders, such as Prague City Hall, the City Districts, key organizations and institutions at city and government level, local residents, as well as the business and non-profit sectors.

The new strategy is preparing for times ahead, as tourists once again begin returning to Prague. Thanks to its provisions, the City will improve communication with its residents, increase the proportion of domestic versus international tourists and ensure commensurate sustainable tourism. The Coronavirus crisis has shown that this is the right direction for tourism in Prague, experts agree. The importance and need for the Roadmap is borne out by the fact that its adoption last Thursday at the Prague City Hall meeting was unanimously approved by all present representatives.

The City is already implementing the first steps of the strategy, hand-in-hand with Prague City Tourism. This includes, e.g. creating new tourist routes outside the city centre. Work is also underway on sustainable tourism branding and greening the city’s supply chain. Also in preparation is a toolkit for smart tourism, namely an app to gather data on tourist preferences, making it viable to set up further follow-up services. This is also linked to the challenge of making the capital a barrier-free, fully accessible city.

Photo Credit: Prague Convention Bureau

“This is the first comprehensive Strategic Roadmap for the Destination Management of the city. Among other things, in the future we want to promote tourism outside the high season and to target visitor groups coming to Prague for reasons other than a quick snapshot on Charles Bridge or wild partying,” concludes František Cipro.

According to František Cipro, Chairman of the Prague City Tourism Board of Directors, the aim is also to improve communication toward tourists, to better inform them about Prague’s rules and regulations, and how to conduct themselves. Prague seeks to do this, for example, by developing night-life zones in non-residential areas, to minimize disturbance. Another aim is to create the kind of tourist proposition that will bring visitors back to the capital repeatedly.