Czech tourism continues its modest climb as obvious landmarks remain most visited
By BOHEMIST STAFF
PRAGUE – Prague Castle, the Petřín Hill funicular and Prague Zoo were 2015’s top three most visited destinations in the Czech Republic, according to government data released yesterday.
The figures show that 1.87 million visitors took to Prague Castle in 2015, a 4.25 percent increase from the year before while the Petřín Hill funicular and Prague Zoo drew 1.47 million and 1.31 million visitors respectively. It is the first time the agency responsible for the data, CzechTourism, has included “technical” sites like the funicular in its data.
“The four tourist destinations of the top ten are representatives of technical monuments and thus confirm their strong position in tourism,”director of the agency CzechTourism Monika Palatková, said in a statement.
Among the other Prague sites in the top ten include the AquaPalace, Old Town Tower, the Jewish Museum and Petřín Tower.
The overwhelming popularity of such “technical” sites seems to support recent efforts by municipal and private entities to build new attractions in Prague including a 60-meter-tall Ferris Wheel in Smichov and a cable car linking Old Town to Letná. Both have been viewed as highly contentious projects that could ruin the integrity of the capital’s historical center by ostensibly turning it into a playground for tourists.
In a blow to tourism operators this week, the municipality enforced a ban on popular Segway’s and hoverboards in most of the city center.
According to 2016 Q1 data released in May, tourist arrivals in the Czech Republic increased 13.9 percent to 1.7 million visitors, compared to the same period in 2015. Even more encouraging for the growing tourism sector, the figures were supplemented with data supporting an uptick in both spending and length of stay in the country.