Tourist cards set for 2019 launch

The city is developing a public transportation and discount card for visitors

Prague will issue cards for tourists starting on Jan. 1, 2019. The cards will work on public transportation and allow access to tourist sites. The name of the card has not yet been determined, according to Prague Councilor Jan Wolf (KDU-ČSL).

The city previously approved the concept, but the start date was not announced. The money from the cards would go to fund Prague City Tourism (PCT), a city-operated agency that promotes tourism in the city for both Czech and foreign visitors. The card system will be prepared by the city-owned company Operátor ICT, which also issues the Lítačka card used by Prague residents for public transportation and as a library card.

The card will be sold by Prague City Tourism, and the agency's structure will be changed into trading company.

“I am convinced that such a card has the potential, both financially and in terms of data, because we can get a lot of useful information from the field of tourism,” City Councilor Wolf said previously.

There are currently two cards for tourists operated by private companies, Prague Card and Prague City Pass, but these have not been popular. The private operators also do not provide the city with data that could be used to improve tourism.

Last year, about 51,000 of the privately run cards were sold to tourists in Prague, while more than 6 million foreigners visited the city. In comparison, Amsterdam sold 175,000 tourist cards called I Amsterdam, but that city sees fewer overnight tourists than Prague.

“I'm sure our card will have the potential to sell 250,000 units, and that will increase,” Wolf said when the plan was first announced, adding that people are likely to keep the card as a souvenir. The city is currently working on the design of the card.

London has had success with the Oyster card, which is available to tourists. It works for transportation and also brings some discounts.

The Prague City Council would retain all copyrights to the card and all licensing rights.

The places where the card will be valid for admission or reduced admission and the amount of time it will be valid have not been determined yet. The cost to the customer and other details such as what sort of information they will provide when purchasing it also have not been disclosed.

The Lítačka card, which is used by Prague residents, can be purchased anonymously due to EU privacy rules. In most cases, though, people provide some personal information and a photograph.

The estimated cost to develop the project is Kč 2 million crowns. After that, the card should run at a profit.

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