Prague ranked seventh best by TripAdvisor

City Hall says its long-term strategy to promote culture is paying off

Prague came in seventh among the top 25 destinations in the world on the TripAdvisor rankings for 2018. This is an improvement from ninth place in the previous ranking. The results are based on input from users of the travel information site.

The top spot this year went to Paris, followed by London, Rome, Bali, Crete and Barcelona.

Prague came ahead of Marrakech, Istanbul and New York, which rounded out the top ten.

The description of Prague used by TripAdvisor could use some updating:“The bohemian allure and fairytale features of Prague make it a perfect destination for beach-weary vacationers who want to immerse themselves in culture. You could devote an entire day to exploring Pražský hrad (Prague Castle), then refueling over a hearty dinner at a classic Czech tavern. Spend some time wandering the Old Town Square before heading over to gape at The Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock. Prague’s best bars are found in cellars, where historic pubs set the scene for a night of traditional tippling.”

Cocktail bars have taken over from cellars, and fine international dining has pushed taverns into obscurity, at least in the center. And the Astronomical Clock is under repair.

City Hall was pleased with the ranking. “The location of Prague on the seventh rung of the most attractive destinations in the world in the ranking by the popular TripAdvisor travel portal is not accidental. When I became city counselor for culture, monument care and tourism in November 2014, there was a clear goal in front of me: Get the most out of the enormous Prague architectural and historical heritage, with special emphasis on protecting it,” City Councilor Jan Wolf said on the City Hall website.

“Prague, however, was and is an important center of culture and social life. And we have achieved significant progress and success in this area. For 2018, the city budget allocates 3.56 percent in this area, which is more than a 1 percent increase compared to 2014. For comparison, the Ministry of Culture from the budget gives culture not even 1 percent. If we add to this the constant support of congress tourism and a good security situation, it is no accident that Prague, for example, outstripped Vienna in tourism in terms of number of visitors,” Wolf said.

“What, however, I consider to be an important current trend, is the increasing attractiveness of Prague for non-European visitors, especially from Asian countries or the United States of America,” he added.

Direct flights to several cities in China have helped to boost Asian tourism. A new direct route from Prague to Philadelphia was also just launched.

The Czech Republic as a whole saw a record number of tourists last year, according to the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ). The number of guests in collective accommodation establishments during 2017 broke 20 million for the first time to hit 20,061,635; this was by 1.7 million more than in 2016, an increase of 9.1 percent.

There were more 850,000 more foreigner tourists in 2017 in the Czech Republic compared to previous year.

Prague had a total of 7,652,865 tourists in 2017, including 6.6 million foreigners. Overall, it was a 7.4 percent increase over the previous year.

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