Tourist numbers rose in 2016

Prague and the country both saw increases in visitors

Tourism was up in 2016 for both Prague and the Czech Republic as a whole, as measured by both the number of visitors and by overnight stays. Numbers for visitors from China were up sharply. Figures for Russians are still down but starting to recover.

Some 7.07 million people visited Prague in 2016, with 6.05 million of them being foreigners, based on statistics from the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ). The number of nights that visitors stayed also increased.

Compared to the previous year, the number of tourists in Prague was up 7.0 percent, with foreigners rising 5.9 percent and residents up 14.3 percent. Tourists in Prague stayed for a collective 16.67 million nights, with 14.89 million overnight stays due to foreigners.

During the whole of 2016, the number of guests to the entire Czech Republic increased by 6.9 percent and the number of overnight stays by 5.4 percent. Some 18.37 million people used overnight accommodations, breaking down to 9.09 million Czech residents and 9.29 million foreigners. The number of residents was up 7.0 percent and nonresidents up 6.7 percent.

The number of overnight stays was higher for both groups than in 2015. In total, there were 49.64 million overnight stays, split fairy evenly between residents and foreigners. It was an increase of 5.4 percent over the previous year.

In all regions of the Czech Republic, the number of guests as well as the number of overnight stays went up. The Hradec Králové region saw the highest increase in guests, up 13.2 percent, and the number of overnight stays rose the most in the Ústí nad Labem region, up 10.6 percent.

A year-on-year decrease of guests from Russia and Japan was compensated for by higher occupancy of guests from not only neighboring countries. Germans increased their number by 6.4 percent year-on-year. The number of Slovaks went up by 11.7 percent and from Poland by 12.1 percent. Higher demand continued also as far guests from Asia is concerned, such as from China, South Korea and Taiwan as well as from Middle East including Israel.

The last three months of the year also showed improvement. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the number of overnight stays in collective accommodation establishments increased by 8.5 percent year-on-year, with residents up by 8.7 percent and foreigners up by 8.3 percent. In total, guest arrivals increased by 9.8 percent in this period, with foreigners up by 10.3 percent and domestic guests up by 9.0 percent.

The number of overnight stays in collective accommodation establishments totaled 9.8 million in Q4 2016; this was up by 8.5 percent year-on-year. Domestic clients increased their number of nights by 8.7 percent. The number of overnight stays of nonresidents went up by 8.3 percent.

A year-on-year growth by 9.8 percent was recorded in hotels, while pensions reported an increase even by 13.9 percent.

In regional breakdown, an increase was shown in all regions. The most successful was the Vysočina region, where the number of nights spent went up by 19.6 percent year-on-year. Two-digit increases were recorded at accommodation establishments in Karlovy Vary, Olomouc, South Bohemia and Pardubice regions.

A total of 3.9 million guests arrived in collective accommodation establishments during the fourth quarter; this was 9.8 percent more year-on-year. The number of nonresidents went up by 10.3 percent and residents by 9.0 percent. The highest number of guests, 1.5 million, found accommodation in four-star hotels. This was by 12.0 percent more than previous year. Some 1.2 million tourists arrived at three-star hotels, this was by 9.0 percent more year-on-year. Pensions reported an increase by 15.5 percent. Regionally, occupancy went up in all regions. The most successful result was in the Hradec Králové region, up by 26.5 percent, and in South Bohemia, up by 19.7 percent.

The highest number of foreign guests came from Germany. There were 461,000 German guests in the surveyed establishments; it was by 6.8 percent more than Q4 2015. Second largest group were guests from Slovakia with 157,000 of arrivals, which was by 8.4 percent more. Third place was taken by citizens from the UK, up 8.2 percent. Visitors from the China saw an increase by 49.1 percent. Guests from South Korea increased by 35.6 percent year-on-year.

There was an increase of arrivals as well as overnight stays from Russia in Q4. From March 2014 a continuous decrease has been shown in occupancy by Russians. But in the last quarter of 2016 the number of guests went up by 23.3 percent and the number of nights increased by 19.6 percent year on year. Nevertheless, annual result is still negative. The number of guests from Russia went down by 28,000, down 6.5 percent compared to 2015, and the number of nights dropped 234,000, down 11.0 percent.

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