A sharp decline in total tourist numbers of 51% compared to 2019, a drop in international tourist arrivals of 75% and the capital city of Prague severely affected: this is the balance of the 2020 tourist season and Czech Republic. Domestic tourism experienced a less significant decline, but was not enough to make up for the lack of customers abroad. The figures unveiled by the Czech Statistical Institute and mid-February show the impact of the health crisis Covid-19 on the country’s tourism activity in 2020.
1. Eleven million fewer tourists in the Czech Republic in 2020
After the record year with almost 22 million domestic and international arrivals in 2019, the Czech Republic is recording a decline in total tourist numbers of -51% in 2020. While domestic tourism, supported by CzechTourism’s promotional campaigns and the mobilization of the regions, fell by only -28% compared to 2019, international tourism dropped by -75% between 2019 and 2020.
The Covid-19 pandemic has put a heavy blow to the tourism sector and especially in Prague, which has been severely impacted. Domestic tourism, which was able to resume this summer, was mainly concentrated on the regions and especially green areas.
Of the 8.1 million tourists who visited Prague in 2019, those from abroad accounted for 85%. In 2020, the Czech capital, which is mainly oriented towards foreign tourism, is the region most strongly affected by the health crisis and restrictions on travel abroad. Prague shows the decrease in domestic and international arrivals of -72% compared to the previous year, followed by the South Moravian Region (-45%) and the Ústí nad Labem Region (-42%).
2. Average length of stay extended in 2020
Despite the significant declines on all fronts, the Czech Statistical Institute notes an extension of the average length of stay among domestic and international tourists, which shows 3.89 days in 2020 compared to 3.59 days in 2019. “This is the largest increase in length of stay among domestic tourists in 8 years. So if tourism picks up again, we can expect this trend to continue,” comments Jan Herget, the managing director of CzechTourism.
3. Is this the year of tourism recovery?
Figures from airline search engines and accommodation reservations tell us that tourists are not losing interest in traveling to the Czech Republic. But the situation is still very uncertain.
A revival of tourism in the Czech Republic will depend on the easing of travel restrictions and will be driven by the first source markets, which are traditionally the neighboring markets and those from which the Czech Republic can be reached by car, such as the Netherlands or HungaryJan Herget, Managing Director of CzechTourism