Big plans to attract more visitors to Prague's Troja district
Prague's Troja district is one of the city's most luxurious residential areas. It is also the home of Prague Zoo, which after Prague Castle, is the most visited place in the capital. But the district was hit hard by the floods in 2002 and it also boasts two more sites that only a few tourists know about. City Hall is now introducing an ambitious new project that hopes to turn Troja into an attractive place of fun and leisure.
Prague Zoo director Petr Fejk spoke to Radio Prague about the project and its first phase, which will be launched in April - the Troja Card.
"The Troja Card is the first step for connecting three thematic parks in Troja - Prague Zoo, the Botanical Garden and Troja Castle. All three organisations belong to the City of Prague. Our goal is to provide a better service for our visitors and to make it more advantageous for them. The cost of the card amounts to only two entrance fees but you can visit all three places during the entire season from April to September. It also includes free admission to special events such as concerts, exhibitions and activities for children."
"Our visitors are older people, young people, and families but our target group is families with children and we also want to use the Prague Zoo's big visitor rate to help raise the number of visitors to the Botanical Garden and Troja Castle. The [annual] number of visitors to Prague Zoo is now over one million and Troja Castle, for example, has only 100,000 visitors."
How many more visitors do you expect to get with this card?
"I don't know when, but I think the three organisations have the potential to attract two million people to Troja [annually]."
You said the Troja Card is the first step. What are the next steps?
"We have one big problem and that is the service around these organisations. Accommodation for tourists doesn't exist. Next year, a flood-barrier system will be invested in and with the presence of the barrier we will be able to build new streets and a new parking system."
In an even more ambitious project, the Troja district is to be connected to Stromovka Park, the Vystaviste exhibition area, and one of the little islands on the Vltava (Cisarsky ostrov) by 2010. Plans are also underway to connect the cycle paths in the district to a network of paths in the central Bohemian region.