Heritage sites in Pardubice Region begin hiring guides for upcoming tourist season

Illustrative photo: Ixtlilto, CC BY-SA 3.0

Although there is still little clarity on what the upcoming tourist season in the Czech Republic will look like, several monuments in the Pardubice region are searching for new guides. This year the pool of applicants is much more varied than before, including former actors and writers.

Known for its abundance of medieval castles, the Pardubice Region sees hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Although the Czech Republic currently finds itself in the most severe state of country-wide lockdown, administrators of the local monuments are already looking for guides to work when the 2021 tourist season opens up.

Several sights have already registered significant interest. For example the 300-year-old Baroque hospice in Kuks near Hradec Králové has received 22 applications for the eight guide positions it is hiring for.

In the nearby town of Opočno , the castelan of the local chateau, Tomáš Kořínek, told Czech Radio that the spectrum of applicants is wider than in previous years.

Opočno chateau | Photo: Pavla Horáková,  Radio Prague International
“This year we have fewer open jobs. Last year we took on 10 guides. This year we are looking for just four. The spectrum of applications that we are getting now is truly diverse. For example, there are actors and writers trying to get a job.”

Those who do end up becoming hired as guides will likely have to come to terms with less regular working hours due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, he said.

“There is a bit of a problem in that we can’t exactly tell our guides when they will be able to work, because we cannot be certain about when we will be open.”

Not all monuments are currently experiencing significant interest. For example, the fortress of Josefov in the Náchodsko district has not yet received any applications for the 15 to 20 jobs it is hiring for this year. However, its director Zuzana Stádníková told Czech Radio that this is not a cause for concern yet, as applications typically start coming in towards the end of winter.

Apart from hiring new guides, monument administrators are busy preparing for all aspects of the tourist season which normally starts in the spring. Last year the coronavirus epidemic did cut visits significantly with losses ranging from 30 to 40 percent during the lockwdown months. However, the Director of the National Heritage Institute Petr Šubík recently told news site iDnes.cz that the losses were at least partially covered thanks to the sharp rise in visits during the summer.