Prague, sixth most visited city in Europe, attracting more UK tourists

As any visitor to the city will know, tourism is an absolutely huge industry in the Czech capital Prague. Millions of people from all around the world visit the city every year - almost three and a half million in 2004, according to figures just released by Czech Tourism. Prague was the sixth most visited city in Europe last year, with the greatest number of tourists coming from the United Kingdom.

Prague continues to be one of the most popular cities in Europe, coming behind only London, Paris, Rome, Madrid and Berlin in terms of the number of foreign visitors last year. And what's more that number is growing, says Czech Tourism in a new report.

But there has been a change in where those tourists are coming from: after many years in which the greatest number of visitors came from Germany, in 2004 they were overtaken by the British, almost 600,000 of whom visited the "city of a thousand spires". This change has been attributed to the wide availability of cheap flights to Prague from many British cities.

The Germans remain in second place, followed by the Italians, with over 300,000 visitors.

The three and a half million tourists who came to Prague last year accounted for around 60 percent of the total for the whole of the Czech Republic. When it comes to the country as a whole, German tourists remain in front - almost two million of them visited this country in 2004. And, says Czech Tourism, overall visits increased by around 20 percent last year.

When it comes to individual destinations, the second most popular - Karlovy Vary - lags a long way behind Prague, with almost 400,000 visitors in total.