Record number of tourists reported for 2016 with most day-trippers

Photo: Kristýna Maková

The Czech Republic saw a record number of foreign tourists in 2016, with no fewer than 31.1 million entering the country. That number represented a rise of almost 12 percent on 2015. However, around three-fifths of visitors did not spend the night.

Photo: Kristýna Maková
CzechTourism presented its latest figures for foreign visitors on Wednesday. The state agency has reasons to be cheerful, as the number of tourists entering the Czech Republic has never been higher.

Indeed, the figure for 2016 was no less than 11.7 percent – or 3.3 million – more than in the previous 12-month period.

Markéta Vogelová is from CzechTourism’s research division:

“In 2016 more than 31 million foreign visitors came to the Czech Republic. That number includes those who spent the night here, as well as those who came for just one day – or drove through the country.”

Indeed, “only” 12.2 million of the overall figure spent the night at a hotel or in another form of accommodation here last year.

Of the rest, 16.2 million were on one-day stays and 2.6 million motored across the Czech Republic.

But however long individual visitors were here, they spent more money as a whole. Their outlay – CZK 228 billion – was 10.5 percent, or CZK 22 billion, more than the total for 2015.

A major explanation for the high number of people not spending the night is that many visitors enter the Czech Republic just to go shopping in the border areas.

Towns than benefit from this business include Aš, Folmava, Chomutov and Cheb, which are convenient for German visitors, and Hodonín, which is by the Slovak border and a short distance from Austria.

Naturally, Prague is the single most popular destination for tourists, with around three-quarters of the total making their way to the capital last year. Some way behind were Brno, Český Krumlov, Karlovy Vary and Plzeň.

No less than 65 percent of the visitors surveyed by CzechTourism said they were “very satisfied” with their stay, while 30 percent ticked the “satisfied” box.

As for their countries of origin, 40 percent were from Germany, 12 percent from Slovakia and 9 percent from Austria.

Germany also came first as regards those who spent the night here, with 16 percent of the total, followed by the Italians with 9 percent and the Brits with 8 percent.