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International Property News

Tourist numbers in CZ up 10.5% in Q1

21th May 2008

Accommodation facilities in the Czech Republic recorded 2.6 million guests in the first quarter of 2008, a year-on-year increase of 10.5 percent, the Czech Statistical Office (CSU) said Tuesday.

The number of overnight stays increased by 6.8 percent on the year to 8.2 million.

The number of foreign and domestic tourists was identical, reaching 1.3 million. The growth equalled 8.5 percent with foreigners and 12.6 percent with Czech tourists.

The increase in foreign guest numbers was influenced by the shift of Easter holidays from April to March. Foreign tourists were interested in particular in Czech spa resorts that recorded a 14.9 percent rise in arrivals and a 13.5 percent growth in overnight stays.

The increase in domestic holidaymakers reflected better conditions on Czech mountains compared with last year, and the higher popularity of wellness spa programmes in the low season.

This year's growth exceeded even the most optimistic experts' estimates, said Jaromir Beranek, head of analytical company Mag Consulting.

The growth was one of the highest increases in the past few years. Among the factors that had positively affected the number of accommodated guests was also favourable weather for city tourism, Beranek said.

But he also warned against excessive optimism, pointing to a long-term trend towards the shortening of the average length of a stay.

The trend is apparent above all with Czech guests who want to save the costs of a stay. Czechs spent an average 3.56 nights in domestic hotels in 2005 compared with 3.13 nights this year.

The largest number of guests (one third) were accommodated in three-star hotels that showed the biggest growth in arrivals at 16.3 percent. Five-star hotels registered a 12.8 percent rise and four-star hotels, where most clients are foreigners, recorded a 15.3 percent increase. The number of domestic guests who however do not use these types of accommodation frequently rose by nearly 30 percent on the year in four-star hotels.

In the first quarter, 34.6 percent of the tourists visited Prague, and 10.4 percent came to the Kralovehradecky region, western Bohemia.

The number of overnight stays went up 5.5 percent to 4.3 million with foreign tourists, with a 8.3 percent rise recorded for domestic guests. The average number of overnight stays dipped by 0.1 night to 3.2 nights.

Net room occupancy reached 37.4 percent, up 1.7 points against a year ago. Hotels had occupancy at 40.5 percent, with the largest rate of 50.9 percent shown by five-star hotels.

The largest number of tourists (319,215) came from Germany, as usual. The number of German guests increased by 5 percent year-on-year.

Germany was followed by Great Britain with 120,396 tourists, but the number of Britons visiting the Czech Republic fell by 11 percent on the year.

Russia placed third with 89,142 guests, up by 36 percent, ahead of Italy. The number of Italian guests decreased by 12 percent on the year to 87,093.

The biggest increase of 55 percent was recorded for tourists from Spain, followed by Poles with a 37-percent growth.

Nearly 13 million guests stayed at Czech accommodation facilities last year, of which 6.7 million came from abroad.

The number of foreign tourists will grow by further 3 to 5 percent in 2008, says a forecast by Mag Consulting.

The share of tourists from Eastern Europe will continue to increase further and the average length of a stay will continue to shorten, Mag Consulting said.

Source: Prague Monitor
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