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Number of tourists in the Czech Republic halved in 2020


Prague, Czech Republic – The number of tourists who visited the Czech Republic was down by half in 2020, according to the latest figures from the Czech statistical office.

Tourists visiting Czech Republic down by half in 2020

After an uninterrupted growth over the past several years that made the Czech Republic one of the most attractive destinations in Europe, the local tourism industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions.

Around 10.8 million people stayed in collective accommodation establishments in 2020, a drop of 51% compared to 2019. In 2019, nearly 22 million tourists had visited the Czech Republic, according to official data based on collective accommodation stays, an all-time record.

A vast majority (nearly 8 million) of last year’s guests were domestic tourists, who saw their numbers decrease by 28% year-on-year. The biggest fall concerned foreign tourists, who were only 2.8 million to travel to the Czech Republic, a drop of more than 74% compared to 2019.

With the global pandemic restricting international travel since early March 2020, all source of foreign markets remained well below previous years’ averages, according to the Czech statistical office. Germany continued to be the main source country of arrivals (819,000 tourists; -60%), followed by Poland (287,000; -57%) and Slovakia (271,000; -64%).

Czech Republic tourism industry among hardest hit in Europe

Visitors from Great Britain (125,000), Austria (89,000), Italy (88,000), France (82,000), the Netherlands (81,000) and Ukraine (74,000) also reported significant drops compared to previous years.

The biggest decreases came from far-away markets, including China and South Korea, which had become two of the top source countries of visitors to the Czech Republic.

According to a study by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Czech aviation industry was the hardest hit in Europe in 2020, with a drop of 78% in passenger traffic.

Research also shows that the Prague hotel market was the most affected in the EU since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the continent, with room occupancy falling to less than 17% and a drop of 85% in revenues per room.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.