- Hans Weber
- December 1, 2023
Czech Government to Invest Over 51 Million Czech Koruna in Michelin Guide to Boost Gastronomic Prestige and Attract Wealthy Tourists
The Czech government has announced ambitious plans to invest more than 51 million Czech koruna (approximately USD 2.3 million) in the prestigious Michelin guide over the next five years. The move aims to enhance the country’s international standing in the realm of gastronomy and to entice affluent foreign tourists to visit the Czech Republic.
As per the Ministry of Regional Development, the Michelin guide will be tasked with identifying 30 captivating restaurants outside of Prague, with at least one restaurant representing each region. Over the span of five years, the guide is expected to recognize 27 restaurants, with five of them receiving coveted Michelin stars. The government envisions this investment as a means to promote the Czech Republic as a luxurious travel destination.
While some critics have raised concerns about the wisdom of this investment, the Ministry of Regional Development has emphasized the potential economic benefits of the project. The ministry warns that failing to collaborate with Michelin could result in a loss of international prestige in gastronomy and a decline in the country’s appeal to high-end international clientele.
The Michelin Guide is renowned worldwide as a leading gastronomic guide, awarding stars to restaurants based on the exceptional quality of their food, service, and overall dining experience. Additionally, the guide bestows Bib Gourmand and Michelin Selection distinctions.
The Ministry of Regional Development has allocated approximately 4.3 million Czech koruna (about USD 195,000) for restaurant analysis and inspection, while an annual marketing campaign will cost an additional nine million Czech koruna (about USD 408,000) over the next five years, with funding sourced from the state budget and the regions.
However, the decision to invest in the Michelin Guide has not been without controversy. Economist Lukáš Kovanda has proposed that restaurant owners contribute to the guide through a fund or foundation. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Regional Development has dismissed this proposal, asserting that public institutions and national tourism centers traditionally finance the guide.
The impact of a Michelin star on a restaurant’s success is well-documented. According to MMR analysis, earning a single star can result in a 50% increase in a restaurant’s turnover in the first year, with a second star leading to an additional 20% increase and a third star resulting in a 25% increase. Tourists also place significant trust in Michelin, with 84% reportedly relying on the guide’s recommendations, according to a 2019 Ernst & Young study.
Currently, the Czech Republic boasts only two restaurants with Michelin stars – La Degustation Boheme and Field, both located in Prague. With this investment, the government aims to elevate the recognition of Czech restaurants on the global stage. By positioning the country as an alluring destination for luxury travel, the government seeks to attract more high-end international clientele, fostering economic growth and development in the process.
Article by Prague Forum