Czech Tourists Opt for Domestic Travel, Seeking Cost-Saving Measures Amidst Pandemic Uncertainty

As the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Czech tourists are choosing to save money by opting for domestic travel. Operators of popular summer destinations have observed a shift in booking patterns, with Czechs making last-minute reservations for shorter periods and carefully selecting experiences where they are willing to spend money.

This trend is evident even in heavily visited tourist destinations like Beskydy and Lipensko, where operators are offering discounted packages to attract visitors. The price has become an important factor for many travelers. Martina Žáčková, spokesperson for the Valachy resort in Velké Karlovice, mentioned that people are more hesitant and price-conscious.

There has been an increase in last-minute bookings and shorter reservation lead times. This shorter time span between reservation and departure is unprecedented in the past fifteen years, according to Žáčková.

Lipno nad Vltavou, another popular destination, is offering discounted rates for its famous attractions, such as the Stezka korunami stromů and Království lesa. Olga Kneiflová, spokesperson for Lipno Services, noted lower attendance compared to before the pandemic, which may reflect the current economic situation.

Families are also looking to save money on accommodations by improvising and sharing spaces. Jiří Falout, who rents apartments near the Lipno water reservoir, shared that it is common for two or three families to rent a single apartment and embark on hiking and biking trips. This cost-sharing approach is a result of trying not to overspend. However, there is also a noticeable absence of guests who fall in the middle ground of spending, compared to previous years.

The changing demand is also reflected in info centers, where parents are opting for cheaper pendants instead of expensive stuffed animals for their children, as observed by Falout.

Jiří Mánek, chairman of the Lipenska Tourist Association, has noted a decrease in middle-income Czech families, who typically spend their vacations in Lipno. These families now prefer buying food from stores rather than dining in restaurants, which they find expensive. Mánek emphasized the need for restaurateurs to respond to the increased traffic and adjust their offerings to cater to cost-conscious customers.

As Czech travelers prioritize cost-saving measures, domestic tourism is expected to remain popular in the coming months. However, the tourism industry will need to adapt to these changing trends and navigate the economic uncertainty brought on by the pandemic.

Article by Prague Forum

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