Prague, Aug 17 (CTK) - The number of guests staying at Czech accommodation facilities sank by 8.5 percent year-on-year to 5.37 million in the first half of 2009, which is the worst figure in the past years, the Czech Statistical Office (CSU) said Monday.
The number of overnight stays decreased at a similar pace, statisticians said.
"This year's season is the worst for hotel owners in the past 20 years," Viliam Sivek, the owner of the EuroAgentur Hotels & Travel network and head of the Association of Czech Travel Agents, told CTK.
Hotels registered a significant fall above all in the number of foreign guests. The number of foreigners staying at Czech hotels amounted to 2.7 million in the first half, a year-on-year drop of 12 percent.
Moreover, the length of foreigners' stay in the Czech Republic is getting increasingly shorter. The number of foreign guests' stays in the country fell by 14 percent to 8 million.
Visitor numbers decreased for all the ten nationalities which visit the Czech Republic most often, with Britons and Russians showing the biggest year-on-year drop of 27 percent and 19 percent, respectively.
According to the CzechTourism agency, the number of visitors from Britain was up to 35 percent lower year-on-year.
The number of Czech guests staying at domestic hotels decreased by 4.4 percent year-on-year to 2.65 million, but their stays were longer.
The number of Czech tourists' overnight stays at domestic accommodation facilities dipped by less than 3 three percent, exceeding slightly the number of foreigners' overnight stays.
Sales generated by accommodation facilities dropped by 16 percent year-on-year in the first half owing to a fall in guest numbers and a related price war as well as a general drop in prices.
The worst month in the first half for the sector of accommodation services was June when sales slumped by 21 percent.
All types of accommodation facilities registered a fall, with four-star hotels faring the best with only a 2.5 percent drop in guest numbers. The other hotels and guest houses all lost around one-tenth of their clients.
The worst situation has been in campsites for some time already whose guest numbers were almost 30 percent lower year-on-year in the first half of this year.
All regions, including Prague, registered a drop in tourist numbers. The worst affected region was the Jihomoravsky region in southern Moravia with a 17 percent year-on-year decline in tourist numbers in January-June. The number of foreigners visiting the region fell by almost a quarter.
Visitor numbers in the Ustecky region in northern Bohemia also dropped at a double-digit pace.
Despite the drop in visitor numbers, the Jihomoravsky region maintained the second place in the chart of the most often visited regions after Prague which saw guest numbers decrease by one-tenth. The Kralovehradecky region came third.
In the second quarter of the year, the number of overnight stays at Czech accommodation facilities sank by 8.6 percent on the year to 8.8 million, and guest numbers fell by 8.6 percent to 3.1 million, the CSU said.
Net use of rooms of hotels and similar establishments was 41.1 percent in the second quarter of 2009, down by 3.3 percentage points over the same year-ago period.
The highest use of rooms of more than 50 percent was recorded at four-star hotels.
Guest numbers in H1
Region Tourists in H1 Yr/yr change Of which foreigners Yr/yr change
Prague 1,925,151 - 9.0 pct 1,664,447 - 10.8 pct
Stredocesky 267,900 - 4.2 pct 67,885 - 13.9 pct
Jihocesky 327,634 - 4.7 pct 114,501 - 9.5 pct
Plzensky 199,030 - 7.1 pct 63,025 - 10.4 pct
Karlovarsky 296,219 - 8.3 pct 203,600 - 11.2 pct
Ustecky 140,495 - 13.8 pct 47,987 - 21.3 pct
Liberecky 315,200 - 7.7 pct 90,290 - 12.0 pct
Kralovehradecky 428,251 - 5.6 pct 125,670 - 15.3 pct
Pardubicky 151,328 - 6.8 pct 23,786 - 10.3 pct
Vysocina 163,166 - 8.3 pct 22,138 - 14.1 pct
Jihomoravsky 442,449 - 16.9 pct 162,152 - 23.0 pct
Olomoucky 195,884 - 7.2 pct 40,210 - 12.8 pct
Zlinsky 214,085 - 9.2 pct 30,748 - 13.6 pct
Moravskoslezsky 303,565 - 4.2 pct 59,132 - 10.4 pct
CR TOTAL 5.37 mil. - 8.5 pct 2.72 mil. - 12.2 pct
Foreign tourists in CR in H1 by countries
Country Tourist numbers Yr/yr change
Germany 629,301 - 8.5 pct
Italy 179,699 - 6.3 pct
Great Britain 173,787 - 27 pct
Poland 172,919 - 7.3 pct
Russia 161,281 - 18.7 pct
Slovakia 136,494 - 5.0 pct
USA 114,300 - 15.7 pct
France 103,773 - 7.9 pct
Netherlands 77,995 - 20.1 pct
Austria 76,634 - 2.2 pct
source: CSU, CzechTourism
Zdroj : Prague Daily Monitor