Czech Republic

Tourism in the Czech Republic experienced stable growth for almost a decade prior to COVID-19. In 2019, tourism directly accounted for 2.9% of GDP and employed 239 506 people (4.4% of total employment). The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic saw tourism GDP almost halve in 2020 (down CZK 82 billion), with tourism’s share of GDP falling to 1.5%. Tourism employment was less impacted, declining by 17 494 people (or 7.3%).

The country welcomed 3.9 million international tourists in 2020, a decline of 73.2% compared to the previous year. International nights in tourism-related accommodation were 7.4 million, a significant decline from 27.2 million in 2019. International tourist nights fell further in 2021 to 6.5 million nights.

The impacts of the pandemic were less severe for domestic tourism, which returned to 8.8 million tourists in commercial accommodation in 2021, 20.7% below 2019 levels. The relative strength in domestic tourism saw the domestic share of tourism expenditure increase to 61.1% in 2020 despite an absolute decline of 36.1% (to CZK 79.1 billion).

The Czech Republic expects international tourism to return to 2019 levels by 2024 or 2025.

The Ministry of Regional Development is the central administrative tourism body and includes two main departments dealing with competitiveness and legislation in the area of tourism. The Ministry develops strategic documents and supports tourism via subsidies for public tourism infrastructure, marketing activities and support to NGOs.

Close co-operation between national and regional tourism organisations is subject to the agreed CzechTourism marketing strategy, which follows the balanced scorecard model and includes the perspectives of both stakeholders and residents. The National Collegium of Tourism is the consultative and advisory body of the Ministry. It facilitates co-operation between state departments and agencies, professional associations, the academic sector, unions and other stakeholders. The Ministry has also established a co-ordination platform to aid inter-ministerial and interdisciplinary co-ordination and co-operation in tourism which includes negotiation, information and feedback from regions regarding marketing activities and product development.

Each region has a co-ordinator whose role is to synchronise marketing activities across all public tourism bodies in that region and provide two-way communication between regional public tourism bodies and CzechTourism at the national level. Twice a year, there is a meeting of these co-ordinators with CzechTourism and the delegates of the Ministry. Once a year, the territorial destination management organisations are invited to share knowledge, needs and information.

The overall 2021 budget for tourism is approximately CZK 1.2 billion, with the main source of funding being the state budget. There is a specific local tourism tax at the municipality level, but the purpose for which income is spent in that municipality is decided locally. EU Funds will remain an important mechanism for supporting tourism in the years 2021-27, including investment in tourism infrastructure.

The Tourism Development Strategy of the Czech Republic 2021-30, agreed in 2021, is the framework that underpins tourism policy. An Action Plan for the period 2022-23 focuses on the restart of tourism and enabling the provision of tourism services. Priorities include improving tourism management and financing systems, developing innovative offers and experiences, stimulating demand, building understanding through research and monitoring, and focusing on people as a key determinant of a quality tourism experience.

A consequence of the domestic tourism trend has been a preference for active holidays in rural areas, putting pressure on protected natural areas due to increased visitor numbers. Consumers also have higher expectations in regard to hygiene and safety protocols, along with a preference for online communications.

The Strategy aims to move the Czech Republic to t30th place in the WEF Travel and Tourism Competitiveness index by 2029 (up from 38th in 2019). This target will be set in the context of structural reforms, changing the perceptions of tourism both within government and the wider public and focusing on a number of priorities including:

  • Ensuring safe and sustainable tourism.

  • Using tourism as a tool for regional development, including support for the construction, modernisation and renewal of public and business infrastructure.

  • Spreading tourists among destinations effectively.

  • Developing the targeting and integration of marketing communication.

  • Improving the availability and sharing of tourism data and supporting the wholesale digitalisation of the tourism sector, including further development of the TSA and its regionalisation.

  • Ensuring the availability and quality of employees in tourism.

  • Supporting the improvement of the quality of tourism services.

Due to the fragmented nature of tourism in the Czech Republic, activities related to tourism development also fall within the competencies of other central government bodies. The Tourism Strategy supports greater co-ordination of tourism development and integration of tourism issues into other national strategies and policy areas. This includes a range of bilateral meetings and thematic working groups. Typical priorities include co-operation with:

  • The Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about visa issues in third countries, especially concerning the enabling conditions for travel and transport during the pandemic.

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on economic diplomacy and the development of inbound tourism through interdisciplinary co-operation.

  • The Ministry of Industry and Trade on matters relating to entrepreneurship and the establishment of financial support schemes for tourism entrepreneurs and small businesses.

  • The Ministry of Health to promote medical tourism and the design of enabling conditions for tourism services during the pandemic.

  • The Ministry of Culture in regard to cultural tourism development, the protection of heritage sites and sustainable tourism.

  • The Ministry of Environment in regard to active and cultural tourism, nature conservation and sustainable tourism development, as well as monitoring the impacts of tourism and the attractiveness of regions for residents, investors and visitors.

Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD 2022

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at