Tourists in the capital will pay more than double for the accommodation fee from January instead of the current CZK 21 per night. The increase to CZK 50 was approved by Prague councilors on Thursday.
“Despite the difficult times, the fee, which is the equivalent of one small beer, has no potential to affect the number of visitors,” said Prague’s Deputy Mayor for Finance and Budget, Pavel Vyhnánek. He added that the capital intends to use the funds earned by the fee increase to promote and develop tourism.
The municipal administration wants to invest half of the money collected in the development of tourism, for example, through campaigns or support for large events and fairs.
Ondřej Prokop(ANO), criticized this decision, claiming that it comes at an inappropriate time given the coronavirus outbreak and the tourism industry’s crisis.
Vyhnánek stated earlier that before the coronavirus pandemic, the city collected about CZK 300 million per year in fees from hotel guests. If the situation returns to pre-crisis levels, the fee increase would mean a revenue of over half a billion crowns a year. Fees from hotels go to the total city budget while those from guesthouses go to the budgets of the city districts.
A few hotel owners criticized the accommodation fee increase at this time. They underlined that the industry has not yet recovered from the effects of the pandemic, and this action will place an additional burden on it. Moreover, they pointed out that such a decision should have been announced in advance so that hotel operators could take it into account in their contracts.