What does Bohemian Switzerland need now?

What does Bohemian Switzerland need now?

Help not only with infrastructure, patronage of projects and partnerships or environmental education

HomeWhat does Bohemian Switzerland need now?
CZK 307 million. Currently calculated losses in the tourism industry caused by a large-scale fire in Bohemian Switzerland. Every day they grow by another 5-10 million CZK. The state, regions, cities, municipalities, the destination agency, the academic sector and private entities are involved in the restoration. After immediate help, long-term projects and targeted support are crucial. They were the subject of workshop organized by the Czech Tourism Authority – CzechTourism in cooperation with the Destination and Development Agency Bohemian Switzerland. It was said that the aid is and will be directed to firefighters and fire prevention, to infrastructure including roads, the environment and local entrepreneurs. Every tenth person works in tourism in Czech Switzerland, the area brings 40% of tourism revenue in the Ústí Region.
Cooperation models were discussed at the workshop. It is possible, for instance, to take specific projects under the patronage, establish a long-term partnership, participate in collections or auctions. Companies can also organize events, teambuildings or provide employees with vouchers for accommodation or experience in the region.
 
"The fire in Bohemian Switzerland affected 2% of the territory, especially the main tourist destinations around Hřensko. However, there are still a lot of beautiful places to see in the area, which are not so well known and which can be discovered thanks to new projects. That's why we organized the Restoration of Bohemian Switzerland workshop, to connect entities that can help with the renewal," says Jan Herget, Director of the Czech Tourism Authority – CzechTourism and adds: "Currently, would help entrepreneurs in Bohemian Switzerland a lot if companies that plan work conferences, teambuildings, or meetings with customers considered organizing these events in Bohemian Switzerland. I want to thank everyone who is helping and let the ones who are considering help know that they can do so through the Destination Agency Bohemian Switzerland."
 
"The Ministry of Regional Development is ready to help as much as possible where it can. Either through the planned program for the restoration of municipal and regional property after natural disasters, or a potential revision of national programs in the field of rural support and tourism. The Integrated Regional Operational Program (IROP) will provide significant assistance," says Deputy Minister for Regional Development Jan Fluxa and adds: "We also want to initiate negotiations for the possibilities of obtaining money for the Czech Republic from the European Union Solidarity Fund. These funds are intended precisely for the restoration of territories after disasters, such as wildfire."
 
"The fire in Bohemian Switzerland led, among other things, to the cancellation of up to 60% of hotel reservations. As the extinguishing was successful and individual locations are becoming accessible, we are specifying the impact on tourism. Currently, we are at losses of CZK 307 million, which arose during the fires and continue to grow. Final amount will depend, besides other factors, on when and for how long will tourists return," says Jan Šmíd, Director of the Destination and Development Agency České Švýcarsko o. p. s. and adds: "The speed of tourism recovery also depends on the cooperation of public and private sectors. We outlined possible models and topics, such as ecological transport including electromobility, during the workshop. I am happy that the potential partners who attended this work meeting found themselves in many of them and promised to continue to be involved in them."
 
Cooperation is also possible through an environmental education and programs for schools. There are conference and accommodation facilities, an information center and an interactive exhibition in the House of Bohemian Switzerland, which is operated by the local destination agency. Hundreds of children attend educational programs with an environmental focus every year, and 30,000 to 40,000 people visit the House of Bohemian Switzerland every year. It is clear now that regards the renewal of the region after the conflagration, it will be necessary to address, besides other things, water resources, access paths to Pravčická Gate and to popular gorges, destroyed roads or support for entrepreneurs in the tourism industry.
 
"Bohemian Switzerland is one of the four destinations of the Ústí Region. The fire also touched the other ones, people are worried to travel around the whole region. However, as was also said at the workshop, 2% of the area in Bohemian Switzerland was on fire, which means that other locations worth seeing were not affected at all. We will be very happy if people discover our region, the Labská cycle path is magical, we have ferratas in Děčín, you can climb the highest mountain of Central Bohemian Highlands Milešovka, taste famous wine in Litoměřice area or swim in the Most and Milada lakes, which were created by wiping out the consequences of mining activities in places of former mines and quarries," says Jiří Válka, Head of the Tourism Department of the Ústí Region, and adds: "As far as Bohemian Switzerland is concerned, we are already preparing with the Club of Czech Tourists and the ČEZ Group the renewal of tourist signage, environmental education in cooperation with the Forests of the Czech Republic and we would certainly welcome more events organized in our region."
 
Although the firemen managed to put out the fire, the situation is not yet optimal, it must be constantly monitored. "Hřensko is already open for visitors, excluding the Pravčická Gate and the Kamenice gorges, where a geological survey of stability of the rocks is, because of safety, currently underway. Yet, there are a lot of attractive sights to visit in Bohemian Switzerland and gradual restoration is taking place," says Richard Nagel, Director of the Public Relations Department of the Bohemian Switzerland National Park.
 
The workshop also attended representatives of ČEZ, Mattoni 1873 and Sazka group. These companies have often helped Bohemian Switzerland in the past, now they are interested in possible long-term projects. The businesses appreciated that the possible models of cooperation mentioned previously were discussed at the meeting, including, projects in the field of electromobility, the development of bicycle touring or environmentally friendly transport. The ten priorities of sustainable tourism in the Ústí Region consists, for example, of the development of public transport, building infrastructure, cross-border cooperation, solving problems associated with overtourism or supporting summit route Hřebenovka.
 
CzechTourism is informing about Bohemian Switzerland by all available means. In addition to the corporate website, is continuously updating the largest tourist portal in Europe, Kudy z nudy. It also deals with awareness and promotion of concrete area, as well as of the entire Czech Republic, abroad through the Visit Czech Republic portal and foreign representations of the agency.