We Intend to Provide Positive Support
to Tourism in the Region
Jan Krkoška, Deputy Governor of the Regional Development and Tourism, has worked in tourism
for most of his professional career. Even though he comes from Krnov, he supports tourism in the
Jeseník Mountains as well as the Beskids. He promotes tourism as an increasingly significant sphere
of economic potential and regional development.
Mr Krkoška, we prepared our interview at the end of
February, however, a lot has changed since. Let me
ask you how the current situation will affect tourism
in the Moravian-Silesian Region?
It is too early to predict the impact the Covid-19 pandemic
will have on tourism in the Moravian-Silesian Region.
What we know already is that each and every measure
imposed by the government has a huge impact on the
current economy. All restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions
and destinations, relaxation and wellness centres have
closed down, therefore I am absolutely sure the statistics
of tourism in the region in the first quarter will be very low.
After a few years showing increasing numbers of visitors
to our region, there will be a considerable drop this year.
However, I believe that the impact of the present situation
will not be as serious as if the restrictions had come during
the main tourist season.
There are opinions that borders will remain closed for
months if not years. What do you think of that?
I am very sorry for these measures as a citizen. On the
other hand, these kinds of restrictions may improve
national travel within the Czech Republic. It will greatly
support local businesses who operate or whose operation
is related to tourism in the Moravian-Silesian Region, too.
I can only pray for record numbers of visitors so that their
loss is minimized.
The Ministry of Regional Development of the Czech
Republic is planning so-called holiday vouchers for
employees and self-employers as job or contract
benefits for their holiday stays in the Czech Republic.
Will the Moravian-Silesian Region participate in such
I have already heard of this support by the Ministry
of Regional Development, and I am very happy that the
ministry is preparing serious support for Czech tourism.
A system of vouchers has already been introduced
in Poland and Slovakia, so I am glad that the Czech Republic
66 ǀ POSITIV 1/2020
will follow. We introduced a similar principle last year
through the project of senior travel, and supported trips to
almost 3,000 seniors who went to see the attractions of our
region. Each tourist’s trip was subsidized so that they paid
only CZK 200. If the situation is favourable, we want to keep
this project going in 2020 as well because there are obvious
benefits to the seniors and to providers and operators of
the attractions and related services.
The government of the region also supports tourism
through subsidy schemes and individual subsidies.
In 2020, we will support the development of technical
sights, tourist info centres, agrotourism, spa resorts, cycling
tourism, and construction of motorhome stopovers.
Nowadays we are finishing the preparation of further
support to local enterprises. Surveys have shown that
the measures applied to protect the population against
coronavirus will hit small business hardest, especially
those in services which also employ the greatest number
of people. That is where our support must be focused.
Mr Krkoška, what is your estimate of the summer
Much depends on how the current situation will influence
our thinking. Even though I expect each and every
person will carefully consider all our spending, I am still
optimistic when it comes to free time and leisure. People
will undoubtedly want to make up for weeks of isolation,
and their passion for travel will grow. The limitations
to traditional foreign summer holiday destinations may be
a huge incentive for tourism within our country. I believe
that the impact of the pandemic on tourism will not be
as serious as in countries directly dependent on tourism,
and I also hope that in August, without any restriction, we
will meet at the tenth annual “How Does the MoravianSilesian Region Taste?” (“Jak šmakuje Moravskoslezsko”)
gastrofestival in Karlova Studánka.
Thank you for the interview.