Prague Scores Highly in Index of Top 100 City Destinations

Prague Scores Highly in Index of Top 100 City Destinations

Prague ranked eleventh in Euromonitor International's global Top 100 City Destinations Index 2022. Compared to the previous year, Prague improved its position by two places and moved up from 13th place just beyond the top ten. It ranked ninth in the competition of European cities.

Prague ranked eleventh in Euromonitor International's global Top 100 City Destinations Index 2022. Compared to the previous year, Prague improved its position by two places and moved up from 13th place just beyond the top ten. It ranked ninth in the competition of European cities.

Euromonitor has updated the Top 100 City Destinations Index criteria in 2021 to meet the up-to-date requirements of tourism stakeholders to identify cities with strong investment potential and growth opportunities. The ranking compares world destinations based on 57 different criteria across six key pillars: economy and trade, health and safety, tourism infrastructure, policy and attractiveness, tourism performance and sustainability.

The fact that Prague with its 2022 results overtook such well-known destinations as Vienna and Tokyo is undoubtedly due to its progress in several analyzed categories, such as tourism performance. According to data from the Czech Statistical Office, almost 6 million tourists arrived to Prague in 2022, which is up to 2.5 times the performance in previous "covid" years. This performance corresponds to approximately 75% of the number of visitors in 2019. However, the revival of tourism in Prague did not affect only its leisure sector. Once the restrictions on group events had been lifted, the professional conferences and congresses returned to the Czech capital city. "However, we will have to keep on waiting for the return of the pre-pandemic numbers," comments Roman Muška, Director of the Prague Convention Bureau, adding: "According to our preliminary statistics, the 2022 number of events in Prague reached a value that corresponds to about 62% of events in the record-breaking year 2019. However, the fact that people want to meet live again, away from screens and the virtual world is illustrated by the high number of delegates who attended these events in 2022. Although the number of events was lower than in pre-pandemic years, the number of participants attending congresses and conferences on-site reached 86% of the 2019 figure."

As for the factor with the greatest weight – tourism infrastructure, the number of passengers who checked in at the Václav Havel Airport in 2022 is an illustration of its consistent recovery trend: 10.7 million is 2.4 times the number of passengers in 2021, but it is still only 60% of passengers in 2019. The expected development with the announced launch of new routes and the expansion of those already established could increase the number of handled passengers closer towards the pre-pandemic performance by another 2 million in 2023. The prospects for growth in the capacities of Prague's high-end category hotels are similarly optimistic: by the end of 2024, the capacities should expand by almost 2,000 rooms planned. In most hotels, new meeting rooms should be added to the new rooms too.

With almost 50% of the urban area covered with greenery, Prague regularly ranks among the greenest capitals in European and global rankings, landing a high score in the health and safety rating of the destination. The capital of the Czech Republic scores similarly in the sustainability pillar, for example with the area of its urban conservation zone, which is recorded in the UNESCO World Heritage List, and which occupies 1.75% of the total area of the city.

The fact that Prague is not only an attractive city for investment and business, but it is also seen and assessed very flatteringly by its own inhabitants, shows the result of a survey conducted by well-known British Time Out magazine: the city residents and Time Out editors and contributors raised Prague to the sixth place among 331 world urban centres in 2022. They most appreciated the qualities of their capital city within the same or similar criteria groups as those included in the Euromonitor index: safety and health, sustainability, infrastructure, and attractiveness.

The resilience and current state of the analyzed destination pillars were also tested by approximately two hundred conferences and meetings that took place in Prague as part of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union programme in the second half of 2022: "The Presidency of the Council of the EU was an endurance test of the city's readiness for an intense stress load in the form of a number of important events over the course of six months, with high demands on flexibility, safety or comfort. After many weeks, we can dare to say that Prague has passed this test, it has the capacity to host other prestigious conferences and congresses and is ready to meet even the most demanding requirements of the organizers," says Roman Muška.

Paris dominates Euromonitor's Top 100 City Destinations for 2022, followed by Dubai and Amsterdam. At the end of the top ten – just one place ahead of Prague – is New York. The consistent trend of a gradually growing number of the Czech capital visitors in both the leisure and congress segments proves that its offer is far from losing its attractiveness. At the same time, it suggests that in the coming years, Prague could aim for higher goals in the global rankings again.

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