Caves Were Popular Tourist Destinations This Season In The Czech Republic
Caves were a popular Czech destination of this year’s tourist season. The most visited caves were Punkva in the Moravian Karst with 114,000 visitors. Koněprusy and Na Pomezí ranked second and third, respectively, in terms of number of visitors. Credit: MK / BD.
Czech Rep, Nov 5 (BD) – 467,000 visitors entered the caves of the Czech Republic this year. 14 karst caves were open to the public until the end of November.
The overall decline in numbers compared to previous years is due to the fact that the caves were closed until May due to the pandemic, as well as the vaccination checks and the obligation to wear a mask in an enclosed space.
“Unfortunately, sometimes cashiers or guides met with harsh reactions from the ‘pushbacks’. Unfortunately, after learning about the restrictions, some of them turned around at the box office and left without a tour,” explained Lubomír Přibyl, Director of the Czech Cave Administration (SJ CR).
Although the main tourist season is over, some caves will welcome tourists in the coming months. In addition to Punkva, the Sloupsko-šošůvské caves and the Výpustek cave in the Moravian Karst are open all year round, unlike other caves which traditionally close until April due to the high presence of bats that inhabit the rock cavities.
The operation of the caves follows current government regulations for enclosed spaces. As of November 1st, visitors who have not completed vaccination or had Covid-19 recently must have a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours or an antigen test less than 24 hours.
This year is the International Year of Caves and Karst. SJ ČR has joined the celebrations with the motto “We look after the caves so you can know them, understand them, and protect them with us”. This year the caves will host concerts, conferences and other activities. For information on current events in the caves, follow the SJ CR website https://www.caves.cz/ .