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    [img width=525 height=700]http://www.praguepost.com/images/christmas-carp/tourists_winter_lg.jpg”/>

    Some 750,000 came for spas, shopping and entertainment
    Prague, Jan 5 (ČTK) — Around 750,000 Russian tourists visited the Czech Republic last year, up 8 percent year on year and a record number, but the growth slowed down as in the last 10 years their numbers grew by 20 percent annually on average, according to data of consulting firm Mag Consulting.

    Russians are the second largest group of tourists visiting the Czech Republic, right after Germans.

    "Our survey among the biggest Russian travel agencies shows that if the short-term Schenghen visas were abolished or were granted under the same conditions like in Finland, three times more Russian tourists would be coming to our country," said tourism analyst Jaromír Beránek of Mag Consulting.

    So 1.5 million more Russian tourists would be coming to the Czech Republic and their total number would exceed 1.5 million annually, he added.

    Russian tourists are interested in particular in historical and cultural monuments, Czech beer, cultural events, quality tourist services and Czech spas.

    Young Russians are coming in particular for entertainment and shopping and the older ones visit Czech spas and historic and cultural monuments. The most numerous age category of Russian visitors are people aged between 15 and 40 years.

    From Dec. 24 to 31 alone, 157 planes arrived in the Czech Republic from Russia, 92 of them run by Czech Airlines (ČSA).

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