Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Prague

I would like to thank you for staying with Prague City Apartments, we all really value you have chosen us. I hope you found your stay enjoyable and fully satisfactory.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Your sincerely,

Martin Tomasek
general manager
Prague City Apartments

Rough times of Prague’s travel industry continue...(crises in numbers)

Czech statistical office released the data of Czech’s incoming travel industry for the third quater (Q3). And in comparison with the last two years the incoming travel industry is still falling. The hoteliers still dont see any light in the end of tunnel. Worse yet, a full recovery for tourism is not expected until 2013 according to Euromonitor International. On the other hand crisis in travel industry has revealed new markets like “funemloyment” in USA.

The focus of this paper is to demostrate continuing crisis in Prague. The third quater was choosen as the base for comparison with previous years.

Source: Czech Statistical office, 2009

The first chat shows that number of nights in Q3 has degreased in 2009 in comparison with 2008 and the same rule is valid for number of quest in Prague; however, the crises has started before 2008, so someone could expect degrease even in the year 2008. The point is that even if the number of west travellers was already significantly degreasing the number of east travellers was still increasing. In other words the traveller from countries like Russia, Poland, Ukrajine, Romania and other coutries were still coming to Prague in higher number than in 2007. Furthermore the big impact on this paradox had the residents of Czech Republic when the number of guests (app. 43 ths.) was higher than in 2007.

Source: Czech Statistical office, 2009

The confirm the hypothesis of progressing crises this chart would be used as an example. It is very vissible that since 2006 number of quests staying was degreasing. Even if the number of quests in 2007 reached the highest value the progress of overnigh stays per guests was already decling. There may be more factors then only crises, for instance, changing travellers behaviour – Prague is becoming very popular among European cities but it is becoming also as a crossroads for other travellers. The other reason may be in the travellers who are travelling to Europe to know more than Czech Republic or Prague but also Vienna, Paris and other European cities.

Source: Czech Statistical office, 2009

The most travellers are coming to Prague from Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and US. Therefore, they were chosen as a sample for this research. The full impact of crises is seenable in this chart. On one hand UK and Spain has been it by crises at most and on the other hand German tourists has produced similar level of overnight stays within last three years in the third quarter of last three years.

Source: Czech Statistical office, 2009

The number of guests is almost in the same line as number of overnight stays. Why almost? Because in the case of Germany the number of guests is even ingreasing (remember still in Q3) since 2007; however, the number of overnight stays are at the same level and it meas that German market. It could be stated that German travellers like to spend their holidays in near Prague instead of further destinations but the crises has left the impact on them with regards to lower number of overnight stays. Furthermore Germans tend to stay in lower rated accommodation. The habits of UK, Spain, Italy or USA tourists have remained same but either the number of overnight stays or the number of guests has been degresing significatly. It the case of UK the number of guests degreased from 130 ths. in 2007 to 90 ths. in 2009.

Source: Czech Statistical office, 2009

Finally, room accupancy has confirmed our previous words of hoteliers problems. Overall in Prague room occupancy has degreased from 68% (2007) to 60% (2009) in quarter three. The five stars hotels in Prague was hit at the most. As you see, their occupancy has degreases from 72% (2007) to 53% (2009). Degrease in four stars hotels was notably lower between Q3 in 2008 nad Q3 in 2009, moreover, these hotels seems fall slower than luxury hotels in Prague.

And it is obvious that the buying power of west countries is live blood for the hoteliers. The equation of Prague’s hoteliers is:

Lower number of quests -> Lower occupancy -> Higher level of competition -> Lower prices -> Lower earnigs -> ?

Hoteliers have to react. Some degreased the prices, others cut their costs (marketing, personal etc.). They have to find new markets, worth every penny, come up with new customer’s programs becasue regular customers are worthy twice.

If the assumption of European monitor is right and they claim that full recovery will be in 2013. In other words next year 2010 (and 2011) would be the year of higher numbers in overnight stays, numbers of guests or rooms occupancy in comparison with year 2009.



Monday, July 20, 2009

Way Back

We are going to run new website soon; therefore, we were wondering how much was the site changing since its beginning. If the site is from 2007 or 2008 it means that the site is old.

In following lines you can find the layouts of our past Prague City Apartments websites. Please take into the account that some of the images are missing. These screenshots we have been obtained from web archive.

2004


2005


2006



2007


2008


2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Prague City Apartments survey

Dear Sir or Madam,

We would like to deliver the best possible service to our clients. We are going to launch a new website of Prague City Apartments soon; however, we would like to make it user friendly as much as possible. Therefore, we are very interested in your opinion and we would like to ask you if you can spare one or two minutes with our survey.

Survey is focused on layout of new website and it is composed of two questions. If anything is unclear please let us know.

Please follow this link to complete the survey.

http://www.eSurveysPro.com/Survey.aspx?id=79d082fb-023e-4102-b490-ce5e5f8e2092

Thank you in advance,

Best Regards,

Karel Parizek
Marketing executive
Divadelni 24
Prague, 110 00
Czech Republic
Tel.: +420 224 990 996
Fax: +420 224 990 999
Web: http://prague-city-apartments.cz/
E-mail: kparizek@prague-city-apartments.cz

Monday, July 13, 2009

Borsov Pension has a new easy site

One of Prague City Apartments property is called Borsov Pension. It is small but very nice bed and breakfast in Prague. Its main advantage is in a great location because it is situated in the heart of medieval Prague.

This is the historical heart of town, which, due to original architecture, preserves the grace of old Prague. By a few steps from there you can reach a natural centre of the Old Town and the Charles Bridge with connection to the Prague Castle. It is also an area of souvenirs shops, caf├ęs and bars.

Newly reconstructed small pension right in the historical centre offering comfortable accommodation in tastefully furnished double rooms with the possibility of extra bed. Reception is located around the corner from the pension and the keys need to be collected there.

Recently we have decided to create its own webpage of Borsov. It should serve to incease demand of Borsov Pension. You can find rates, location, pictures or breakfast opinion on the site.

See the pictures of Borsov bed and breakfast below:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

10% Discount for our Apartments

Dear travellers,

we would like to inform you that Prague City Apartments is providing 10% discounts to booking of our apartments. It is very easy to obtain that discount. Actually, you need to have Facebook account and you have to become our fan. Please visit our Facebook profile here:
http://www.facebook.com/pragueapartments

The procedure is very simple, just book your apartment, then become a fan of PCA and we will send you promocode which represents 10% discounts and you can use this code fo applying your discount. The best way how to deal with your code is to contact our operators via online chat.

Please note that you have to fulfill a few condition:
-promocode offer is time limited
-the minimum number of nights when you can apply the code is three
-code is valid for one apartment, one-time and for one e-mail address
-codes cannot be multiplied
-the latest time of using the code is 10 days before your arriving to PCA
-code is not valid for last time offers

For more information, please visit:
Prague City Apartments - Facebook discount
Prague City Apartments - Facebook profile
Prague City Apartments - Facebook extended info

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Reviews of Residence Masna on Tripadvisor

There is no doubt that more and more travellers rely on personal feedbacks of other travellers. Therefore I would like to present you serial of selected reviews of Prague City Apartments which were presented on the web of Tripadvisor.com. Our first rated property is residence Masna, see pictures of Masna residence.

Good location, just minor things need to be fixed...

Spent 3 nights in Masna Residence and it was a great stay. Booked through the hotel website, which was easy. Also scheduled a car to pick us up at train station (300 czk). The residence only has reception from 8am to noon. We arrived in the afternoon so the driver drove us to their office first. (I think the residence was under the group of Prague Apartment Rental, which have lots of properties in the city). The girl was very polite, gave us the keys, maps and the driver took us to the residence.

There was elevator to our floor. But there was a flight of stairs before you get to the elevator (which I didn’t expect)!!! It was about 14-17 steps. It was ok for us (but prefer no stairs since we had big luggage…) but not sure for senior/ handicap…

Room was really quiet since it was facing courtyard. Spacious room with a small balcony. The room was equipped with modern furniture. Washing machine in bathroom was a great idea. We could pack light! (No dryer but they provided a huge hanger) There was kitchenette with microwave, cooking utensils, teapot and cups etc. However, the cups and teapot were not cleaned very well. The room was very clean when first day we were there. The daily cleaning service… Really depends. I found that the cleaning team didn’t clean the floor well. Especially bathroom. Last day of our stay, cleaning team did a better job.

Location was great: Bohemia Bagel across the street, which offers tasty breakfast in affordable price (I think they open till very late too). 10-15 mins walk to Power Gate, Old Town Hall and Black Madonna. There was a convenience store close by opened till 11pm. Also some restaurants/ pubs on the same street. Another PLUS was the free usage of WI-FI. It was not the fastest but reception was ok.

Overall a very happy stay. And price is reasonable. Will recommend to friends.

Beats staying at a hotel

My wife, 2 young boys (5 and 7 y.o.) and I stayed at Residence Masna Room 201 for 4 nights. Not having been to Prague before and lugging around several pieces of luggage and 2 not so cooperative little boys, sort of forced my hand to avail of the transfer service provided by Prague City Apartments (the company that manages Residence Masna with several other properties). For 500 Czech Crowns, we were picked up from the airport in a roomy mini-van, brought to the Prague City Apartments central office within Prague Old Town for an efficient check-in and ultimately brought to Residence Masna which was nearby. Given our circumstances, the 500 Crowns was well worth it and I availed of the transfer back to the airport as well.

The room was a studio type arrangement with a bed, sofa, dining table and kitchenette all together. The sofa also served as a second, smaller bed where my kids then slept. The bathroom was quite large, possibly because the washing machine was inside it as well. There was in fact only a shower rather than a bath inside but the room was large enough that you can lay out a clothes drying rack provided with the room. Everything was clean when we arrived and daily cleaning was carried out as well by staff.

The kitchenette had a small refrigerator, a 4-burner gas stove, a microwave oven, coffee maker and a hot water pot. There was sufficient cutlery as well as plates, cups and glasses but what we found lacking somehow were pots and pans. There was a fry pan and a small and large sauce pan. The large sauce pan was missing its cover and the fry pan's non-stick surface was already scratched away from misuse. This made cooking a bit of an inconvenience but since my kids were picky eaters, it still made more sense to do so rather than keep eating out.

There was a TV, DVD and a satellite receiver with hundreds of channels, though for the most part, most of the good channels (e.g. Eurosport, Cartoon Network, Discovery, Nat Geo) were encrypted and not viewable. Luckily, my wife brought with her a pack of DVDs so this kept the kids occupied those times we were stuck in the apartment.

The apartment was in a nice location. A quiet side street close to Republic Square and Old Town Square. Both were within a 5 to 10 minute walking distance of the apartment. At Republic Square there was the Metro station as well as a tram stop. Kotva Department Store and the new Palladium mall provided excellent shopping options. There were Albert Supermarkets at both Kotva and Palladium, while Tesco was a couple of Metro stops away at Narodni Trida. Next to the apartment itself was a Japanese Restaurant and a branch of Bohemia Bagel.

WiFi was available, but not sure if it was simply our location but the signal was quite weak at our room. So much so that I had to connect using the free WiFi service of the coffee shop located across the apartment. There was also an in-room safe that somehow had a defective keypad. It so happened that my code used one of the defective keys so I kept entering the wrong code until such time that the safe just went into lock-out mode and kept beeping. Luckily this happened when there was someone at the reception desk (only there 'til 12 noon) and she managed to sort things out quite swiftly.

Overall, despite the hiccups, Residence Masna provided good value. The price we paid was certainly quite cheap for Europe and prior to coming I had checked out several hotels in Prague and the Masna rates were fairly competitive. Further savings were of course realised by cooking our own meals instead of having to keep eating out.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Again and again, financial crisis in Prague

With regards to progress of financial crisis we can measure the impact on travel industry in Prague. The hoteliers, travel managers and apartment owners are facing hard times. There is no doubt that the financial crisis has influenced many other industries as well; however, one of the first item what are cancelled in family budget are holidays and trips. Today, I am going to present you several statistical numbers of travel industry focused on Prague concerning accommodated tourist.

Source: CZSO

The first differences demonstrate that less than 130 thousands accommodated tourist came to Prague in the first three months of the year 2009. It just proves analytical warnings that the companies will face tough times.

Source: CZSO

This chart expresses the downturn of travel industry in Prague. It is visible that the first three months in 2009 are approximately on the same level as in 2006. Nevertheless the number of tourists was increasing in 2007 as well as in 2008. Therefore, hoteliers planned completely different budget for 2009 in the beginning of 2008. Now let’s have a look on incoming tourists to Prague.

Source: CZSO

Good news for hoteliers is that Turkey, Slovenia or Isreal have increased in the amount of tourists in comparison with 2008. However, the amount of their increase is less significant than in the case of losing travellers. In other words increase cannot be replace by degrease of tourists.

Source: CZSO

Here is the evidence. The numbers on axes of last two charts are on different level. Very bad news for Prague is losing serious amount of British tourists. These kinds of tourists are very valuable for hoteliers. On one hand hoteliers were counting on the as a loyal clients and on the other hand they always spend essential amount of their money in Czech Republic.

I have just presented simple data about accommodated tourists in Prague. Hoteliers and managers are searching for new distribution channels and loyalty is much worthy these days than ever before. But travellers are searching for new options how to save money and get higher value for their money as well. Therefore, new chance for Prague City Apartments has come. Staying in apartment offers saving money, e.g. by cooking for yourself, more space or higher privacy (see. Link). So think money, think space, think privacy – stay in apartment.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Prague spots for free

Recently I have read very interesting article in the Czech newspaper. It suggested to visit several places in Prague which are for free. Furthermore, these places aren’t known as Charles Bridge or Old Town Square; therefore, you can enjoy in quiet and friendly atmosphere.

The most narrow Prague´s street

It is just half meter wide and the people are directed by traffic lights. It doesn’t have any name and it is situated near Charles Bridge. The map is available here.

Infant Jesus and his clothes

Do you have any wish? If yes, you have to visit Our Lade Victory Church. It is said that the statue of Infant Jesus in this church will fulfil your wish. In addition, you can visit his wardrobe. These clothes are used for Infant Jesus by nuns. For more information please visit the site of Church – here.

Second level of St. Vitus's Cathedral

This Cathedral is very famous, everybody knows how does it look like from the bottom view; however, there is change to get to the second level and get completely another view at cathedral. You have to ask the management of chathedral to see the second level for free. Additional information about cathedral are available here.

Petrin´s undergound

The Petrin is hill is full of mines. The entrace is in Lobkovic graden at the Petrin. See more information here (Czech only but with the map)

Safe of Czech national bank

Nowdays there is an exhibition of Money and People. You can find also the examples of fakes. Few information available here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Facebook, Twitter and Prague City Apartments

Maybe you have already seen our profiles on Facebook or Twitter but for those who have not I would like to introduce our profiles in mentioned servers. PCA has decided to come closer to our clients and we have become a part of these communities.

Facebook:

Recently we have launched a new facebook campaign for 10% discounts. The rules are pretty simple, just become a fan of PCA on Facebook and you will get 10% discount in any of our apartments. This campaign is becoming really popular. In addition, our clients are sharing their experiences on our profile with the other travellers on Facebook. You can see the photos and movies of Prague and Prague City Apartments. We would like to start serious discussion about Prague, Prague hotels and other Prague accommodation. Facebook offers unlimited options to make the profile very interesting.

For our FB profile, please follow this link

Twitter:

We are completely new on Twitter; however, we have already got some subscripers. Twitter is much easier to understand and to get more familiar with such social environment than Facebook. Our aim on Twitter is to come up with fresh, clear and interesting messages concerning news from Prague respectively from Prague City Apartments. We would like to share our hot news, offers and events. The potential of Twitter and Facebook is huge and we would like to use it.

For our Twitter profile, please follow this link

We would really appreciate if you can support us by becoming our fan of PCA on Facebook or you can follow us on Twitter. Thank you.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Apartment vs Hotel: 5 pros for apartment

There has been always discussion about differences between apartment and hotel room and it is completely valid for Prague as well. It is no secret that Prague City Apartments is standing on the side of Apartment. I would like to show you five most important advantages of apartments today.

1. More Space

First imporatant advantage of apartment is space. In comparison with hotel room you will get more freedom and comfort. Next point regarding the space are separated bedrooms. That made it possible to have business meetings in the lounge area while someone slept in one of the bedrooms. In other words, you will get more freedom to entertain guests the way you want to.

2. Own Kitchen

Hotel room usually will have a fridge that is mostly filled with over-priced drinks and has no facilities for cooking and often no facilities for cleaning clothes. An apartment will ideally have a fridge which is entirely empty for you to use for storing food and ingredients for your own cooking; in addition, you will get fully equipped kitchen (including microwave, toaster, kettle, owen and so on). Cooking some of your meals in the kitchen instead of going out to eat for every meal is another excellent way to save money.

3. More Privacy

Apartments are sometimes located off the beaten path as well, and are more private than hotels. Hotels are typically louder and offer less privacy. Apartment have a greater ambiance to feel with amenities like DVDs, satelite TV, wi-fi internet, work space, safe box and much more.

4. Save Money

It was mentioned that you can save money by cooking for yourslef; furthermore, if you are going to stay for longer period of time then there is no more reasonable stay than in apartment with regards to money and your comfort. You can save big amount of your budget by staying in apartment.

5. Pet Free

Last but not least of advantage of apartments is in having your pet on your holiday. Prague City Apartments is offering the pet on request but usually there is no problem unless you are going to bring herd of dinosaurs. Most of the hotel prohibits to have your pet in room but pets are allowed in Prague City Apartments accommodation.

Finally, wherever are you going everything depends on travel situation and own preferences Both oportunities have advantages and disadvantages; the number of people on your trip, the vacation atmosphere you desire, and amenities are all factors that can influence your decision.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Prague City Apartments on Tripadvisor

TripAdvisor.com is a free travel guide and research website that hosts reviews from users and other information designed to help plan a vacation. TripAdvisor is an example of consumer generated media. The website services are free to users, who provide most of the content, and the website makes its money from advertising, mostly from travel-related industries.

Recently, TripAdvisor enhanced the functions for accommodation owners. The owners can paste TripAdvisor’s recommendation banner of his/her property to website. According to Hotelmarketing. com travellers trust other travellers, so owners can benefit by displaying what they’re saying on their own websites. In a 2007 survey of 360 e-commerce companies, sites that added user reviews reported very positive results:

-- 56% lifted conversion
-- 77% raised traffic
-- 42% increased the average shopping basket

Therefore, Prague City Apartments is going to present its residences with regards to TripAdvisor´s recognition:

Residence Karolina


Residence Rybna




Residence Masna



Residence Karlova



Residence Cerna