An Asian couple and their photographer make their way to Prague castle. Prague, to many Easterners, is viewed as a very romantic, historic town.

An Asian couple and their photographer make their way to Prague castle. Prague, to many Easterners, is viewed as a very romantic, historic town. (Photo by Mary Betz)

Upon my arrival in Prague, I found it impossible to ignore the diversity of tourists visiting from around the world.

My personal project concerns the history of minorities in the Czech Republic. Back at Kent State, I am also minoring in Chinese and have a great interest in Asian culture. It is only natural for me to wonder about the presence and status of the Asian minority in Prague. Though I have now discovered that there are much fewer minorities in the Czech Republic today than in the past, I still have noticed a fair amount of Asian run shops in the city. Many of these shops also incorporate different brands of instant noodles and other imported goods from Asia.

Upon further investigation, in 2012, Prague began specifically hiring more Mandarin native speakers to work in popular tourist shops. Chinese tourists will spend more on souvenirs if the store clerk can assist them in their home language. Chinese shoppers already spend considerably more than other nationalities visiting Prague. Taxes for imported goods, especially luxury brands, are high in China so many are drawn to buy these products abroad.

In addition, many agree that Chinese tourists often opt for high-end luxury brands for souvenirs. Taking gifts home for family and close friends is also very much a part of Chinese culture and foreign goods are especially desirable as a gift.  Thus, with helping Mandarin speakers present in many of these stores, profits from Chinese tourists can be expected to rise to even higher levels.

For more information on this topic, please visit these articles: Prague shops hire Mandarin speakers and Stores snap up Chinese tourists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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