At the end of last year 2017, a new and unique start-up project started operations in Prague. This start-up elegantly supplements tourist services by renting out accommodation options for a limited amount of time. The guests come to a quasi “hotel reception” after arriving at the airport and get keys for a rented flat. This way, they won’t have to look for accommodation options around the city. The service really is one of a kind in the Czech Republic. The people behind the service are hoping to spread it to other parts of the Czech Republic.
There is a new stand at Terminal 1 at Prague Airport where you can find something resembling a hotel reception. It’s a service that’s offering tourists in Prague the option to rent flats for a limited amount of time. The tourists can book a place at AirBnB and get the keys right after they land. There are many other services that use this “reception desk”.
“We think that we’re the first in the world to do this. We haven’t seen any similar services pop up around the world,” stated Kateřina Holnová from the BE PRAGUE start-up.
More flats – more worries
To offer flats as an alternative to traditional hotels is growing in popularity. If someone operates one flat that they offer to rent, they can operate all alone, without any worries. But if they operate a network of flats, they have to plan well, together with a well devised system of giving the renters their keys.
“Sometimes it can be very inconvenient to look for the keys. There are often cases where people have to get their keys far away from the actual flats. That’s why we think that our service can make the lives of tourists easier,” explains Holnová, who also states that 80% of tourists come to Prague via the airport.
No more confusion
The BE PRAGUE project has the ambition to grow both physically and administratively. The dark side of these services manifests itself with people not paying fees they are required to and not reporting their guests to the foreign police. The providers of the app say that this is caused mainly by how administratively difficult the whole process is, together with the fact that you can’t check in at the necessary offices automatically.
“It’s necessary to physically come and fill out the papers. Some people aren’t even aware of the fact that you need to report your guests to the foreign police. We would like to provide, in cooperation with the magistrate, the users offering short-term accommodation options with a manual. We would also like to provide people with an option to send fees and information regarding foreign visitors electronically,” added Kateřina Holnová.
In case this online system becomes operational, it could work right at the “reception” in the airport. At the moment our guests receive their keys, we would let them sign a statement and this would solve the issue of fees. Whenever Czech tourists check in at a hotel, they are also reported to the authorities through a set of steps that the tourists are often unaware of, stated Holnová, according to whom this system could fix the market with similar services.