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Olomouc at the top
Three years, three excellent awards by the world’s prestigious guidebook. Lonely Planet made a list of the most beautiful, yet lesser known tourist destinations. It wasn’t the hot springs of Iceland, Gibraltar Rocks, Odysseus' Ithaca or Luxemburg that ranked in first place but the historical center of Olomouc!
The mini guidebook, Secret Europe, presents tourists with fifty cities from different parts of Europe. The largest, world-renowned guidebook publisher attracts tourists to Olomouc by saying that “in terms of tourism Olomouc can be equated to an authentic restaurant which is your own, small, personal secret. The Main Square is amongst the most enchanting in the country. It is surrounded by historical buildings. It is adorned by the Holy Trinity Column listed as the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Magnificent churches, many of which host an exciting history, are scattered in the streets of the historical center. Explore the foundations of the ancient Olomouc castle in the Archdiocese Museum which is a must-see and then set out to one of the many pubs or mini-breweries”. In 2012, the publisher also awarded Olomouc by ranking it in the top ten most beautiful hidden treasures in Europe. One year later it was once again on the list of the recommended destinations in Moravia. “It’s beautiful as well as surprising for us. Lonely Planet is to tourist guidebooks what Michelin is to gastronomy. I perceive it as a win in the tourist Olympics,” responded Olomouc mayor, Martin Major, when he first heard of the award. “I am very pleased that the professional editor-in-chief of this publication truly appreciates the beauty of our city, its picturesque atmosphere and its uniqueness.
Apart from other things, Olomouc captivated them by the fact that it offers the same architectural treasures as Prague but without the crowds of tourists. It is definitely Olomouc’s advantage in comparison with our capital. However, despite repeated acclaim from the renowned guidebook, it may only be temporary”, mentioned the mayor, Major, with a smile. The deputy mayor, Jan Holpuch added, “I believe that this is an opportunity to introduce our beautiful city to many other tourists.” “I think that being awarded as a hidden treasure or undiscovered city will give Olomouc an even stronger stamp of attractiveness and will evoke more interest in potential visitors.”
Olomouc has been trying to advertise its beauty in a high-quality and systematic way. In the past years, this attempt has proved effective. Statistically as well as simply looking into the streets of the city center confirms that the number of tourists to Olomouc has truly increased. Olomouc is on the list of destinations offered by travel agencies as for example, one-day trips from Prague or as a part of the Vienna – Krakow route. “Greater advertising in cooperation with the agency CzechTourism certainly helped.
This agency gives Olomouc more space than before”, says Karin Vykydalová, head of the tourism department. “Acclaim from Lonely Planet obviously helps. Ideally, a visitor comes here based on the recommendation, is satisfied here and then recommends Olomouc to his friends back home”, adds Dušan Gavenda of the same department. Lonely Planet Secret Europe can be downloaded for free at: www.lonelyplanet.com/secret-europe.
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12. března 2012 (po)
Olomouc was awarded first prize in the competition for the Golden Coat of Arms. This competition awards web pages and electronic services of cities and communities. Olomouc obtained this award for the service it offers on its tourism portal. Here, people can find out about Olomouc’s monuments in a three-dimensional model.
The city’s monuments in 3D are part of the tourism portal of the city of Olomouc, which has recently been awarded 2nd prize at the Region Tour Trade Fair in Brno. For selected monuments, visitors of the web pages have the possibility to see not only the photo gallery, the monument’s position on the map, the street view but also a 3D model set into the Google Earth application. Light Evolution and MOF´S have created three-dimensional models for twenty selected Olomouc monuments of the city up till now.
This morning, Jan Holpuch, the deputy mayor, who is very honored by the city’s excellent ranking, has taken over the award at the Olomouc Region headquarters. “We are pleased with the fact that in such a short time, we have already been successful with our tourism portal twice, which came into operation last year. We believe that it is also thanks to this, that we have been able to attract other visitors into our beautiful city“. Benedikt Záhora, from the supplier company Light Evolution as well as the programmer of the City of Olomouc, Jiří Doubravský, also participated in taking over of the award.
The possibilities of the Internet allow for the continuous improvement of services for citizens and visitors of the city and thanks to the interactivity of some devices, the offer of interests can continuously expand. For example, everyone can upload their 3D models of buildings onto the Google Earth application. In this way, the database is continuously filled with interesting objects.
The complete results of the regional round of the Golden Coat of Arms Competition is available at (www.kr-olomoucky.cz).
(Reference for 3D visualization can be found in the right column under the photo. On the Internet, Google Earth plug in must be installed).