- Title: Prague tighens security for festivities with more tourists expected
- Date: 30th December 2016
- Summary: CHRISTMAS MARKET
- Embargoed: 14th January 2017 15:21
- Keywords: New Year safety
- Location: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
- City: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
- Country: Czech Republic
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0025F2RLMH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Prague has strengthened its security hoping to attract Western tourists who want to welcome the New Year abroad.
On December 31, restaurants, bars and clubs in the Czech capital are full, and the atmosphere builds gently.
As midnight approaches, revellers gather by the river, at the Old Town Square and at Wenceslas Square to watch fireworks.
Last year, the Czech Republic was named the world's sixth safest place by the Institute for Economics and Peace 2015.
Because of its new reputation, travelling agencies are expecting a much higher influx of tourists.
"For New Year's Eve celebration Prague seems to be sold out and we are expecting visitors to stay here for more than one night," Jan Papez, spokesman for the Czech Travel Agencies Association, told Reuters on Friday (December 30).
According to the Institute, France went down to the 46th place and the UK down to 47th place.
Czech Police has strengthened security not only in Prague, but also in other big cities such as Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc, Pardubice or Pilsen after a truck attack in Berlin on December 19 killed 12 people and injured 48.
Big concrete blocks could be seen at the entrances to the Christmas market in the heart of Prague, as armed police patrolled amid the tourists and the famous ice-cream "trdelniks" cone stands.
Prague also celebrates January 1 with fireworks, the festivities aimed at families with children.
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