Local visitors contributed the most to the year-to-year increase. In 2010, 11,500 of them visited the brewery, which represents a 60% share of the total number of visitors. The category of foreign visitors increased by half that of Czech tourists. Russian tourists are the most frequent visitors of Velké Popovice. Last year, this group contributed to a fifth of the total number of visitors.
However, the rising number of visitors at the Velké Popovice brewery is not by accident. The local brewery’s beauty does not differ much from pictures by Lada, and the new visitors’ tour of the Velké Popovice brewery definitely plays its part in the growing number of visitors. The number total number of visitors also includes visitors from an entire spectrum of cultural events which are organised yearly at the brewery. The fact that the brewery is close to the capital, Prague, also plays a role.
„When we welcomed our 10,000th visitor this year in August, one month sooner than the year before, we were already hoping to beat our number from 2009. However, coming close to the 20,000 benchmark wasn’t something that we expected. Nevertheless, approximately 19,000 visitors is a nice surprise and is also a reward for all employees of the Visitors’ Centre,“ praises Eva Kršňáková, Manager of the Visitors’ Centre of the Velké Popovice brewery.
The most popular events at the brewery last year were the walk through the land of František Ringhoffer, the Day of the Kozel, the Hog Fest in Ladovce, the Velké Popopovice Summer Fair with the Kozel. Last year’s premiere of the Hog Fest in Ladovce brought more than a thousand visitors to the brewery. This only proves the success of thematic events organised by the brewery. On the other hand, the brewery also noticed an increase in the number of individual visitors, cyclists who use bicycle paths in the Central Czech Republic, which are only 15 kilometres from the capital.
„Kozel isn’t only gaining popularity in the Czech Republic. Proof of its quality is also in the first-place prizes of Kozel Medium and Premium beers in the last three years of the prestigious annual competition, the Czech Beer of the Year. And people want to see where their favourite beer is brewed,“ adds Jaroslav Hacko, Director of the Velké Popopovice brewery, about the rising number of visitors.
Beer lovers and fans of good cooking welcomed the opening of the Velké Popovice Kozlovna brand restaurant directly in the courtyard of the brewery. Already a sixth Kozlovna with an attractive interior and with the unique unfiltered Velkopopovický Kozel beers symbolically closes the first phase of the visitors’ tour of the brewery. In 2010, the Kozel beer souvenir shop finally received a well-deserved wider range of merchandise and a rapid increase of visitors. Besides tourists, a number of locals find their way here regularly as well. New specials on the visitors’ tour are being prepared for the new tourist season.