This footage was shot on-location in Prague just before the city was entering a second lockdown in the Fall of 2020. Although the pandemic substantially impacted these business owners and artists, their resiliency and creativity triumphed. Experience how each gave back to their city in its greatest time of need.
Zuzi and Jan were running a successful tour business, Taste of Prague, showing travelers from all over the world the culinary delights of their city. In March 2020, that all ended overnight.
They immediately knew that hospitality was going to be one of the most affected industries. So they jumped into action, creating a series of virtual dinners with local chefs called Eating Alone, Together. Although their business had literally gone to zero, Zuzi and Jan never thought about making money on these virtual dinners. The sole focus was on supporting local restaurants, while giving Prague residents access to delicious food, via delivery.
Since Spring of 2020, they’ve kept up their virtual meals and also launched a podcast, interviewing local culinary luminaries and influencers. Now, they look forward to the day when they will once again be able to break bread with customers in person.
Filippo Mari is not a Czech native. But after a chance encounter in South Bohemia while on a European cycling tour, he fell in love - both literally with his now wife, Denisa, and figuratively, with the landscapes of Prague.
So he started cycling tour business Biko Adventures, and took pride and passion in showing visitors around Prague and the surrounding areas on two wheels.
When the lockdown started, he too lost all of his business right away. Rather than shut things down for the cold winter ahead, he pivoted and started to deliver emergency medical supplies by bike. Filippo and his team also built a website showing the best cycling routes in the area - with free map downloads for cyclists.
Currently, Filippo is still staying active everyday on his bike and gearing up for better times ahead.
Cafe Etapa owners Petr and Gabi were on top of the world after opening up their cafe in early 2020. Their concept took off immediately, with incredible coffees and delicious Czech pastries like Kremrole.
But soon, the long lines turned into empty tables, as the quarantine set in.
As small business owners, Petr and Gabi were quick on their feet, opening a takeout window to give locals some comfort during the toughest days of the lockdown.
Come summer, Cafe Etapa opened up to local Prague residents. While the restaurant has temporarily gone back to takeout, Petr and Gabi are optimistic about the future and look forward to welcoming guests once again.
Babeta Schneiderová is no stranger to the Czech hospitality and tourism industry. As head of the BOHO hotel chain, she operates eight hotels and hostels in Prague and Olomouc.
After dealing with a spate of canceled bookings from guests, Babeta knew she had to act fast to help her community. She quickly started offering rooms on a long-term basis to frontline workers, as well as stranded tourists.
Then, working with the government, she opened her doors to those most in need - providing beds for the homeless.
Despite everything she’s been through, Babeta is an eternal optimist and knows travel will soon return. When it does, she can’t wait to once again welcome travelers to her properties.
For Alina Nanu, dancing in one of the world’s preeminent ballet companies has been a childhood dream come true. Alina loved the feeling of dancing before a full auditorium, with the audience immersed in her performance, feeling their energy from the stage as she danced.
When large gatherings were no longer allowed, Alina and other artists continued to dance, recording the sessions and performing virtually - anything to give local residents a sense of normalcy.
But she knows nothing replaces the real thing and that the arts will live on. She eagerly anticipates the day when she can once again dance in front of a live audience.