Czech Republic: Corruption Turned Into Tourist Attraction
Petr Sourek has figured out how to make his own profit out of Prague's many citizens turning a profit illicitly. Billing it an experience of "the best of the worst," Sourek, 38, has created a travel agency CorruptTour that gives tourists a dose of Prague's corruption along with a smirking sense of humor.
The Czech Republic has produced a plethora of corruption scandals assuring that Sourek’s walking and bus tours are frequently sold out. The resignation of disgraced Prime Minister Petr Nečas in June is the latest of such scandals. Nečas, who was suspected to be involved in graft and abuse of power, stepped down following a massive raid involving 400 police officers ending with the arrests of eight government officials. The nation ranks 22nd out of 27 European Union countries on Transparency International's 2012 Corruption Perception Index.
Sourek makes sure that all sites on the tours are public and relevant to a corruption case as reported in at least reputable newspapers, according to The New York Times. Tour stops include "Monuments of Corruption," hospitals, and residences of powerful and corrupt politicians, CEOs and lobbyists including the villa of powerful lobbyist suspected of tender-rigging and bribery Roman "Lord Voldemort" Janousek. Janousek is believed to be connected with former Prime Minister Nečas.
Tours are offered in Czech, English, and German and cost about USD $30. CorruptTour declares that "Prague’s Monuments of Corruption deserve World Heritage Status."
Could CorruptTour expand outside of the Czech Republic? The Criminal Odessa tour in Ukraine takes audiences around the city teaching about famous historic criminals and museums focused on crime such as the National Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington DC are not uncommon around the world, however a tour that brings the public to sites actively engaged in corruption is truly unique.
CNN stated desire for the agency to come to New York, however Prague is home to an exorbitant amount of corruption. The constant fuel that The Czech Republic feeds to Sourek would be difficult to match.