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Based on the votes of experts and the general public, the Czech start-up of CTU graduates SmartGuide won the Hero of Tourism 2022 award, a special award from the Minister of Regional Development and the CzechTourism Director's Award in the Digitalization category.

The award, which is announced by centre for Czech tourism - the CzechTourism, this year bears the subtitle Heroes of Tourism. Not only is this the first year of the event as such, it is also the first year without major restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Heroes of Tourism 2022 was under auspices of the Minister of Regional Development and Deputy Prime Minister for Digitalization Ivan Bartoš.

"I am glad that the innovative SmartGuide platform from the workshop of former CTU students won among the projects that responded flexibly to the limitations of tourism and helped to bring tourism into the online world. I congratulate the winners for this golden prize in the Digitalization category," said doc. Vojtěch Petráček, Rector of CTU in Prague.

The award was accepted by the company's CEO Jan Doležal, who evaluates it: "Although the covid has dealt a serious blow to tourism, it has advanced the industry in digitalization by a decade. It has inspired us to provide 10 million worth of digital guidebook technology to tourist destinations to use for free, so it's only a fool who develops their own app that tourists don't want. We're delighted that we're already helping 150 Czech destinations guide tourists safely and engagingly, and more are quickly joining in. Thanks to you, something like a new TripAdvisor is being created in the Czech Republic and it is already spreading quickly around the world."

From the environment of the CTU InQbay incubator, SmartGuide subsequently expanded worldwide. SmartGuide clients include Switzerland Tourism, Prague City Tourism, Karlovy Vary, Singapore National Heritage Board, Harvard Business School, Dubai Tourism, Pilsner Urquell, RegioJet, Deutsche Bundesbahn and many others.

SmartGuide s.r.o. is a successful Czech start-up company developing a platform for publishing digital audio guides. It offers the SmartGuide app that turns any phone into a personal guide. SmartGuide is currently used by over 600,000 travellers in more than 600 destinations worldwide.