The Olomouc region is rich in traditions and history and full of a colourful nature which makes is a popular destination for tourists. The local economy is primarily driven by traditional agriculture, however the manufacturing industry provides a whole range of investment opportunities.
The Olomoucký Region is located in the central part of Moravia and extends also to its northern part. As for the territory administration it forms together with the Zlínský Region the cohesion region of Central Moravia (NUTS 2). It consists of five districts (Jeseník, Olomouc, Prostějov, Přerov and Šumperk). Since 1 January 2005 3 municipalities from the Moravskoslezský Region were attached to the Olomoucký Region. On the territory of the Olomoucký Region the following were established: 13 administrative districts of municipalities with extended powers and 20 administrative districts of municipalities with authorized municipal office. The Olomoucký Region borders in the north with Poland, in the east it borders with the Moravskoslezský Region, in the south with the Zlínský Region and Jihomoravský Region and in the west with the Pardubický Region.
As for geography, the Region is divided to the northern mountainous part (the Jeseníky mountains with the highest point Praděd 1491 m above sea level), while the southern part of the Region consists of the Haná lowland. The Morava River flows through the Region’s territory; on its water level near to Kojetín in the Přerov District the lowest point of the Region lies (190 m above sea level). The Olomoucký Region offers a great variety of natural points of interest. Many tourists visit the Protected landscape area of the Jeseníky mountains with the largest Moravian peatbog Rejvíz and High Waterfall (Vysoký vodopád), which is 45 m high, water reservoir and the Dlouhé Stráně power plant on the top of a hill and other scenic places. Interesting are also floodplain forests in the Protected landscape area Litovelské Pomoraví with many endangered kinds of plants and animals. There are also many caves in the Olomoucký Region: Javoříčko Caves (Javoříčské jeskyně), Mladeč Caves (Mladečské jeskyně) and Zbrašov aragonite caves (Zbrašovské jeskyně).
As at 31 December 2016, the total area of the Region amounted to 5,271.43 sq km (i.e. 6.7 % of the entire area of the Czech Republic). The share of arable land is decreasing every year (39.0 %) and that of non-agricultural land is increasing (47.2 %).
Population of the Olomoucký Region lives in 402 municipalities of which 30 have a status of town. There live 56.2 % of population in these towns. The statutory town is the Olomouc regional city, which had as at 31 December 2016 100,378 inhabitants. Most of the Region’s population is supplied with water from water supply systems for public needs (91.8 %) and lives in houses connected to the public sewerage system (82.9 % of population). Values of specific emissions do not reach the average values of the CR, so the environment can be marked as the less damaged. Mountain areas and foothills have excellent air quality and are important sources of drinking water.
Population of the Olomoucký Region totalled 633,925 inhabitants as at 31 December 2016. With the number of inhabitants per square kilometre (120.3) the Region is close to the national average (134.1 persons per sq km). There are, of course, differences within the Region: the lowest population density is in the Jeseník District (54.2 persons per sq km) and Šumperk District (92.4 persons per sq km). In 2016 less children were born than persons died in the Region (6,697 live born children and 6,731 deaths). The share of children aged is 0-14 low (15.3 % of the total population as at 31 December 2016), while share of population aged 65+ is increasing (19.3 %); thus, the average age of population is increasing (42.4 years as at 31 December 2016). The share of children born out of marriage keeps also increasing (50.3 % in 2016). At the same time the number of interruptions didn’t change (1,137 in 2016). The number of marriages is slightly increasing (2,925 in 2016), and decreased number of divorces (1,432 in 2016) and the most often cause of death remain diseases of circulatory system (44.6 % of deaths).
The Czech Statistical Office has been carrying out labour force sample surveys already for many years in the households of respondents. According to this survey the Olomoucký Region had in 2016 the total of 312.1 thousand economically active population aged 15+, of which 300.5 thousand were employed and 11.5 thousand unemployed. Namely due to the different survey methodology, the general unemployment rate (ILO) was 3.7 %. It was lower than the share of unemployed persons as at 31 December 2016, which reached 5.9 % according to the register of Ministry of labour and Social Affairs. In the end of 2016 there were 26,495 applicants seeking a job registered in the labour offices.
Total value of social benefits paid in the Region in 2016 reached 2,023 million CZK (5.8 % of total amount drawn from accounts of state social benefit for the entire CR). 176,926 people were receiving pensions in December 2016; of them were 148,420 recipients’ old-age pensions with the average monthly pension 11,119 CZK (“solo” pension). In the Olomoucký Region 231,274 persons were the sickness insured in 2016 and 1,306.3 million CZK was paid at sickness insurance benefits. Number of new cases of incapacity for work was 78,526. In 2016 in the Olomoucký Region patients were taken care about in 9 hospitals, 12 specialized therapeutic institutions and other health establishments by 3,073 physicians and 6,826 paramedical workers. Care of patients of the top quality level is provided mostly in the teaching hospital in Olomouc, which is equipped with the most modern medical technology and has a large scientific and training background. Health care is provided also in many spa establishments that are placed all over the region, well known are, for example, spas in Jeseník, Velké Losiny, Teplice nad Bečvou, Slatinice, Skalka, etc.
The network of school establishments consists of 378 nursery schools, 297 basic schools, 19 grammar schools, 76 programmes vocational training, 8 higher schools, 1 conservatoire. The second oldest university in the Czech Republic – the Palacký University (Univerzita Palackého) is the centre of education. Over 20,000 students study at its faculties of natural sciences, education, medicine and dentistry, arts, law, theology, physical culture and health sciences.
As for economy, the Olomoucký Region is an industrial area with developed services. Economy of the districts of Haná is more stable and diverse enough, however, the Jeseník District and northern part of the Šumperk District due to their position, transport accessibility and disturbance of social and economic life after the Second World War (displacement of German population) belongs to economically weaker regions. The gross domestic product of the Olomoucký Region amounted to 4.6 % of the total GDP of the CR in 2016, which is only 76.8 % per capita of the national average. The average monthly gross wage of employees in businesses that have their seat of business in the Region reached 24,666 CZK (per FTE, in 2016, preliminary data).
Southern and central parts of the region belong to areas with the most fertile land. Crop yields – barley, wheat and industrial sugar beet – reach the highest amounts of the entire CR.
Many traditional industrial enterprises are doing their business in the Olomoucký Region. Agricultural production is followed by many food enterprises; developed are manufacture of machinery, of electrical and optical equipment, of fabricated metal products, of transport equipment and many others. In 2016, 151 industrial enterprises with 100+ employees had their seat in the Olomoucký Region. These enterprises employed 46,531 employees with the average wage of CZK 26,753 and their sales from the sale of own goods and services incidental to industry reached 128,715 million CZK.
In 2016, 18 construction enterprises with 50+ employees had their seat in the Olomoucký Region; they employed 2,398 employees with an average monthly wage of CZK 27,996. Performance value of these enterprises from basic construction activity reached CZK 3,556 million. In 2016, construction of 1,386 new dwellings was started and construction of 1,337 dwellings was completed. The planning and building control authorities recorded in 2016 the total of 3,879 building permits granted and building notices filed.
The statistical Business register had 140,735 businesses, organisations and entrepreneurs in the end of 2016. Most of them were private entrepreneurs registered according to the trade law (70.9 %) and business companies (10.5 %).
Transport accessibility of the Region is provided by 604 km of railways and 3,589 km of roads, of which 127 km are motorways. Important rail junctions are in Olomouc and Přerov; dense railway network is spread equally all over the Region ́s territory. Road network is denser in the southern flat part of the Region. Near to the city of Olomouc there is an airport for small airliners, which obtained status of an international airport.
In the Region, 11,600 crimes were committed, of which 6,483 were solved. In 2016, 4,979 road accidents took place, in which 40 people died and 1,672 were injured; 5 people died and 58 were injured in 824 fires.
The Olomoucký Region belongs to regions with the smallest number of accommodation establishments. As at 31 December 2016 accommodation services were provided in 473 collective accommodation establishments, which are placed primarily in the Jeseník District and the Šumperk District that are most visited by tourists. The Region offers many establishments to entertain tourists. In addition to many natural beauties there is also a lot of historical monuments such as castles (Bouzov, Helfštýn, Šternberk) and chateaux (Úsov, Tovačov, Velké Losiny, Jánský Vrch, Náměšť na Hané), tens of museums and galleries. Most visited is mainly the regional city of Olomouc with the second largest urban conservation area, which preserves a large set of buildings that are important for their historical, architectonic or artistic value and are located on a preserved medieval pattern of the town.
The most important monument in Olomouc is a baroque Column of the Holy Trinity on the central square, which joined the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000. Olomouc has also many churches and in the parks flower and plants exhibitions take place (Flora Olomouc – International Flower Exhibition).
Near to Olomouc there is a well-known Pilgrimage Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary (Basilica Minor) on Svatý Kopeček (The Holy Hill) and a zoological garden. Tens of ethnographical and dance groups take care of preservation of folkways at Haná; folklore shows and festivals are organised in Náměšť, Prostějov, Kojetín and other places of the Region. In the Olomoucký Region there are also many opportunities to go in for sports. Already 2,700 km of cycle tracks were marked; for water sports many modern swimming pools and natural open-air pools can be used. In the towns of Prostějov and Přerov one can find well-known tennis centres. Many visitors are attracted to see special quality hill-climb racers at Ecce Homo in Šternberk. Football and ice hockey matches can be seen at well- equipped playgrounds and winter stadiums that visitors can find all over the Region. For winter sports many downhill courses and pistes are prepared in the Jeseníky mountains in the following well-known areas: Červenohorské sedlo, Petříkov, Ostružná, Ramzová and many others.
The Olomoucký Region is a region with rich history, varied and colourful nature, many cultural, sports and recreational opportunities. The Region’s economy focuses on traditional agriculture, processing industry and services. Conditions for further development of the Region are its suitable position, transport accessibility, developed infrastructure, enough qualified labour force and entry of foreign investors. Many long-term strategic plans being realised, the economic situation of the Olomoucký Region gradually improves and the growing tendency is to continue also in the following years.