Monday, 31 January 2022

Austrian Tourists Choosing Croatia in 2022: 2nd Most Sought-After Foreign Destination

January 31, 2022 - A new survey reveals that Austrian tourists are choosing Croatia this summer, as it is the second most sought-after foreign destination behind Italy. 

According to the survey results on travel plans of the Austrians in 2022, conducted by the association of national tourist organizations Corps Touristique Austria, Croatia is among the top five most sought-after foreign destinations. Italy leads the list with 58 percent, Croatia is second with 46 percent, followed by Germany, Greece, and Spain, reports Dalmacija Danas

"The results of the research confirm that, despite all the challenges and circumstances, we have successfully maintained the position of one of the leading and most beloved foreign destinations among Austrians. We are also pleased with the indicators according to which 83 percent of Austrians plan to travel this year, of which about 66 percent plan to travel abroad. Furthermore, compared to last year, these new indicators represent an increase in interest and demand for travel of about 20 percent, which indicates the continuation of positive trends this year," said Branimir Tončinić, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board office in Austria.

The results show that Austrian tourists will travel most during the main summer season with a trend of increased interest in holidays in September, while they will most often travel by car (about 77 percent), by plane, and by train.

"Austria is one of the traditionally most important markets for Croatian tourism. Last year, we recorded about 6.4 million overnight stays by Austrians, which took a high fourth place in terms of results. This year we expect even better results and a practical approach to the trends from the pre-pandemic 2019 ", said the director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristjan Staničić, adding that Austrians spent the most nights last year in Istria, Kvarner, and Zadar County.

The research results show that the demand of Austrians this year will be most pronounced for swimming holidays, city break tourism, wellness, and cultural tourism. At the same time, they will prefer to choose hotels, holiday homes, and apartments. However, the most important criteria by which Austrians will choose destinations include cleanliness and hygiene, safety, and weather and climate.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 28 September 2020

Time To Reflect, As Loyalty Not Luxury Saves 2020 Croatia Tourist Season

September 28, 2020 – The tail end of 2020's unparalleled summer offers opportunity for pause, contemplation and appreciation, as it's loyal and not luxury guests that have saved this year's Croatia tourist season.

In this day and age, things always have to get better. There's no room to sit still. Life without improvement is deemed a failure. Nowhere is this more true than the Croatia tourist season.

The numbers of overnight stays in the Croatia tourist season sometimes seem to be the only measure by which its success is judged. Year after year, the numbers must rise. Any decrease is unthinkable. At the same time, hungry eyes still want more. Some want to reposition themselves. A new class of guest is wanted, from faraway nations. They must be of a better quality. They must stay longer, in more expensive dwellings. They must spend more.

Incredible initiatives are undertaken to turn this want into a reality. But, at the end of the 2020 Croatia tourist season, perhaps it's time to pause and reflect. For this year, it is undoubtedly loyalty and not luxury that's saved the Croatia tourist season.

In the year the coronavirus pandemic hit, arrivals by charter plane and cruise ship were seriously curtailed. So much for the flying visits of premium guests from far-flung lands. Instead, the tourists who came were from much closer to Croatia.

The English language that most on the coast are so familiar with was this year useless. On the beaches of Istria and northern Dalmatia, it was Slovenian, Polish, Czech, German, Slovakian and Italian that was heard. The packed bars of Makarska echoed with the familiar call of 'Đe si, bolan?' (where are you, bro? - in Bosnian dialect). Many of those who came drove to Croatia. And many do so every year.

1024px--Sharing-_Friday_night_pizza_(17405004226).jpg© Jeremy Segrott

Sighs and light-hearted jokes about some of these guests persist in some places. “That family come every year, but they only ever order one pizza to share between the four of them.” The choice of footwear of some German-speaking and Czech visitors frequently draws chuckles, in particular, the classic sock and sandal combo. But, just where would the 2020 Croatia tourist season have been without the 60,000 Czech and Slovak visitors who this year arrived by train?

Just two days ago, Jutarnji reported on phenomenal numbers of Polish visitors this year. Would anyone else really have taken the place of the returning family of four sharing a pizza? Just what would the season in Makarska have looked like without bolan?

Croatians are famously very appreciative hosts. On the ground, there's no doubt that such loyal guests are warmly welcomed and thanked each year by accommodation renters, restaurateurs and others. They greet returning visitors with smiles of familiarity and reserve for them their favourite place. In September 2020, gratitude to such guests was echoed by The Croatian National Tourist Board as they launched a new campaign 'Thank you', directed at the tourists who this year chose Croatia.

Perhaps it is time to ensure that this gratitude extends into any grand new initiatives for growth in the Croatia tourist season? Such loyal guests should not be taken for granted, nor forgotten.

Initiative within the Croatia tourist sector is vital. The unlocking of continental Croatia's potential is simply a must. That too of the Dalmatian hinterland and inland Istria. The exploitation of world-class Croatian assets such as nature, agriculture and health and wellness services are also perfectly on-point. The desire to attract a better class of bigger-spending visitor to luxury holidays on the Croatian coast should surely be a lower priority. After all, eyes that covet can all too frequently fail to appreciate that for which they should already be thankful.

SANDALS.jpg© Oddman47

Lead image adapted from an original photograph by © Marco Verch

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Thursday, 3 September 2020

Free Holidays for Austrians and Slovenes this September and October

September 3, 2020 – A bold and open gesture from the winemaking industry on the Pelješac peninsula to appreciated neighbours – cost-free accommodation will allow free holidays for Austrians and Slovenes in September and October 2020

Of all the incentives to assist Croatian tourism in the troublesome year of 2020, this one may be the boldest. In order to show appreciation for visitors from two of Croatia's nearest neighbours, winemakers from the Pelješac peninsula are arranging to offer free holidays for Austrians and Slovenes in September and October 2020.

In an interview published in Slobodna Dalmacija just yesterday, famous Pelješac winemaker Mato Violić Matuško revealed the plan. Matuško is also president of the Pelješac Wine Routes, a forward-thinking initiative in and of itself. It has massively increased wine tourism on Pelješac with its joined-up approach and has managed to bring together many individuals operating with the winemaking and tourism sectors of the region. Who better to organise free holidays for Austrians and Slovenes at harvest time?

Just one of the breathtaking views available on Pelješac. The peninsula is most famous for its incredible wines © Romulić & Stojčić

Winemakers who are members of the Pelješac Wine Routes Association are those who will be involved in offering the free holidays for Austrians and Slovenes. The plan is to offer free accommodation to Austrian and Slovene tourists in order to thank them in particular for their returning custom. Visitors from these nations are among the most frequent to come. The incentive also aims to bolster tourism numbers well past the point of late summer.

Although some revenue in accommodation rentals may be lost due to the offer, the idea is startlingly inventive. It is hoped money put into the local economy by visitors taking advantage of the free holidays for Austrians and Slovenes will benefit the wider population in what has been a difficult season for many. Austrians and Slovenes taking advantage of the incentive will also surely be offered some excellent Pelješac wine on their visit.

You can read here a TCN interview from August 2020 which also shows how the wines of Dubrovnik Neretva County have assisted in keeping visitor routes open during a difficult year for tourism in south Croatia  - Croatia Wine: ”Every Visit Is A Voyage Of Discovery”

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Saturday, 25 July 2020

Austria Puts Croatia on List of Safe Countries

ZAGREB, July 25, 2020 - Austria has put Croatia in the category of safe i.e. stable countries from which, upon returning, it is not necessary to produce a PCR test, the Croatian National Tourist Board's (HTZ) Austrian office said on Saturday.

Croatia has not been put on the list of at-risk countries from which returning to Austria will require a PCR test as of Monday, said Branimir Toncinic, director of the office.

"This is excellent news for Croatia's entire tourism sector given that Austria this July, as well as this year so far, is among the top five foreign markets where we are generating the biggest tourist turnover. We expect the positive trends to continue on that market, where we are very intensively promoting ourselves as a safe destination," said HTZ director Kristjan Stanicic.

According to eVisitor data, about 40,000 Austrians are currently vacationing in Croatia.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Austrian Media: Croatia is Our Best Chance for Summer Holiday

April 27, 2020 - The proximity to Croatia by car could be the driving force for Austrian tourists this summer, should the borders open. 

As the summer quickly approaches, Vecernji List reports that Austrian media has been increasingly seeking a concrete response from the Austrian political leadership as to whether and when the borders will open to regain their much-appreciated freedom of travel after the global coronavirus pandemic brought tourism to a halt.

Austrian citizens are receiving their answers gradually, just as the epidemiological situation improves and Austria opens step by step. However, impatient Austrians are still waiting to see if they can book their holidays abroad.

While Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger see summer holidays as a solution to signing bilateral treaties and opening borders with countries as serious aboout the coronavirus pandemic as Austria, citing Germany and the Czech Republic as an example, the Austrian media is much more gallant and is continually expanding the list of possible tourist destinations for holidaying Austrians during the corona era.

Titled "Croatia is the hottest for travel" with the headline "Korona: Where we can holiday this year", the Österreich daily said on Sunday that Croatia "intends to open its borders" for returning foreign tourists and for that, given its competitors, “has the best chance."

The same source states that Chancellor Kurz has already discussed the issue with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and relays news from Kurz's Twitter that he discussed with his colleague Plenkovic "a coordinated approach to reopening the tourism sector in these two countries, and seasonal workers and border controls". He also added Plenkovic's statement:

"Everyone I spoke with wants to find one model that opens borders and people can come to Croatia in the summer."

Österreich particularly emphasizes the great advantage of Croatia as this year's most desirable holiday destination for Austrians in the corona era - its proximity to Austria - which enables them to travel by car. For Austrians - this is a crucial security aspect.

At the same time, the daily states that Italy has "almost" no chance as a destination for this year's holidays and is a “no-go zone" for foreign tourists. Not only the media, but politicians also warn that "it is advisable to avoid traveling to Italy". Greece's chances of attracting tourists, according to the same source, are bad because of the distance and the necessary air travel. Travel bans are still in force in France, Spain and Turkey and are therefore unrealistic. Germany and the Czech Republic are mentioned as serious candidates for a holiday, which has already been mentioned several times by Chancellor Kurz, stating:

"I believe that our goal must be to re-establish freedom of travel step by step. Above all, we will be able to do this with our neighbors, who are also on the right track."

Austrian media reported on Sunday that German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass had warned Kurz about the danger of "opening borders too soon to bring back tourists". As a negative example, he cited the events at the famous Tyrol ski resort Ischgl, the epicenter of the coronavirus infection, not only for Austrians but also by many foreign and German tourists, saying that "Ischgl should never be repeated".

Mass argued for common measures and criteria for reopening borders, at the European Union level. Repeating Austrian Chancellor Kurz, he said that "the hard-fought successes of recent weeks should not be allowed to be destroyed in this way."

In this European game of which country will open its borders to foreign tourists faster, interesting data from one of the many Austrian surveys show that as many as 71 percent of Austrians intend to spend their holidays in Austria because of the coronavirus and the crisis caused by its spread. In connection with this, the Government plans to open hotels at the end of May, and in mid-May restaurants, cafes and other establishments.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Friday, 26 October 2018

Austria's Laudamotion to Connect Zadar and Stuttgart

A brand new connection for Zadar!

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Croatian National Tourist Board and 12 Exhibitors from Croatia at Vienna Tourism Fair

A promo for Croatia in the Austrian capital.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Cappelli: Austria Represents a Traditional and Very Important Market for Croatia

Within his official visit to Austria, and in addition to visiting the nautical trade show in Tulln, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli held a meeting yesterday with the Second President of the Austrian Parliament, Karlheinz Kopf.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Will the Next Tourist Season in Croatia Break All the Records?

Croatia just had a record tourist season, but in order to achieve this development strategy until 2020, every year should be a record year. On the one hand we have a chance to attract plenty of tourists as the fear of terrorism has shied many away from places like Greece, Turkey, and Egypt, but on the other hand, each of our outbound markets has its own characteristics, with their political or economic crises playing a large part in their good will. Germans are wary of migrants, earthquakes have shaken Italy, and Russians are troubled by an economic crisis. What makes the most sense is that the Austrians have, most importantly, a “safety destination”, while the French and the British are to announce a new air service next summer ... On the upside, the forecasts are looking good, and that has been confirmed by representatives of the Croatian Tourist Board throughout Europe.