Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Croatia the Most Sought-After Summer Destination for Austrians in 2021

February 9, 2021 – In a survey conducted by HomeToGo, the largest Austrian search platform for holiday homes, Croatia has once again proved to be a desirable destination. The results showed Croatia the most sought-after summer destination for Austrians in 2021.

After a well-known Austrian travel organizer Gruber Reisen recently published their research results, declaring Croatia the most sought-after destination for the Austrian market, the survey from another Austrian travel platform HomeToGo showed the same estimates.

Namely, HomeToGo, the largest search platform for holiday homes on the Austrian market, conducted a survey on Austrians' habits, travel preferences, and favorite holiday destinations in 2021. The research results were published on the Austrian portal Oe24.at, and Croatia was in the first place of the most sought-after summer destinations, reported Branimir Tončinić, Croatian National Tourist Board director in Austria.

The survey is based on a total of 200,000 searches. As in the previous year, the survey shows that Croatia is the leading and most sought-after destination with 41 percent of searches. Austria follows Croatia with 19.5 percent and Italy with 19 percent of searches, and then France, Greece, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the United Kingdom. Of the Croatian destinations, the most sought after are the Istrian peninsula and the island of Krk.

The obtained data clearly show the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on travel behavior. Looking at the top three most popular destinations – Croatia, Austria, and Italy – it can be concluded that this year, Austrians prefer sunny sea destinations in the immediate vicinity. Their choices are primarily motivated by the precarious situation with the coronavirus pandemic that prevents long-term planning and long trips.

Tončinić stated earlier that consumers pay special attention to the destination's safety and that the possibility to change their booking for free or other cancellation options at minimal cost is very important for them when booking a trip.

The survey results also show that 70 percent of Austrians plan to travel in the next 12 months. When it comes to accommodation, 63 percent of them prefer booking accommodation in holiday homes. Regarding the mode of travel, 71 percent of Austrians will travel by their own car.

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Wednesday, 20 January 2021

2021 Expected to be Busy Year for Austrian Tourists in Croatia

January 20, 2021 - It should be a busy year for Austrian tourists in Croatia, who have chosen the country as the most sought-after destination this year.

HRTurizam reports that well-known Austrian travel organizer Gruber Reisen conducted market research titled "Travel Barometer in 2021". The results of the research show that Croatia is the most sought-after destination for the Austrian market.


Copyright Gruber Reisen

According to the research results, after the leading Croatia, which achieved a share of 36 percent, the demand is followed by Austria with 33 percent, Greece with 30 percent, Italy with 28 percent, and Spain with a 15 percent share.

"When booking a trip, consumers pay special attention to safety in the destination, and the possibility to change their booking for free or other cancellation options at minimal cost is significant to them," commented Branimir Toncinic, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board in Austria.

The results also show that the demand for travel in this market is very pronounced as 23 percent of respondents have already booked a trip in 2021, while 73 percent of respondents will book their trips when the conditions for travel are created. Only 2 percent of respondents said they would stay home this year due to the coronavirus and their own sense of insecurity.

Of the activities during the trip, the most preferred is a beach holiday, which 58 percent of respondents mentioned, and the share of visits to cities, cruises, and wellness, which are becoming more and more interesting, is growing. When it comes to the number of trips during the year, 39 percent of respondents want to go on vacation twice a year. When it comes to the average duration of vacation travel, 47 percent of respondents chose trips lasting up to a week, while 45 percent expressed interest in two-week trips.

Half of the consumers or 54% of respondents seek expert advice from a travel agency, with 50% of them still listing travel catalogs. A third attaches great importance to friends and acquaintances' advice. In addition to travel brochures, social networks are also popular as a source of inspiration. A total of 53% of survey participants noted great importance to the possibility of using re-booking, i.e., cancellation through flexible booking conditions with little or no cost.

"These are excellent indicators in the significant Austrian market. This is a consequence, among other things, of continuous promotional activities that we carry out in the most important markets, which aim at positioning our country as a safe, diverse, quality, well-prepared, and close tourist destination," added the director of the Croatian Tourist Board Kristjan Stanicic.

The research was published by the popular online professional magazine Traveler Online and is available HERE.

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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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Monday, 24 August 2020

Austrian Tourists Report Chaos at Border on Return Home

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works of the global tourism industry and it is continuing to cause rifts between countries who are leaning more and more into the belief that certain decisions are being made with a political nature to them as opposed to an epidemiological one. One such case is that of Austria. Austrian tourists are being pushed from pillar to post as the decisions of their government cause enormous issues.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of August, 2020, the Austrian Government's decision to start placing measures on those wanting to travel to and indeed returning from Croatia has cause an enormous chaos among Austrian tourists. There was a wait yesterday in a queue in at the border crossing in the summer heat in which more than ten hours passed with almost no movement.

''We've been here for 10 hours with three small children. We're slowly running out of food and my children have fallen asleep hungry. Nobody cares, no one has even addressed us so far,'' one of the passengers who got stuck at the Slovenian-Austrian border crossing told 24sata.

Desperate passengers who got stuck at the Jesenice-Karavanke border crossing said that the situation had escalated and that people has started urinating along the highway because there was nowhere else for them to go, they were left without food and water, and children were crying.

''Our biggest problem is that we aren't allowed to stop anywhere in Austria, we've been on the road for more than twelve hours now, and who knows when we will cross the border… Even when we do manage to cross it, we have at least seven hours to drive home. Well, it's impossible to endure this and not be able to stop somewhere and get some sleep,'' said Marko R, who travelled yesterday with his wife and their three small children.

''We also asked the Slovenian police what was going on and why they were not letting us go, and they told us that the Austrians were simply carrying on with their stubbornness because of the whole situation with the coronavirus. We're outraged. This is no longer normal, we just want to get home,'' added Marko.

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Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Croatian Tourism: Austrians Replace Italy as Favourite Destination

From not wanting to open their borders to allow Austrian citizens to go on holiday to Croatia freely amid the coronavirus pandemic to Austrian travellers replacing Italy as their number one holiday destination all in a matter of weeks. Could Croatian tourism be in for a welcome boost?

As Barbara Ban/Novac writes on the 22nd of June, 2020, of the foreign destinations available to go on holiday to during this, entirely disturbed tourist season, Croatia is convincingly number one for Austrian nationals, followed by Italy, which is a traditional favourite of theirs.

This information is according to an analysis undertaken by the Gallup Institute, which was conducted per thousand respondents between June the 10th and June the 15th this year, and published in the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung. Admittedly, as many as 60 percent of Austrian citizens plan to stay at home this year and pump some money into their own economy despite the borders of their neighbouring countries having been opened.

Only 28 percent of Austrians want to go abroad, and most of them want to go to the coast and to nearby countries, according to the survey. As many as a third of these passengers, or more specifically 32 percent of them, want to or will travel to Croatia and give the Croatian tourism industry a much needed spring in its step.

Croatia is closely followed by Italy, which comes as no surprise as the Mediterranean country has been the favourite destination of Austrian tourists for many years now, but only 15 percent of Austrian citizens claim that they will travel to Italy, which has otherwise had some devastating results in regard to the coronavirus pandemic, this year.

Eight percent of tourists from Austria say they intend to travel to Greece, and seven percent of them will go to neighbouring countries (Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia). The same number of Austrians will go to Germany, Spain and the Canary Islands. The fewest Austrians opted for Turkey - a mere four percent of them, and even fewer will go to to other European countries such as Cyprus, Britain and France.

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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.

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Monday, 7 August 2017

How Austrian and Italian Tourists Holiday in Croatia, Free of Charge (Photos)

It looks as though dozens of foreign tourists have found a way to holiday for free in Croatia this summer.