Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Expert Predicts First Tourist Wave in May, Central and Southern Dalmatia with Hardest Recovery

January 26, 2021 – Siniša Topalović, a tourism consultant, spoke for HTV's Studio 4 show about why it is illusory to expect a pre-season, why Central and Southern Dalmatia will have the most challenging recovery, and where the future of Croatian tourism lies.

In the previous years, the media would already have been full of articles about preparing for the tourist season. Croatia has the largest share of tourism revenues in GDP in Europe, which reaches almost 20 percent of GDP and employs 11 percent of people. During the coronavirus crisis, the state still has high expectations, as it is an important source of tax revenue for it. However, tourism workers mostly complain and have black forecasts.

'The further north we go, the better tourism results'

When asked about official estimates that say Croatia could expect 60 percent of the income from tourism realized in 2019 this year, Topalović said that he believes that such an expectation is still too optimistic according to financial criteria.

"Between 60 and 70 percent of the physical traffic, we had in 2019 is achievable this year. If we talked about 70 percent of overnight stays and arrivals, everyone would sign that result at the moment. Still, when we talk realistically about the financial performance, it is probably about 50 to 60 percent of income," says Topalović, tourism consultant at Horwath HTL.

He added that Croatia does not expect an "even" recovery of tourism, but the results will vary geographically.

"As last year showed, the further north we go along the coast, the better our result is. The reason for this is the geographical position of Croatia. We were lucky that Istria, Kvarner, and the northern Dalmatian counties have relatively good access by road, and people took advantage of that. From Split to the south, the Makarska Riviera, and towards Dubrovnik will continue to have a more difficult situation this year, because the air connection will still not recover," explains Topalović.

He assessed the actions of the state during the pandemic as good and timely.

"Essentially, in 2020, the state reacted well in terms of maintaining employment in the tourism sector. Job-saving measures came relatively quickly, halting a potential wave of layoffs in the hotel industry. Both the management and the staff were protected, and there were no excessive losses. If the measures are extended until April, they should be sufficient to preserve the stability of the tourism sector," says Topalović.

'Now is the time to restructure Croatian tourism'

He says the expectation of a wave of tourists during the Easter holidays as in previous years in these conditions is illusory. Easter comes earlier this year, he says, so traditionally, the pre-season would be weak. But with COVID this year, there shouldn't be pre-season at all. The first wave of tourists is expected during May, and more intense from mid-June.

When choosing between quality and quantity, Croatian tourism has always gone in the direction of quantity. In 2020, it turned out to be the wrong direction.

"Last year denied populism, where the state, through tax systems and everything it did or did not do, allowed an uncontrolled increase in private accommodation of medium and lower quality. Those who were thinking a step further with quality accommodation this year scored and ensured their stability," says Topalović.

He added that quality has won this year, regardless of the type of accommodation, and thinks that this is a sign to those who decide and work on legislative frameworks that the state should encourage quality tourism with all its arsenal. Now is the time, he added, to restructure Croatian tourism.

"It's never a good time for us. When we grow, then we don't change anything because everything is good. When there is a crisis, we don't change anything because we need help. The crisis here has shown in which direction the market is going. Croatian tourism has no future if it stays on the concept of a low-budget mass market, which we currently have," explains Siniša Topalović.

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Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board Begins Promotion in Europe with New Promo Video

May 26, 2020 - The Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board is targeting the biggest European markets with a new promotional video showing the beauties of Central Dalmatia. 

A press release from the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board reads that the most prominent part of the promotional campaign is the new video that was launched a few days ago, which is aimed at targeted European markets. It is also a marketing step at the time of opening borders and aims to establish tourist traffic in these areas.

"Central Dalmatia and all its treasures, the beauties of lakes, rivers, seas, beaches, bays, towns, and islands are ready for their dear guests. They are safe, preserved, and corona-free, full of hidden beauties, and always ready for their dear friends and guests. She is a treasure trove of feelings and a set of memories for those who have already met her in their gatherings. It is a dream that awaits all those who will meet her for the first time. There she is, ready to socialize again, with an invitation for all who want to taste the holiday, which will never leave their heads and hearts. And that is why she invites all those after a true adventure on the journey of a lifetime, to get to know it as the most special, most diverse car destination. Which at every new corner, behind every bend of the road, after exiting every tunnel, gives the most beautiful postcard.

The Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board has launched promotional campaigns aimed at the markets of Germany, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Austria. And this time, it turns to all people ready to step into the new platform of the tourist offer. Those who will give them a rest that they will never forget even in this post-corona time. It gives them a chance to get to know the specialties of Central Dalmatia as a car destination, which offers a variety of specifics. Because Central Dalmatia is more than a tourist destination, it is a feeling of 100% freedom, at the same time, the most beautiful harmony. It is an area where every friend and guest can feel all the treasures gathered in one place," the Tourist Board adds.

"We are carefully monitoring the situation in the main markets of Central Dalmatia, just like hoteliers, caterers, tourist camps, owners of family accommodation and nautical, waiting for an agreement between the epidemiological and tourist professions which should enable human health protection and realizing the summer part of this tourist year. But in the meantime, despite the modest funds available to the County Tourist Board in these circumstances, we have prepared promotional campaigns aimed at our traditional markets of Germany, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Austria. Through them, we will further promote Central Dalmatia as a car-destination. The most prominent part of the promotional campaign is the new video that was launched a few days ago, which is aimed at targeted European markets and is a marketing step at the time of opening borders and establishing tourist traffic in these areas," says Joško Stella, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board.

"Because with this way of getting to know her, every new and old guest in Central Dalmatia has the opportunity to get to know the connection between history and the present, gastronomy and adrenaline, fun and relaxation. Through car tours, they will touch UNESCO cities, Trogir and Split, drink coffee in the square of Emperor Diocletian, enjoy the healthiest, Mediterranean food in the world, watch kitesurfers on the city beaches. They will rise in Zagorje, taste grilled trout from the river, and taste top-quality homemade wine from carefully guarded vineyards. They will head south, to the famous beach in Bol, to Zlatni rat, and see with their own eyes a unique world phenomenon that shifts as the wind blows. They will swim in the crystal clear coves, enjoy the sea never more transparent, never softer, and then they will return to the coast again. And soar into the hills of Omis, to enjoy the lookout from the palm of your hand, and in its center, enjoy the city where the famous Omis Pirates guarded their honor and freedom.

There they will walk through the cobbled streets, then head in the direction of the Makarska Riviera, driving to choose which beach to go to. And they will feel something that will never leave their minds again, the warmth of the soul and people, the feeling of unique fun, and a memory that will stay in the soul forever. Because when Central Dalmatia invites you as a guest, everyone who responds will begin breathing with full lungs. Come to Central Dalmatia to taste happiness," the Split-Dalmatia Tourist Board concludes.

You can visit the Tourist Board website here.

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

Saturday, 18 May 2019

New Fast Connection from Split Airport to Bol Starting on 1 June

Something new is on the cards for the very beginning of next month in time for the height of the tourist season for those wanting a direct line from Split Airport to Bol on the nearby island of Brač, the third largest island in Croatia.

As Morski writes on the 17th of May, 2019, as of the 1st of June 2019 to the 15th of September 2019, the new fast-freight company Adriatic Fast Ferries d.o.o. will introduce a fast-freight line four times a day from Split Airport to Bol on the central Dalmatian island of Brač. There will be two direct connections and two lines which will head to Bol via Split's busy ferry port.

The direct connection will take one hour from Split Airport to Bol, and the line which will stop at Split's ferry port will take an hour and twenty minutes. There will be three lines in place from Bol to Split per day, according to a report from the local portal Bol info.

Unlike for other ferries and connections, tickets for this new line can only be purchased online at the ship's website.

The catamaran for this line was built back in 1999 at the FBM Marine Ltd shipyard and was purchased from the English company Red Jet. The catamaran is 33 metres long and has a capacity of 190 passengers.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle and travel pages for much more.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Germans to Split, Poles to Omis, Top Central Dalmatia Destinations by Country

May 9, 2019 - Central Dalmatia is one of Croatia's most popular and diverse tourist regions, with something for everyone. A look at which destinations are popular for the top 20 visiting countries.

From the beach heaven of the Makarska Riviera and the island paradise of Brac, Hvar, Solta and Vis to, to the UNESCO heritage of Split and Trogir and the wild natural adventure paradise of inland Dalmatia, Central Dalmatia is becoming one of Croatia's most visited tourist destination, attracting tourists from all over the world. 

But which destinations appeal to each nation? New statistics out for the 2018 season show quite a diversity of choice. Below are the top 20 countries in terms of tourist arrivals in 2018, with a list of the top 3 destinations in Central Dalmatia where they headed. 

Germans were once again the largest group of visitors (332,086), with Poland not far behind. 

I was suprised to see Trogir rank so highly with a number of countries, and always nice to see that my adopted home of Jelsa is still one of the most popular destinations for Slovenians. 

Central Dalmatia continues to be popular with Brits, while strong growth continued in the French and US markets. Another surprise - to me at least - is that Swedes are more numerous than Norwegians, having discovered the region a little later than their northern neighbours. 

Here are the top 20 countries and where they like to holiday.

1. Germany (332,086)

Split

Omis

Makarska

2. Poland (304,523)

Omis

Makarska

Baska Voda

3. Croatia (246,455)

Split

Seget

Makarska

4. UK (218.421)

Split

Hvar

Trogir

5. Czechia (220,345)

Baska Voda

Gradac

Omis

6. BiH (170,805)

Makarska

Baska Voda

Gradac

7. USA (138,951)

Split

Hvar

Trogir

8. France (138,957)

Split

Bol

Trogir

9. Sweden (132, 154)

Split

Makarska

Baska Voda

10. Slovakia (95,025)

Baska Voda

Makarska

Tucepi

11. Slovenia (93,551)

Split

Jelsa

Baska Voda

12. Austria (82,025)

Split

Bol

Makarska

13. Norway (81,813)

Split

Makarska

Tucepi

14. Italy (71,216)

Split

Hvar 

Makarska

15. Hungary (72,443)

Makarska

Omis

Trogir

16. Holland (53,380)

Split

Seget

Trogir

17. Australia (53,215)

Split

Hvar

18. Spain (50,078)

Split

Dugopolje 

Hvar

19. South Korea (37,123)

Split 

Seget

20. Switzerland (23,094)

Split

Mararksa

Hvar

For the latest in travel, check out the dedicated TCN page.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Klis Creates Project for Luxury Hotel, Searches for Investor

The Klis Municipality in Dalmatia has taken the initiative and provided the complete infrastructure for potential investors, and on the same plot, it has been made possible to build additional ten villas as well as the hotel itself.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Little Šibenik Fortress Once Controlled Traffic Between Central Dalmatia and Bosnia

Dr. Ivo Glavaš gives us a look into the relatively unknown past of one little Dalmatian fortress.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Split is the Star of the Tourist Season

Split-Dalmatia County has recorded excellent tourist results this season. According to eVisitor, August alone had over five million overnight stays - increasing 7% from last year.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Time to Look East? Central Dalmatia Most Popular with Koreans in 2015

The official tourism numbers are out for April, and once more it is good news for Split, with yet another increase on the impressive 2014 tourism season, with arrivals up 6%, and overnights by 11%, but the newsworthy story is something altogether more interesting...

Tourists from which country comprise the biggest number of visitors to Central Dalmatiain the first four months of 2015?

The answer? South Korea.

Last year, the Germans were number one for the period of January to April, but while they have decreased by 24% so far this year, the Koreans have assumed the number one spot, with a rise of 18%, some 10,147 arrivals so far. 

Not only that, but they are joined by other Asian countries showing significant increases. Japan is number 4 on the list, up 54% on the same time last year. Taiwan is in at number 12, up 56%, and China is at 14, up 29%.

Having recently been to Tokyo with Qatar Airways, I am slowly understanding why they are about to increase flights to Zagreb seven times a week. Connecting Croatia to 146 worldwide destinations via Doha, it would appear to be a very smart strategic move. 

Is the tourism complexion of Split's visitors about to change significantly?

And why South Korea? A nice story, which we have covered before. Click on the link or check out the video below.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Hotel Investment Boom in Central Dalmatia

All hotels will be ready for the season, some are already sold out

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Germans Top Visitors as Central Dalmatia Records Bumper 2015

The official numbers are in - it has been another exceptional year for tourism in Central Dalmatia.

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