Thursday, 8 April 2021

Preparations for Upcoming Uncertain Season in Croatia Continue

April 8, 2021 - Preparations for the upcoming uncertain season in Croatia continue.  A look at the latest in Kvarner. 

During Easter, two virtual presentations of Kvarner were held for Italian agencies and journalists, organized by the Kvarner Tourist Board, the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ), HTZ Representation in Milan. If the COVID-19 restrictions allow, Italians will be able to reach Kvarner by catamaran!

During the presentation, Kvarner tourist destinations have a long tradition in health tourism - Opatija, Crikvenica, and the island of Lošinj - were presented through short promotional films. The Italian market is one of the most important for Kvarner and Croatia, but the epidemiological situation is not good there either, and the pandemic has impoverished the Italians. Among other things, emphasis was placed on the offer of health tourism in Kvarner, a key, traditional, and essential tourist product this year.

Regarding the situation in this important market, the director of the CNTB's representative office in Milan, Viviana Vukelić, said there was a mini lockdown in Italy from April 3 to 6 and that travel between regions was banned.

Novilist.hr reports: "There are no tourists in Italy itself, the resumption of tourism will be extremely slow and associated with the gradual easing of measures, vaccinations, the opening of airlines, border measures, and more. Given the above circumstances, the tourism industry's focus in Italy is currently on locals and guests from the surrounding countries.

In general, tourists from Italy will decide on travel at the last minute, prices will be looked at, and the key criterion will be health security," said Vukelic, adding that the projections of what will be the tourist flows this year, with constant restrictions and introduction of sudden and new travel measures, difficult to articulate. 

"However, when we talk about Croatia, there is interest in traveling to our country, which numerous partners confirm. In these uncertain times, it is important to maintain market presence and visibility.

For example, in cooperation with the Kvarner Tourist Board, we held two virtual presentations of Kvarner intended for Italian partners, tour operators, and representatives of B2B media. In addition to the beauties and motives of Kvarner, the emphasis in the presentation was placed on all measures implemented for a safe stay in the destination, as well as on the health offer of Kvarner, active tourism, and gastronomy.

The presentations were very successful and gathered 80 participants, and the largest number of questions related to post-COVID treatments in Kvarner, sports tourism, travel with families and children, beaches, said the director of the Milan CNTB Office and pointed out that it is clear that everyone is looking for security and free space to distance themselves.

With this aim, the implementation of the Safe Stay in Croatia campaign will soon start on the Italian market, followed by a B2B campaign in specialized tourist media, and after that, the implementation of the main invitation campaigns. The BIT virtual fair in Milan will be held on the Italian market at the beginning of May, while the BMT fair in Napoli has been announced for May 28.

Although in Italy the focus is on the domestic guest, among other things, because Italy did not even have a winter ski season, some agencies are thinking about Croatia. Thus, Paolo Gorini, owner of the Gomoviaggi agency, which last year had a catamaran connection between Lošinj and Italy, told us that even though the situation is still very uncertain, they are preparing a program for the summer of 2021.

This summer, they plan to focus on the most favorable holiday period for Italians, and they also plan to introduce some innovations. They have already contracted a Dash 8Q400 Croatia Airlines aircraft for the line between Split and Ancona.

With a capacity of 76 passengers, the aircraft will fly from July 31 to August 28, with three flights a week. In Split, they also rented a small cruise ship with 15 cabins, so their guests can use the flight plus cruise if they wish. We also find out that they are in negotiations with Italian and Croatian shipowners about renting catamarans.

"We intend to work with two lines. The first is from Pescara and Cesenatica to Lošinj, Novalja, and Rovinj. From mid-July to the end of August, two weeks of travel to Rovinj, two trips a week to Lošinj, one of which will continue to Novalja on Saturday.

The second line we are planning is from Civitanova to Lošinj and Hvar, again from mid-July to the end of August, with two trips a week to Hvar and one to Lošinj. Of course, all this will depend on the development of the situation with COVID-19, which made a bad joke with us last August.

Namely, we were forced to stop the line in mid-August, when we already had hundreds of reservations that we had to cancel. But let’s hope for the best this year," Gorini concluded.

Follow the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

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

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Croatia Featured in Best European Countries to Visit in 2021

March 31, 2021 - With the summer of 2021 fast approaching, European Best Destinations has set up a ranking of the best countries to visit in 2021.

Due to a variety of landscapes, climates, history, and cultures, Europe is the number one tourist destination in the world. The European continent consists of over 40 incredible destinations, it can get a bit tough when making a decision. Whether you're in the mood for a nature holiday in Croatia, island hopping in Greece, or a cultural trip in Turkey, the traveler's favorite European destinations of 2021 have them all. 

Croatia has recently been featured as number five in Europe's Top 10 Countries, the Best Countries to Visit in Europe in 2021. The European Best Destinations (EBD) featured Croatia as one of the best all-around destinations in Europe, where tourists can enjoy incredible scenery, beautiful beaches, and hikes for the best views.  Among Croatia, other countries which made the list are Portugal, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Germany, Austria, and Ireland. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Croatia is considered one of the safest destinations in Europe due to its preventative measures and a fairly low number of COVID-19 cases. As the country has managed to implement successful health measures while still allowing and welcoming tourists, it's no surprise that Croatia was featured as number five in EBD's Top 10 Countries to Visit in 2021. 

As EBD reports, Croatia is a wealthy country that offers travelers the guarantee of an exceptional holiday. You can find some of the greatest diversity of landscapes in the European continent with forests, countryside, hills, beaches, islands, and mountains of rare beauty all in one place. Tourists from all over the world fall in love with this country, its history, its beauty, and its exceptional charm. Dive into the pure waters of Croatia, discover its 1,000 islands, and enjoy the breathtaking landscape. In case you're feeling like more of a hinterland holiday, you can also venture and discover exceptional hills, mountains, and forests all within your reach. 

Croatia is a breathtaking destination where you'll never get bored. From a city trip to Zagreb, island hopping, and exploring, Croatia is your ideal holiday. Even though it is mostly known for its clear waters and stunning beaches, Croatia is also ideal for green holidays. Explore the side of Croatia which not a lot of tourists get to experience and have nice walks in its beautiful parks. Don't forget to enjoy its mouthwatering gastronomy, and try out all the local dishes! 

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Sunday, 9 August 2020

US Embassy: Level 3 Travel Health Notice Issued for Travel to Croatia

August the 9th, 2020 - The US Embassy in Croatia has stated that the advise now being given to American tourists is to ''reconsider travel to Croatia'' amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

As the US Embassy in Croatia has stated, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice to American citizens hoping to travel to the Republic of Croatia.

There have been numerous items added to the ''checklist'' for travel for US citizens for Croatia, which can be read by clicking the above link and by following the links provided within the US Embassy's webpage. A country information page is also available.

For more on travel to, from and within Croatia during the coronavirus era, follow our dedicated travel page.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Saturday, 11 July 2020

Croatia Hosting 500,000 Tourists, Nearly All Of Them Foreign

July 11, 2020 — Half-a-million tourists are in Croatia, a new high for the year.

According to the eVisitor system, which includes tourist traffic realized in the commercial and non-commercial segments and in the nautical industry, more than 500,000 tourists are staying in Croatian destinations, of which about 430,000 are foreign tourists.

It’s the first time this year Croatia crossed that threshold. Most foreign guests are from Germany, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

“We generate the largest tourist turnover from those markets where we carry out intensive promotional activities aimed at positioning our country as an interesting, but above all safe tourist destination,” said Kristijan Staničič, head of the Croatian National Tourist Board, in a press release. “The achieved results prove that we succeeded in that because Croatia is one of the few tourist destinations in the Mediterranean where tourist traffic is realized.

“We expect guests from distant non-European markets, but also from the UK, France or Scandinavia during mid-July, with an increase in the number of airlines that will positively affect the overall traffic in the country, especially the results of destinations in central and southern Dalmatia.”

Almost 600 thousand arrivals were realized in Croatia (46 percent of the results achieved during the same period last year) and 4.4 million overnight stays (53 percent of the results achieved during the same period last year) in the period between July 1 and July 10.

Looking at overnight stays realized in the same period by counties, most of them were realized in Istria (1.2 million overnight stays), Primorje-Gorski Kotar (975,000 overnight stays) and Zadar County (819,000 overnight stays). They are followed by Split-Dalmatia County with 706,000 overnight stays, Šibenik-Knin County with 321,000 overnight stays, Dubrovnik-Neretva County with 188,000 overnight stays and Lika-Senj County with 167,000 overnight stays in July.

Looking at the destinations, most overnight stays so far in July were realized in the destinations Vir, Rovinj, Medulin, Mali Lošinj, Poreč, Umag, Crikvenica and others.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Croatia to Reopen Maritime Border Crossing Points

ZAGREB, June 10, 2020 - Considering the favourable epidemiological situation in the country, the Croatian government on Wednesday decided to reopen maritime border crossing points for international transport of passengers that had been temporarily closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Terezija Gras, state secretary at the Ministry of the Interior, informed the government of the activities of the national coronavirus crisis management team.

She said that 200,000 people had announced their visit to Croatia using an online form on the ministry's website. Of those, 70,000 are tourists, mostly from Slovenia, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Germany.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Friday, 8 May 2020

Source Claims Croatia Could Reopen Borders Incrementally in June

May 8, 2020 — Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli claimed yesterday requests from countries wanting Croatia to reopen its border this summer flooded his office. Their wish may come true.

A source consulting with the Civil Protection Directorate on reopening hospitality businesses said Croatia may start loosening border restrictions starting next month, adding the announcement may come as early as this afternoon.

Croatia could first reopen its border with Slovenia on June 1, followed by Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, and Austria on June 15, the source said.

The reopenings would be subject to continued success in controlling the coronavirus, both within Croatia and the other countries. 

Opening the borders would signal an unofficial end to the intense anti-pandemic measures Croatia put in place after its first confirmed affection arrived in late February. The country has already pulled back stay-at-home orders, and hospitality businesses will reopen next Monday. 

It would also be one of the first countries to allow movement from other member states within the bloc. The European Union will apparently let members dictate border policy via bilateral agreements, rather than unified protocols.

The epidemiological measures and constraints weren’t clear, the source said, but would be presented in the announcement.

Border reopenings remain the last stage in Croatia’s transition to something resembling normalcy in the coronavirus era. The move signals the government’s hopes to salvage what’s left of the economically vital tourism season, which usually drives up to one-fifth of the nation’s GDP.

Cappelli said there were very few cancelations for July and August, suggesting the tourism season may bounce back better than expected

“Italians are still hoping to come to Croatia,” he said ahead of a government meeting in Zagreb yesterday. “Not to mention Slovenia, Austria, the Czech Republic.”

Croatia’s not alone in its desire to move past strict measures. Neighboring Slovenia is reportedly also seeking a way out of the current restrictions, hoping to rescue what’s been a complete loss on a summer tourist season.

The nation has also lobbied Croatia to cut back on travel restrictions for its citizens, many of whom own weekend homes along in Dalmatian. Opening the border for Slovenians would refill many empty houses on islands and along the coast, some of whom also offer accommodations during the summer.

Slovenia is also Croatia’s second-largest source of guests, accounting for 10 percent of overnight stays.

Italians remain off the radar in all discussions. The country’s coronavirus ordeal has statistically crested, and the government recently loosened some restrictions on daily life. But Croatia could be able to push back on opening the borders with Italy until August, when their tourists flood the coast.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Hundreds of Croats Returning from Abroad at Own Cost

ZAGREB, April 2, 2020 - Hundreds of Croat nationals are returning home on Saturday from Portugal, Spain, Italy and Sweden at their own cost on Croatia Airlines commercial flights because operating costs of their travel have to be covered, Croatia's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said.

The majority of them are students and are coming from Spain, between 150 of the 200, fewer are coming from Portugal, and between 60 and 120 are coming from Italy, Grlić Radman explained and added that repatriation is also being considered via ferry from Ancona to Zadar.

"It is our obligation to care for the safety of our citizens and to assist them in returning home," said Grlić Radman.

As such, extraordinary "commercial repatriation flights" have been introduced, he said and added that the operating costs of the flights have to be covered.

"Airplanes are leaving Zagreb empty and it is in our interest to accommodate as many people as possible while respecting the proper distance in seating. They must wear protective masks and gloves," he said.

He added that this crisis, after the economic and migrant crisis before it, is yet another test to "demonstrate solidarity and unity."

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban has secured greater powers during the coronavirus crisis and has been criticised by European institutions and human rights groups.

Grlić Radman said that Croatia, "as the country presiding the Council of the EU, is a neutral mediator that needs to represent the interests of all member states."

Thirteen EU member states signed a joint statement on Wednesday underscoring that measures in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic have to be limited in time, proportional and under regular control.

Grlić Radman said that he is aware of that, but recalled that it is "customary for the presiding country not to join any statement but to unite all interests."

Croatia did not sign the last joint declaration by the Friends of Cohesion regarding the multi-annual financial framework even though it is a member of that informal group, nor did it sign a non-paper requesting EU enlargement to the Western Balkans even though it advocates European integration and incorporated that in its priorities for the six-month presidency, said Grlić Radman.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Ryanair Celebrates 4 Million Passengers in Croatia

Ryanair, one of Europe’s favorite budget airlines, celebrated 4 million passengers in Croatia since the beginning of its operations in the country in 2006, reports AvioRadar on June 6, 2019.

The 4 millionth passenger traveled on Ryanair’s new service from Eindhoven to Zadar, which is part of the summer. schedule this year. The 2019 summer schedule also includes new escapes such as Berlin, Cologne, Dublin, Krakow, and Prague. Ryanair will transport 550,000 users in Croatia this year and boasts more than 400 staff in the airports of Dubrovnik, Pula, Rijeka, Split, and Zadar. 

Ryanair’s 2019 summer schedule in Croatia boasts two new airports (Dubrovnik and Split), five airports in total (Dubrovnik, Pula, Rijeka, Split, Zadar), and 11 new routes, including Zadar to/from Cologne, Eindhoven, Krakow, Hamburg, Milan, Bergama, Nuremberg, Poznan, and Prague. Dubrovnik and Dublin are also connected on Ryanair this year, as is Pula and Berlin, and Split and Dublin. 

Ryanair has a total of 31 routes in Croatia. 

The celebrate 4 million passengers in Croatia, Ryanair dropped seat prices down to 22.99 euro for trips in June, which should be booked by midnight on Saturday, June 8, 2019. 

“Ryanair is pleased to celebrate 4 million passengers in Croatia and the record 2019 summer. As part of the celebration, in June, we will sell seats from Croatia for 22.99 euro. This offer is available until Saturday, June 8, at midnight,” said Olga Pawlonka, a representative of the airline in Zadar. 

Josip Klišmanić, the managing director of Zadar Airport, said:

“It has been 12 years since Ryanair started flying to Zadar. Then, we handled only about 65,000 passengers. I am happy to announce that more than 750,000 passengers will travel through Zadar Airport this year. Ryanair is the most important partner in achieving this goal. I believe that this will remain and that we will celebrate more and more travelers in the future.”

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

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Croatia Airlines Records Busiest April Ever!

May 9, 2019 - In April of this year, a total of 172,758 passengers were transported by Croatia Airlines, which is a record number of passengers in April in the history of the company, the Croatian national air carrier reported on Wednesday.

Croatia Airlines thus overtook its previous record set in April 2011 when it carried 151,231 passengers. Furthermore, April 2019 is 16% better than April 2018, carrying 23,359 passengers more than last April. 

From January - April 2019, Croatia Airlines achieved a growth of total passenger traffic of 3%. In that period, 518,557 passengers were transported, with the average occupancy of the passenger cabin at 69.1 percent. 

Given the favorable bookings and demand, this positive travel trend is expected for the remainder of the year, especially during the tourist season in which Croatian Airlines airplanes will fly directly to 38 destinations in 24 European states.

Croatia Airlines adds that, according to existing indicators, this year expects about 5 percent more passengers compared to 2018, with a record 2,168,863 passengers being transported. The airline will even carry Zagreb Airport's millionth passenger of 2019 on flight OU513, taking off on Sunday from Dublin. 

In this year's tourist season, as well as last year, Croatia Airlines boasts 12 aircraft in their fleet - four Airbus 319, two Airbus 320 and six Dash 8-Q400 aircraft. As in the past two years, two more aircraft will be hired for the tourist season from May to October.

The company marks its 30th anniversary this year, too. For the special occasion, the airline utilized its employees to select the best slogan to commemorate the big birthday, which is “Creating memories for 30 years!”

Along with the slogan, a unique birthday design was created, which also saw the help of its creative employees. 

To mark 30 years, Croatia Airlines has chosen to enhance the visuals of its fleet. Namely, on its 12 aircraft, the “CROATIA” logo has been enlarged, making it even more noticeable. Furthermore, the checkers, as a recognizable symbol of Croatian national identity, extend to the hull of the aircraft. 

The visuals on the exterior can also be noticed on the lower part (belly) of the aircraft, which is now white, giving the plane a touch of elegance. Thus, the Croatia Airlines fleet, which is usually a traveler's first introduction to Croatia, has become even stronger and more recognizable. 

To celebrate three decades, the company will also conduct several competitions this year where visitors or citizens can expect valuable prizes. The competitions will be conducted in cooperation with the media and on social networks, and surprises can also be expected on flights. All details can be found here

The story of Croatia Airlines began on August 7, 1989, when it was registered as Zagal (formally, Zagreb Airlines). On December 23, 1990, Zagal changed its name to Croatia Airlines and became the national carrier of passengers, goods, and mail. 

The first commercial flight of Croatia Airlines took off on May 5, 1991, from Zagreb to Split, while the first international flight was between Zagreb and Frankfurt on April 5, 1992. 

From the very first flight to the end of February 2019, Croatia Airlines has achieved 585,500 flights and carried over 38,240,000 passengers. Of these, 11,407,500 passengers flew on Croatian flights, 24,014,500 flew on international routes, and 2,818,000 were carried on special charter flights. For the upcoming tourist season, Croatia Airlines will travel to 38 destinations in 24 countries. 

It is almost essential to note that in the last 30 years, Croatia Airlines has become a member of the most important aviation associations, such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Star Alliance, the largest aviation association in the world. Today, Croatia Airlines is classified as a mid-sized European airline, recognized by passengers for flight safety, professional staff, and quality of service. 

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

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Nearly Half of Croatians Planning Trips Abroad This Winter

ZAGREB, December 10, 2018 - Nearly half of Croatian citizens, or 46 percent, are planning trips abroad this winter, an online survey conducted by Mastercard shows. The survey was conducted on a sample of 1,002 users of banking services in Croatia aged 18 to 55.

It showed that a quarter of the respondents, or 27 percent, would not be travelling abroad this winter, while 28 percent had not decided yet. Of those planning a trip abroad, as many as 60 percent said they intended to visit one of the European cities during the Advent period, while 23 percent would ring in the New Year in one of European destinations near Croatia. Others plan a different kind of trip (18 percent) or a skiing trip (16 percent).

Most of the respondents said their trip would last up to a week, with 61 percent of skiers saying they would stay abroad for five to seven days, while 53 percent of those planning Advent trips would spend one or two days abroad.

The survey revealed that Croatians most often travel to the nearest capitals. In the last year, the most visited destinations were Ljubljana (29 percent), Sarajevo (19 percent), Budapest (19 percent), Vienna (18 percent), Munich (15 percent) and Belgrade (14 percent).

Croatians most often travel around the country, either on business or on holiday. In the last year as many as 63 percent of business and holiday trips were made within Croatia, while a quarter were made to eurozone countries. Only about ten percent of trips were made outside the eurozone.

Most of the respondents, or 82 percent, said they would book their accommodation online, 13 percent would do so via a travel agency, while 16 percent said they did not need to make a booking.

The survey also revealed that most of the respondents would pay for their trip with some form of non-cash payment, while only 28 percent said they would pay cash. Only seven percent said they only used credit cards for payments abroad, while 19 percent said they mostly used credit cards, which is an increase of six percent.

The survey found that 41 percent of the respondents had not made a single trip abroad in the last year and that 27 percent were not planning on travelling outside Croatia this winter either.

For more on Croatia’s travel news, visit our dedicated section.

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