Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Istrian Camps and Hotels Breaking Records in Post-Season

September the 27th, 2022 - Istrian camps and hotels are continuing to break records during 2022's post-season, despite the poor weather conditions which are currently causing issues in that and other parts of the country.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, even the bad weather over the last few days hasn't succeeded in spoiling the excellent tourist results for Istrian camps and hotels during the post-season. For the whole year, compared to the record, pre-pandemic year of 2019, the number of overnight stays is now only 3% behind. Of the 350,000 tourists currently staying in Croatia, about 100,000 of them are on the gorgeous Istrian peninsula, as reported by HRT.

There are now much smaller crowds, the sun is still warm but not brutally hot, and the sea hasn't cooled down all that much either, meaning swimming is still very much a possibility, this combination is ideal for guests from the north. The Fazana camp is still half full, and among the 2,000 guests, the majority are retirees, parents with small children and school groups on trips away.

"The season is better than that of 2019. I can say that cumulatively, in total, the whole year will end with some 10% plus compared to 2019," said Roland Cinkopan, the director of the Bi-Village camp in Fazana.

Even in the camp in Pula, the cottages are still full, and the rent of several hundreds of euros per night is now half the price. "We wanted to stay a few days, but it's beautiful, especially with this view, so we're staying the whole week," said Paola from Germany, and that view extends to a luxury hotel with all the accompanying facilities. Although it has just been renovated, it was immediately recognised on the market and will not be closed even over winter. In the coming months, it will host congresses, and now individual guests, mostly Austrian nationals, are staying there.

Raising the overall level of quality and increasing consumption is part of the strategic plan for tourism development not only in Istria but across the rest of country, crowd reduction is also a top priority.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Friday, 16 September 2022

Croatian Tourist Season Air Traffic Exceeds Pre-Pandemic Year of 2019

September the 16th, 2022 - Croatian tourist season air traffic has reached heights that outdo those we saw back during the record breaking, pre-pandemic year of 2019.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, even with numerous difficulties still being faced by airlines, air travel to Southeastern Europe throughout the summer season so far has significantly exceeded pre-pandemic levels. This also includes Croatian tourist season air traffic levels.

Both Turkey and Greece exceeded the levels of arrivals of international visitors they recorded back before the pandemic struck by 9 percent and 2 percent respectively, and of the capital cities, Istanbul had the strongest growth of 2 percent compared to 2019, according to an analysis by ForwardKeys.

Most guests are from Germany

The number of arrivals to nearby Albania has also increased by as much as 28 percent, although it only accounts for 1 percent of the market share in all European air arrivals. All other countries are still in the red compared to the pre-pandemic summer of 2019, and neighbouring Slovenia has seen the smallest drop of a mere 7 percent compared to the pre-pandemic period, followed by Iceland with a drop of 8 percent, and Portugal, which lags behind by 10 percent.

According to the latest published data published by the Croatian Statistical Institute, the number of air passenger arrivals to Croatia fell by 11 percent in July alone.

In the period from January to July this year, 5.1 million passengers were recorded as having passed through Croatian airports, equal to 81 percent of the country's pre-pandemic traffic, with the largest number of passengers in the first seven months of 2022 being recorded from Germany, followed by the United Kingdom and then France.

In July this year, the highest level of Croatian tourist season air traffic was achieved by Split Airport, followed by Dubrovnik Airport and then Zagreb Airport. The most significant amount of international passenger traffic was achieved with British airports, which accounts for almost seven times more than last year, when the restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic were in effect.

When it comes to European cities, Athens had 7 percent less arrivals by plane in July and August than it did back in 2019, Reykjavik and Porto saw drops of 8 percent, and Malaga saw a considerable drop of 13 percent.

The main drivers of air traffic growth for Turkey are the constant decline in the value of the Turkish lira and its openness to the Russian market, from where direct flights to most of Europe are prohibited.

Departures within Europe were 22 percent lower

European destinations could have attracted more visitors during the summer months this year if the airline industry had coped better with the surge in travel demand during the late spring and early summer. If there had been no disruption, ForwardKeys estimates that the recovery of flight reservations within Europe would have been five percentage points higher. An analysis of departure markets reveals that within Europe, Greece has proven to be the most resilient, with departures to European destinations in July and August at 2019's impressive levels.

Poland saw a minus of 9 percent compared to 2019, Spain saw a drop of 12 percent, the UK saw one of 13 percent, Denmark saw a drop of 14 percent and Portugal had a drop of 15 percent. In total, departures within Europe were reduced by 22 percent. The strongest non-European market was the USA, with only a 5 percent drop compared to 2019. It was followed by Colombia and Israel, both with 9 percent.

The outlook for the next three months is optimistic, despite the still unstable circumstances. As of August the 31st, there were 21 percent less flight reservations when compared to the same period back in 2019, and the exceptions were once again Greece and Turkey, which both enjoyed a higher number of reservations than they did back in 2019, of 5 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 6 September 2022

Opatija Tourism Figures at 92% of Pre-Pandemic 2019

September the 6th, 2022 - Opatija tourism figures are looking more than promising so far, having achieved an impressive 92 percent of the overnight stays realised back during the record, pre-pandemic year of 2019.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, during the first eight months of this year, 863,000 overnight stays were realised in the gorgeous Kvarner town of Opatija, which is 46 percent more than the same period last year and 92 percent of the turnover realised back during the record year od 2019, the Tourist Board of the City of Opatija reported on Monday.

The director of the Opatija Tourist Board, Suzi Petricic, pointed out that the most requested and filled were high-class accommodation facilities, hotels or private accommodation units such as villas with swimming pools in the Opatija hinterland.

''After an excellent pre season and good results in the height of the summer season, we're now turning to the challenging post season,'' said the director of the Opatija Tourist Board, announcing the upcoming Chocolate Festival and Advent in Opatija.

63 percent of the overnight stays making up these Opatija tourism figures were realised in hotels, 34 percent in private accommodation, while 3 percent of overnight stays were in non-commercial accommodation. Over the course of eight months, the most numerous guests were from other parts of the Republic of Croatia, and the most overnight stays were realised by guests visiting from Germany (21 percent) and nearby Austria (19 percent).

In August 2022, 243,000 overnight stays were recorded, which is 93 percent of the Opatija tourism figures realised back during August 2019.

About 53 percent of overnight stays realised during the month of August in Opatija were in hotels, 44 percent in private accommodation, and the remaining 3 percent of overnight stays refer to non-commercial accommodation facilities.

The most numerous guests were from Germany, who accounted for 31 percent of all of the town's registered overnight stays, followed by Austrians with 15 percent.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Thursday, 1 September 2022

25% More Overnight Stays Realised by German Tourists in Campsites

September the 1st, 2022 - German tourists have always been extremely populous and very important for the Croatian tourism sector, and there has been a significant 25% increase in the amount of overnight stays realised by German visitors in Croatian campsites.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the Republic of Croatia is very well recognised over on the German market for its rich camping offer and the country is one of the absolute favourite foreign destinations for German tourists when it comes to this particular segment.

German guests have realised about 860,000 arrivals in various Croatian campsites up and down the country this year and achieved about 6.5 million overnight stays so far, which represents growth of about 25 percent when compared to the same period back in the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019.

''The continuation of these extremely positive trends from German tourists and the German market is also expected during the post-season,'' said Romeo Danghicchio, the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board's (HTZ/CNTB) representative office in Germany, on the occasion of the participation of HTZ at the Caravan Salon Fair, which is being held in the City of Dusseldorf until September the 4th, 2022.

The aforementioned German event is otherwise one of the world's leading fairs of this type, whose visitors have the opportunity to view the offer of a total of 736 exhibitors, whether they are popular destinations or a wide range of vehicles and all kinds of camping equipment.

In addition to the HTZ as the main exhibitor, the Kvarner Tourist Board, the Plitvice Lakes National Park, the Camping Association of Croatia and Valamar, are also presenting their respective offers at the fair.

In Croatia this year, faithful German tourists have realised more than 2.6 million arrivals and over 19 million overnight stays, which is impressive growth of about 15 percent compared to the record year of 2019.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

If 40% of Tourists Aren't Registered, How Can Croatian Numbers be Correct?

August the 31st, 2022 - How can Croatian numbers tallied up during the summer tourist season be accurate if as many as 40% of visitors are allegedly not even being registered properly?

As Morski writes, the Republic of Croatia has just passed the peak of the height of the summer tourist season. Forecasts say that income from tourism could reach an enormous twelve billion euros, that is, it will exceed the previous record set back in pre-pandemic 2019 by at least 800 million euros. However, not everyone in tourism did equally well. Travel agencies aren't keen on opening the champagne just yet. They're not at 2019's levels and for them, this season isn't exactly a "record" one.

Among those specialising in "organised tourism", this year also saw a major consolidation of the market. A major global player in the private accommodation segment recognised the potential of smaller renters, this was commented on by the president of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies, Tomislav Fain.

He said that tourists have arrived at various Croatian destinations as evidenced by the congestion on the roads and at the airports, adding that the post-season now stretches until November the 1st, which is the result of the work of both the public and private sectors.

Croatian numbers aren't even close to accurate

''I'm extremely satisfied with the tourist season and we have a large number of guests here, however, the Croatian numbers that are displayed through eVisitor, which we have at our disposal, aren't even close to being accurate. The actual numbers of guests are up to 40 percent higher because a large number weren't even registered at all,'' he pointed out.

''I don't think any agency operating along the coast can possibly complain about July or August this year. Even if this year ends like 2019 did, we can't forget that we had two years in which we worked at a mere 10 to 30 percent, and just one normal season isn't enough for travel agencies to recover from what happened. In order to keep hold of our clients, property was sold, debt was incurred and it will take at least 4.5 years to recover,'' he said.

''School trips are coming back, and as the situation was uncertain, everyone showed up at the last minute. At one point, we couldn't respond to all the needs of the market. I hope that with the beginning of this school year it will also normalise. As for congress tourism, one part of that was completed in April and May, and in September and October, we can expect that additional boom in that regard,'' Fain believes.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Monday, 22 August 2022

Makarska Tourism Still Booming as Hotels Continue to be Full

August the 22nd, 2022 - The summer is still very much in full swing on the gorgeous Makarska Riviera, with hotels still full and the overall Makarska tourism picture still booming.

As Morski writes, Makarska's coast in Central Dalmatia is still full of foreign visitors, and the third weekend of August is usually marked by a large shift of tourists, with more departures than arrivals, but the hotels are still fully booked, and there are crowds on the main roads and along access roads to tourist destinations.

This weekend, more than 10,000 guests will travel from tourist destinations along the Makarska Riviera, and fewer will arrive for their holidays in summer resorts from Brela to Gradac, according to local tourist offices. However, they pointed out that after this weekend, about 50 thousand tourists will continue their vacation on the Makarska coast, making the Makarska tourism picture full despite the gradual change of the times.

Hotels operating along the Makarska Riviera are continuing to do business without any free beds to speak of, hosting more than 14,000 guests in total, the same is the case in holiday homes and other forms of family/private accommodation, and the advance reservation of accommodation facilities is also recommended for people staying in rooms and apartments rented out from private home owners.

The change of guests is also being accompanied by significant traffic jams this weekend. On the D8 state road, people are continuing to drive in long queues, going very slowly and with rare stops, and traffic is also congested on the access roads to various destinations along that part of the coastline.

Along the road from Basko Polje through the Sveti Ilija tunnel to the highway and vice versa, the traffic has increased significantly, there is also traffic congestion on the access road to the toll booths near Zagvozd, yet the waiting times have decreased at the toll booths themselves.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Friday, 19 August 2022

Croatian Marinas and Berths Full as Nautical Tourism Reigns Strong

August the 19th, 2022 - Croatian marinas and berths up and down the coastline as full, with people finding it more and more difficult to find a free berth anywhere. Croatian nautical tourism is showing just what a wealth of potential it has.

As Morski writes, back during the global coronavirus pandemic, those visiting Croatia by boat proved to be the most loyal and resilient guests of all. They didn't give up on their holidays and docking in Croatian marinas even during intermittent lockdowns. Therefore, it isn't remotely surprising that this year there have been and continue to be some excellent tourist numbers in the blossoming nautical tourism sector, all over the coast.

Boaters lived up to previous expectations and the season is very good, much better than last year.

''At the ACI marina level, we've already exceeded the results, in the financial sense of course, from pre-pandemic 2019, which for me is excellent. What, for example, last year we did not have, is a significant number of guests from Italy. This year, the Italians also started returning to Croatian marinas quite a lot and in large numbers,'' explained Leo Ajdukovic, the director of ACI Marina Dubrovnik.

Both in down in southern and in the northern part of the Croatian Adriatic, it is difficult to find a free berth in Croatian marinas, and after a good main summer season, a great postseason is also comfortably expected.

''Last year the post-season was absolutely fantastic, it lasted throughout the whole of October, I hope that this year the post-season will also be the same as it was back in 2021, and maybe even last a little longer,'' said Leo Ajdukovic.

This good summer season has also been due to good preparation: ACI's biggest investment this year was in the Dubrovnik marina, and a massive 16 million kuna was invested in 232 metres of new waterfront.

The season down in Dubrovnik is unsurprisingly very good, however, this year will not outdo the record-breaking year of 2019. Compared to 2019, Dubrovnik is at almost 70 percent of arrivals and 80 percent of overnight stays, and the fact that things are finally returning to normal has been shown that the most numerous guests there are from Northern European countries such as Britain etc.

Although there are fewer arrivals and overnight stays overall, according to the first data, earnings should be significantly higher than they were back in 2019, which is logical - all prices have increased, including hotels, restaurants and all that places where tourists spend their money.

This summer season will be remembered for the Peljesac bridge opening and the first results are already visible: there are noticeably more guests on the Peljesac peninsula, and Jadrolinija has introduced another ferry.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Friday, 19 August 2022

Minister Nikolina Brnjac Talks Changes for Private Renters to Tourists

August the 19th, 2022 - Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac has discussed upcoming changes that private renters renting out their properties to visiting tourists should be aware of as the Croatian tourism strategy looks at bumping up the hotel share in the bigger picture.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac recently spoke about the strategy of Croatian tourism, the current summer season and numbers for HRT. The share of hotels in accommodation in Croatia is still unsatisfactory, despite the fact that the most recent Croatian tourism strategy was to increase the share of hotels in total accommodation to 18% by the year 2020, but today the country still only has a share of only 13%, and the construction of apartments is continuing to heat up. How might we change that trend?

"Public invitations/calls have been completed, they will be announced soon, and investments in hotel accommodation are beginning. This will either take place through small family hotels, or through larger systems, we're looking at the green and digital transition. As such, by raising the quality and creating added value, we can change things, and this is how year-round tourism develops," said Minister Nikolina Brnjac for HRT.

What about the categorisation of family/private accommodation?

"This is also in our strategy, we have to distinguish between renting from the host and rentierism and this must be distinguished by economic policy. We'll make a new modernisation and categorisation of private accommodation with the aim of raising the quality itself,'' she explained. Brnjac added that the management of various Croatian destinations will show which ones are sustainable and in what way they're managing that, and many towns and cities are suffocating due to the large number of guests, which isn't something that can continue for much longer.

"We will need to draw a line, it's a tool that we will give to tourist boards, which will enable local and regional self-government units to decide what kind of tourism they want for their own respective towns and cities. It's very important for the country that we work to properly develop year-round tourism. Tourism in the continental part of the country away from the coastline should be further developed, for example through the health resort segment. Topusko is a good example of that,'' concluded Minister Nikolina Brnjac.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

New Structure for Pula Tourism as Younger Visitors Dominate Scene

August the 16th, 2022 - The Pula tourism structure has changed somewhat, with the scene currently being dominated by much younger tourists than back during previous years.

As Morski writes, on the gorgeous Istria peninsula, the number of tourists this weekend exceeded a very impressive 300,000. Although the Istrian peninsula is mainly oriented towards family tourism, the number of younger guests, aged 18 to 30, is now increasing. Pula tourism is based precisely on the "city break" category, that is, it has become a destination for more frequent and shorter stays.

''In Italy, accommodation is way too expensive, here we found a house at a good price. We just arrived, we saw some beautiful beaches, the city is beautiful,'' said visitor Mateo.

''If we compare what we've currently got with 2019, which was the last pre-pandemic year, we see that we have a few percent more young people making up the Pula tourism picture, which if we look at July and August - when the numbers of people in the city are higher - it isn't a negligible percentage,'' pointed out Sanja Cinkopan Korotaj, the director of the Pula Tourist Board.

Manifestations and events that have never been seen before are not negligible either. Music week, wine city, and now a burger fest with a series of concerts in the Arena and on city squares are drawing more and more visitors to this Istrian city, and the bars, restaurants and cafes are full.

There are 25 thousand guests currently staying in the City of Pula. Private accommodation units are now sold out, and young people have started to fill the city's numerous hotels as well.

''We decided to stop in Pula on our visit to Croatia because we had heard only the very best things about the city. We visited many places there, and the beaches are beautiful,'' said Camilla.

This new structure of guests making up Pula tourism's picture, with a significantly higher proportion of young people, also increases costs for hoteliers, they say.

''Because they stay in one destination for a shorter period of, they want to see as much as possible in the shortest possible time, so in a way we're reduced to a type of station tourism. Because we have to change everything every day, bedding and everything, this creates additional costs for us,'' emphasised Deniz Zembo, a hotel owner from Pula.

Recently, hostels have also started to spring up, now there are about 20 of them in the city and they are getting better every year.

''We are talking about a lot of young guests who came of age during the coronavirus pandemic, they couldn't travel, and we are also talking about guests who are starting families and who will come to Pula with their families,'' added Boris Zgomba, the president of the Association of Travel Agencies within the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Monday, 15 August 2022

Dubrovnik and Porec Sustainable Tourism Resulting in Great Numbers

August the 15th, 2022 - Dubrovnik and Porec sustainable tourism is resulting in some excellent numbers this summer tourist season, as both cities, but particularly Dubrovnik, desperately needed a more sustainable strategy than the mass tourism they've become (in)famous for.

As Morski writes, Dubrovnik's deputy mayor Jelka Tepsic has stated that since the beginning of this year, Croatia's southernmost city is at 80 percent of the overnight stays and 70 percent of the arrivals realised back in the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019.

''Currently, 26,000 guests are staying in the City of Dubrovnik and this is a real indicator of the success of this summer season, but also of the good management of the destination, because through our ''Respect the city" project, we want to provide a high quality of stay to our visitors, but also boost the quality of life of our fellow citizens,'' said Jelka Tepsic.

Porec has also achieved two million overnight stays on the same day as it did back in 2019, and Porec sustainable tourism is the new way in which this gorgeous Istrian city is leaning.

''We've reached two million overnight stays, we're also happy that we've managed to reach that number of overnight stays we have at the time we have, even when we have 700 less beds in the city due to the reconstruction of two hotels. We extended our summer tourist season, the pre-season was also good, as even before Easter we had 40 percent more visitors staying in Porec than we did back during the record year of 2019. All this is happening because we combined what's private and what's public, sport and tourism, and in doing so we brought a large number of tourists to the city,'' said the mayor of Porec, Loris Persuric.

One of the key goals for Dubrovnik is the creation of sustainable tourism. Jelka Tepsic explained what this specifically refers to:

''Five years ago, Dubrovnik was highly prominent among European destinations as a city that is actually in danger of being crippled beyond return due to too many tourists. We were almost on the blacklist for many people, so we made a management decision to change with the desire to achieve a balance between the quality of the stay for our visitors and the quality of life of our fellow citizens,'' she stated, emphasising that they managed to introduce rules and restrictions for cruise ships, so now they have a limit of 4,000 guests in one part of the day, or just two cruisers. So this year, she said, we're witnessing the full application of these new rules in Croatia's tourist Mecca. They can now limit traffic around the historic core, have a surveillance system, have improved parking conditions, and the list goes on.

''Sustainable development is also important in Porec, as is Porec sustainable tourism,'' said Mayor Persuric. The basis of everything, he explained, is the spatial plan of the local self-government unit, which, in addition to accommodation capacities, also develops the city's complete infrastructure. They are ready, he says, for a large number of apartments and accommodation capacities to spring up, and although they definitely do have some unfortunate examples of illegal construction, that number is thankfully not that large.

For more on Dubrovnik and Porec sustainable tourism, not to mention that of other Croatian cities and destinations, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

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