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.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Croatian Accommodation and Hospitality Sectors Enjoying More Traffic Than 2021

August the 3rd, 2022 - The Croatian accommodation and hospitality segments of the overall tourism sector are enjoying more traffic than they did last year when concerns about coronavirus restrictions and lockdown worries continued to prevail.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Jadranka Dozan writes, as usual, the fastest barometer of consumption trends is the Tax Administration's data on the fiscalisation of issued receipts and bills/invoices, and during the height of the summer months, the figures related to the tourist season are always firmly in the foreground.

They, on the other hand, say that tax payers from the tourism and catering/hospitality sector issued bills worth a total of 7.5 billion kuna last month, which is as much as 42.6 percent or 2.24 billion kuna more than back during the same month last year.

Consequences of inflation

Approximately equal turnover was recorded in the Croatian accommodation segment (3.73 billion) and in hospitality and catering (cafes, restaurants, bars and other activities involved in the preparation and serving of food and drink, who reported 3.76 billion kuna), with the fact that the increase (compared to last July) was somewhat more pronounced in catering (+45 percent) than in the Croatian accommodation segment (+40 percent).

As was the case during the first half of the year, such an increase is only partially the result of a higher number of bills and receipts issued, i.e. to a considerable extent it also reflects significantly higher prices.

July 2022, however, greatly exceeded the achievements from the pre-crisis (and record) year of 2019. In the Croatian accommodation and catering and hospitality segments in July 2019, the value of fiscalised bills issued stood at 5 billion kuna (2.4 plus 2.6), which means that this year's result exceeds it by an impressive and far from insignificant 50 percent.

Including the first six months, when companies engaged in the business of providing accommodation services were paid with cards or cash in a total of 4.12 billion kuna (compared to last year's 1.72 and 3.32 billion kuna realised in the first half of pre-pandemic 2019), this tourist year obviously will convincingly break the record with revenues.

Of course, for the industry itself, the story is not complete without the cost side of the story, which is also growing strongly owing to ongoing inflation, but that is a separate topic. It is similar when the cumulative results of cafes, restaurants and other such facilities which are engaged in the preparation and serving of food and drinks are in the middle.

They reported 8.23 ​​billion kuna in turnover in the first half of the year, which was almost 120 percent more than last year and a quarter more than what was recorded back in 2019, when bills in the amount of 6.6 billion kuna were fiscalised and issued by the middle of the year.

Tourist movements have a little influence on the fiscalised turnover of a number of other activities. So, for example, enterprises in the transportation and storage category issued receipts and bills worth a massive 542 million kuna last month alone, which is as much as 62.7 percent more than the amount issued last July and a quarter (or 110 million kuna) more than were issued during the same month of 2019.

Those subject to fiscalisation in arts, entertainment and recreation this July reported 310 million kuna in turnover, which is 44 percent more than last July (215 million kuna) and 14 percent more than pre-pandemic 2019. Tourist consumption, of course, is also very important for the retail trade sector across Croatia. Last month, retailers (excluding motor vehicles) issued fiscalised bills worth 12.6 billion kuna in total.

Compared to the same month last year, this is about 1.72 billion kuna or almost 16 percent more. At the same time, the increase is somewhat more pronounced in the case of supermarkets and hypermarkets (so-called non-specialised shops mainly selling food, drinks and tobacco products) which have largely strengthened their network all the way along the coast.

Last month, they issued fiscalised receipts in the amount of 6.74 billion kuna, which has exceeded last year's achievement by almost a fifth, or by more than 1 billion kuna.

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

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Government Preparing Sustainable Croatian Tourism Strategy

July the 24th, 2022 - The Government is set to come up with a sustainable Croatian tourism strategy which would hopefully see the country escape from the chains of ''sea and sunshine'' which tend to see little more than three months of the limelight each year, and have a far less damaging effect in general.

As Morski writes, due to ongoing global challenges and rising energy prices as a result of continued inflation, the green and digital transition is becoming imperative in the tourism business, Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac pointed out. The number of tourists currently staying here in Croatia recently exceeded one million, and that was a week earlier than it was last year. There are currently 1.012 million guests from around the world visiting the country and the rush down on the coast is quite similar to the best tourist years.

In order for everything to be exactly how it was back during the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019, there are still a little under thirty thousand tourists missing, but an excellent August and a very good September are expected, so by the end of 2022, Croatia could witness a repeat of the best tourist year so far.

Tourism as a lifestyle

One issue which is frequently alluded to is the fact that the country's many foreign guests themselves enjoy things less when confronted with endless waiting and crowds, owing to which they don't really have much of a chance to experience the typical everyday life of the real Croatian lifestyle, that is, the lifestyle that makes each country recognisable and attractive and which, ultimately, largely "sells" its tourism offer. It is more or less clear to everyone working in Croatian tourism that something needs to change, and the current tourism authorities imagine the future quite differently.

According to the vision from the Ministry of Tourism, by the year 2030 there should be a strong shift towards socially, environmentally and economically sustainable year-round tourism, which valorises the natural and cultural heritage and unique identity of each individual region of this hugely naturally diverse country.

The key feature of tomorrow's tourism, which leans much more closely into sustainable Croatian tourism, should be authenticity, which, in addition to the diversity of the country's regions and rich natural and cultural heritage, is also evoked by hospitable, open and warm-hearted people. Such tourism is more than entrepreneurship, the aforementioned ministry pointed out, it is practically a way of life. All of this is outlined in the proposal of the Strategy for the Development of Sustainable Tourism until 2030.

The priority is to protect and present Croatia's multitude of tourist resources in an even better manner, to gradually put a stop to burdensome seasonality and the excessive overcrowding of spaces, and to preserve the welcoming spirit of local hosts. The focus for the sustainable Croatian tourism strategy is primarily on quality and innovation, and priority should be given to investments that will encourage harmonious economic development and equal progress of all regions. On the basis of the Strategy, the National Plan for the Development of Sustainable Tourism until 2027 is also being prepared, which will elaborate concrete measures, and will be adopted in parallel. The turn towards this new, more substantial, more fair form of tourism will certainly be facilitated by the financial resources available to the Republic of Croatia as a member of the EU, and the current global situation could speed up the transition.

The current summer tourist season is somehow still running with a deficit of about 5,000 workers in the hotel industry and a deficit of as many as 10,000 in the catering and hospitality industry, writes Vecernji list. This new Strategy which is aiming for more sustainable Croatian tourism may well indirectly alleviate this problem in the long term, but the Croatian Tourism Association has warned repeatedly that this problem shouldn't be ignored.

''We expect the Croatian Government to define some concrete measures for the stronger activation of the potential of the domestic labour force, the better retention of seasonal workers and the simplification and acceleration of the process of importing foreign labour as soon as possible,'' said Veljko Ostojic, the director of the Croatian Tourism Association (HUT), who also noted that the accommodation structure remains one of the the biggest challenges of Croatian tourism.

The number of beds in household/private facilities has now reached 620 thousand, and there are another 610 thousand beds in non-commercial accommodation. There are only 180,000 hotel beds, which represents a drop in the total number of registered beds. HUT says that such a structure in terms of accommodation capacities is primarily a consequence of the current tax system and that thanks to these "excessive" beds, Croatia is suffering enormous pressure on its infrastructure, and on the other hand, it is failing to achieve optimal tourism results.

For more on sustainable Croatian tourism, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Croatian Tourist Board Launches New Campaign at Split Airport

July the 24th, 2022 - The Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB/HTZ) has launched an innovative new campaign involving the senses at Split Airport, and it appears to be winning over the many tourists passing through there at the moment.

As Morski writes, the CNTB is referring to their newly launched Split Airport campaign as a new, interesting and innovative one, which they claim delights foreign guests entering the country. Many passengers, leaving the planes and entering the area of ​​the Split Airport, can feel the specific smells of the Mediterranean - sea, pine trees, fresh citrus, lemon, orange, lavender, white cedar, and the list goes on.

According to research carried out the field of marketing and promotion, as much as 75 percent of a person's emotions are invoked by smells, which is one of the most important sensations in shaping reality, mood and concentration. Based on this, an interactive panel which displays the words "Croatia - Immerse your senses" was installed at Split Airport, which emits Mediterranean scents with appropriate animations.

''We at the CNTB follow modern trends in the promotion of tourism all the time, which has been confirmed by this interesting campaign that attracts the attention of many passers-by, that is, our guests at the most frequented locations, and in the middle of the peak summer tourist season, that is certainly at airports. We want to be innovative and immediately give our guests a feeling of summer, rest and comfort, and at the same time interest them and inform them about other Croatian destinations and parts of our overall tourist offer,'' said the director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristjan Stanicic, adding that this activity will be being carried out until the end of July.

The campaign also includes several additional locations in the City of Split, where digital panels are set up on which shots of other Croatian destinations are displayed.

Activities are also being carried out further south in Dubrovnik Airport (Cilipi), where the so-called ''digital towers'' that display video material work to promote the overall offer of Croatia as a tourist destination and showcase some of the most beautiful and attractive landscapes of the country to new arrivals.

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

Monday, 18 July 2022

2022 Trogir Tourist Results Significantly Better Than Those from 2019

July the 18th, 2022 - The 2022 Trogir tourist results so far have been excellent, so excellent in fact that they have outdone the results thid Dalmatian town acheived back in the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019.

As Morski writes, despite all the adversity and inflation, the 2022 Trogir tourist results so far have been much than those recorded back during the record-breaking year of 2019. In the first ten days of July, a difference of about 5 percent has been noted. Next week, when the internationally recognised Opera Selecta ends, even better results are expected.

Not even the scorching hot sun can stop the hordes of guests flocking into this Croatian UNESCO city, but that doesn't mean there aren't many people still worried about the high prices as a result of ongoing inflation pressures.

''Over the first ten days of this month, we recorded a 6 percent increase in terms of overnight stays and a 5 percent increase in terms of arrivals when compared to the first ten days of July 2019,'' said Marin Piveta, the director of the Trogir Tourist Board.

Trogir is currently playing host to many different types of events which are succeeding in attracting new guests, and the famous Opera Selecta, as a cultural brand of the city with its mega-stars of classical music, is a real magnet for the audience.

''We are especially happy and proud that this year, for the first time, we brought the world-famous soprano Olga Peretyatko to the Republic of Croatia, who will perform in the Kamerlengo Tower on July the 20th,'' said Vinko Buble, president of the "Opera Selecta" Association.

When it comes to the 2022 Trogir tourist results, while already extremely encouraging, everything would be even better if the Scandinavian airlines hadn't started cancelling their flights due to staff strikes as we head into the middle of the very height of the summer tourist season. Owing to this unfortunate event, many would-be tourists from that part of Europe, including Swedes and Norwegians, ended up getting stuck with their luggage at their airports.

About 30 percent of Scandinavians have already cancelled their trips, but most of them still embarked on their adventure, deciding to hit the road instead and drive the long 2,500 kilometres down to the Croatian Adriatic. Their numbers still aren't really so large that they'd would affect the great tourist results being acheived already by Trogir, but after two years of stress due to COVID0-19, travel agencies have once again run into problems, writes HRT.

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

Thursday, 14 July 2022

Cruise Ships Return - Most Visited Croatian Ports in First Half of 2022

July the 14th, 2022 - From all the way up in Rijeka to all the way down to Dubrovnik, let's look at the list of the most popular Croatian ports during the first half of this year as tourism returns to normal in the post-pandemic period.

As Morski writes, the State Bureau of Statistics has published a report on cruise ship arrivals in Croatian ports in the first five months of this year. The most visited port in the last half a year has of course been Dubrovnik.

In the period from January to May 2022, 48 foreign cruise ships entered Croatian ports with 135 cruises successfully completed. There were 97 thousand passengers aboard those ships, who stayed in Croatia for a total of 278 days. In the same period back in 2021, no entry of a foreign ship in any Croatian port for a round trip was recorded due to the epidemiological measures introduced across Croatia, Europe and most of the rest of the world to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.

Compared to the first five months of the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019, the number of trips by foreign cruise ships to Croatian ports up and down the coastline decreased by 21.1 percent, the number of days the ships stayed in those ports decreased by 28.0 percent, while the number of passengers on those ships decreased by a massive 60.9 percent.

Foreign cruise ships in the first five months of 2022 sailed under the flags of 11 countries in total. The largest number of trips by foreign cruise ships in Croatian ports was made under the flag of the Bahamas, with 34 trips in total, which is 25.2 percent of the total amount of trips made in the first five months of 2022. This flag was followed by cruises made under the flags of Malta (22 trips) and of Panama (17 trips).

Out of a total of 135 round trips, most of them were realised down in Dubrovnik-Neretva County (45.2 percent) and Split-Dalmatia County (31.9 percent), which is a total of 77.1 percent. The remaining 22.9 percent of trips into Croatian ports were made in the following counties: Zadar (15.5 percent), Sibenik-Knin (3.7 percent), Istria (3.0 percent) and Primorje-Gorski Kotar (0.7 percent).

The Port of Dubrovnik rather unsurprisingly had the most visits by foreign cruise ships (90 visits), followed by the ports of Split (68 visits), Zadar (35 visits), Korcula (17 visits), Sibenik (15 visits) and Hvar (14 visits).

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

Wednesday, 13 July 2022

Plitvice Lakes National Park Struggling for Staff, Some Facilities Closed

July the 13th, 2022 - The Croatian labour force continues to dwindle as a result of ongoing demographic issues and the ease of simply heading off to another EU member state to find work, higher wages and more general economic stability. Even Plitvice Lakes National Park is suffering.

The global coronavirus pandemic only forced the hand of this longtime trend, seeing what were qualified and skilled chefs, waiters, bar staff and people in other such positions go off to work either elsewhere, or train for new careers as the virus saw what put food on their tables closed during lockdowns. Now that Croatia's tourist season this year seems as if it's going to be just as good (if not better) than that of the record, pre-pandemic year of 2019 - you just can't get the staff, yet again.

These issues aren't just plaguing the coast, although that part of the country is undoubtedly being hit the hardest. Plitvice Lakes National Park, the most well known Croatian national park of all, is struggling to come across qualified staff, and some of their facilities have unfortunately had to remain closed as a result of these problems.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Plitvice Lakes National Park, known for its gorgeous cascading waterfalls and unreal hues of blue and green, is by far the country's most visited national park, attracting hoardes from all over the world.

This year, there are forty percent fewer guests than the record year of 2019, so the park's management decided not to open some facilities at all. They are also struggling with finding employees, they are missing waiters, cooks and salespeople the most. Most visited back in 2019, at the peak of the summer tourist season, more than twelve thousand people entered Plitvice Lakes National Park on a daily basis, writes HRT.

"It's actually in our interest that those excessive crowds don't happen again, and financially we are very close to reaching the figures we saw during those record years," said Tomislav Kovacic, the director of the stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park.

This year, due to the absence of large groups back during the pre-season as well as the absence of some guests who would usually arrive by plane, the park's management decided not to open some facilities such as the Bellevue Hotel, and the Borje camp and its accompanying restaurant.

"It's primarily our assessment that the facilities are not needed for this summer season, but they are ready if the need arises in August, we will manage to open them up in a few days if that ends up being the case,'' Kovacevic assured.

Although they had announced two tenders in which they'd have hired seasonal workers for summer 2022, there were still not enough applications for the positions of cooks, waiters and shopkeepers within the park's grounds.

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

Thursday, 7 July 2022

Split Airport Director Pero Bilas Says Facility is Ready for Crowds

July the 7th, 2022 - Split Airport director Pero Bilas has stated that the facility is ready to deal with expected crowds over the summer months, as travel gets back to normal and people put the coronavirus pandemic and all of its woes firmly behind them.

As Morski writes, Split Airport director Pero Bilas claims that the situation with crowding at Zagreb Airport is unlikely to occur there. "Split Airport functions in a different way. We're an extremely seasonal airport and the fluctuations in traffic are very large indeed. We expect crowds in the summer and we know how to deal with them,'' he said.

Not a single employee was fired during the coronavirus pandemic

Split Airport director Pero Bilas said that not a single of the airport's employees was fired during the coronavirus pandemic, they were instead reorganised inside the airport, and he praised the Croatian Government's measure to preserve jobs, which contributed to everyone keeping their staff. He added that they also hired seasonal workers.

What is happening in Europe and what we're seeing as a problem is flight cancellations and delays. When this happens, passengers should have the means to cope with these situations made available to them. We're trying to do our best and we're also trying to make up for all the delays,'' he pointed out.

It is predicted that the traffic by 2024 and 2025 should be at the level of pre-pandemic 2019. Split Airport director Pero Bilas believes that they should easily reach these numbers, because the results that show that they have had an excellent May and June and that they will end this year at 80 percent of the traffic realised when compared to the record year of 2019.

He added that energy prices don't significantly affect the operation of the airport, either. What is significant is that companies that have to load their kerosene at various stations across Europe are sensitive to all changes occuring on the market.

The traffic boom in Split happened with the appearance of low-budget companies, and Bilas says that low-budget companies are very welcome.

They have an equal status, they all operate within the airport under the same conditions. They're very important to us, they make up 40 to 45 percent of our turnover, and the boom in traffic in Split happened with the appearance of these low-cost companies,'' Split Airport director Pero Bilas emphasised for N1.

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

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