Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Beginning of Hvar Main Tourist Season Excellent So Far

June the 14th, 2022 - The beginning of the Hvar main tourist season has been excellent so far, with the Suncani Hvar hotel chain rubbing their hands with satisfaction.

With two pandemic-dominated years causing issues and very valid concerns among all those working within the country's most economically powerful sector - tourism, continuing news about excellent tourist numbers during the pre-season and now during the beginning of the height of the summer season are more than welcome.

As Morski writes, things are looking great for the Hvar main tourist season, as there are 1,200 tourists in the aforementioned company's hotels, reservations so far have been very good, and June so far is better than the pre-pandemic June of 2019.

The current visitors to the beautiful island of Hvar come from all over Europe, including Spain, Britain, and Germany. Tourists accustomed to inflation in their own countries are no longer bothered by the current higher Croatian prices, and they aren't complaining about ferry ticket prices or about prices in restaurants and cafes.

''The prices are completely fair,'' said one tourist.

''Hotel occupancy is over 90 percent, most guests at the moment have come from the markets of the United States, Great Britain and other European countries, and in principle they are all guests of higher purchasing power. They stay 3 to 4 days, they like to eat and drink well and they also like excursions and boats,'' explained one employee of the Suncani Hvar hotel chain.

While Hvar has been doing well to gradually begin moving away from its title of the ''Croatian Ibiza'', this Central Dalmatian island continues to be a mecca of good fun. Nightclubs and beach bars are still recovering from the coronavirus-induced damage and are expanding when it comes to their offer.

Everything is ready for another Hvar main tourist season during which this popular island will surely be at the top of various top destinations, both in a global and European sense.

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

Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Vir Tourism Records Being Broken Throughout First 5 Months of 2022

June the 8th, 2022 - Vir tourism records are being broken left right and centre with some outstanding results so far this year. The island is more than likely to surpass its figures from the record, pre-pandemic year of 2019 and we aren't even at the very height of the season yet.

As Kazimir Skrbic/Morski writes, excellenty arrival and overnight stay numbers during the first five months of 2022 have been a real boost for Vir. Overnight stays are 26.3 percent better, and arrivals are 21.7 percent better when compared to the record set three years ago.

If this extremely positive trend of recorded growth for Vir tourism traffic is maintained, it is very likely that at the end of 2022, we'll be able to talk about a new record season and better numbers than those recorded back during 2019. Here is a summary of the statistics of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ):

With 111,362 overnight stays recorded from the beginning of this year to the end of May, Vir tourism numbers exceeded those recorded back during same period last year by as much as 113.8 percent (52,080 overnight stays), while with 6,698 arrivals of domestic and foreign guests, figures for the island are 85.2 percent better than they were back in 2021, when 3,616 arrivals were recorded.

Foreign tourists - mostly made up of Slovenes, Germans, Austrians, Bosnians and Herzegovinians and Hungarians - accounted for 55.1 percent of all overnight stays realised on Vir, and were even more pronounced in terms of tourist traffic measured by arrivals - 61.8 percent. Arrivals were also dominated by guests from neighbouring Slovenia with growth of 102.7 percent, Germans with a growth of 26.2 percent, Austrians with growth of 208.2 percent, Bosnians and Herzegovinians with growth of 148.9 percent and Hungarians with growth of 183.3 percent.

The Czechs, Slovaks and Swiss are still in the top ten in the current Vir tourism ''top 10 per night'', while for the first time, guests from Great Britain, as well as Ukrainians, were also among the top ten. In the first five months, Swedes (1,108 overnight stays) and Poles (1,003) were slightly more modest in terms of overnight stays than the leading nations, but they were ahead of the British and Swiss in terms of arrivals. Domestic guests also recorded a large increase, and during the first five months of 2022, Croats realised 49,908 overnight stays (as opposed to 25,694 a year earlier), which is growth of a very significant 94.2 percent. The situation is similar in terms of arrivals so far (2,557), which exceeded the number of arrivals from back in 2021 by 69.8 percent, when 1,506 tourist arrivals of Croatian guests were recorded.

Vir tourism's results for 2022 are also better than 2020, with 24.5 percent more overnight stays and 41.5 percent more arrivals. Here are the figures: three years ago, there were 88,194 overnight stays recorded in Vir, which means that 2022 is 26.3 percent better; In 2019, there were 5,503 arrivals of both domestic and foreign guests, meaning that this year's 6,698 arrivals represent impressive growth of 21.7 percent when compared to the record set three years ago.

Germans contributed the most with growth of 59.1 percent in terms of overnight stays and 23.7 percent in terms of arrivals, especially given the large numbers with which German tourists participate in tourist traffic on the island (14,576 overnight stays currently, 9,160 three years ago). The Slovenes are on approximately the same number of overnight stays and with 20.6 percent growth in arrivals this year, a significant shift was made by the Austrians with 91.6 percent growth in terms of overnight stays and 31.5 percent in terms of arrivals, the Hungarians with 65.9 percent growth in terms of overnight stays and 132.9 percent in terms of arrivals, and finally the Czechs with growth of 176.4 percent growth in terms of overnight stays and 284.9 percent growth in terms of arrivals.

British citizens have also been arriving en masse to the island of Vir. Last year during the same observed period, British tourists realised only 9 overnight stays, the year before, they realised 14, and the record year of 2019 is still very modest with a mere 131 nights, while this year they recorded as many as 1,203 nights. This is an increase of overnight stays compared to 2019 by as much as 818.3 percent.

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

Monday, 6 June 2022

Croatian Marinas Becoming More and More Popular for Nautical Tourism

June the 6th, 2022 - Croatian marinas up and down the coastline are becoming more and more popular for those seeking nautical experiences in tourism. One marina even has a waiting list.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, while most facilities, from hotels to campsites, expect a more massive arrival of guests from mid-June onwards, the height of the summer tourist season in Croatian marinas has long since begun. There are no free berths left in many of them, and it seems that more and more wealthy sailors are coming to Croatia, reports HRT.

There is no free berth to speak of, for example, in the Pula marina. The owners of the largest ships have at least a three-member crew that they pay for all year round, and they sail the Croatian Adriatic only during the summer months.

"They spend very well, you know, we always sleep in marinas, there are costs, of course, they go out to restaurants in the evening, and the groceries they use on board cost a lot, they aren't just your average things, so they're good consumers," said Anton Cukon.

Those spending time in Croatia owing to nautical tourism tend to spend twice as much as the average guest and more and more of the wealthiest among them are docking in Croatian marinas.

"Every day we receive inquiries for much larger vessels. We used to have inquiries for ships of 15-16 metres in length, and now, on a weekly basis, there are inquiries for over 25 metre vessels. What's the cause of this, what do you think? There's obviously a surplus of money in the world,'' believes Aleksandar Suran, the director of the marina Veruda, Pula.

In the marina in Rovinj - only the largest boats are present. Renovated three years ago, the latest technological and service standards have brought it a maximum of five anchors, seeing it attract many who otherwise went to other countries.

"We've filled all of our capacities for annual berths and we have no problems in the sense of poor announcements, in fact more berths are needed, so we already have a waiting list," said Goran Bilic, the director of ACI Marina Rovinj.

"We came to Rovinj because we bought a new, bigger boat. And here we have all the necessary infrastructure,'' said Andreas, a sailor from Austria.

The Marina Association warns that further investments in Croatian marinas are questionable. Namely, most of them will have their concessions expire in 2030, after which a public tender will be announced.

"You can't invest some serious funds now, in 2022, and expect to depreciate them by 2030. That's why we ask that such a possibility be left for the existing Croatian marinas to decide whether they want to continue," explained Sean Lisjak, president of the Marina Association.

In order for existing Croatian marinas to have an advantage in such tenders, at least three ministries must agree: the Ministry of Maritime Affaits, Tourism and, of course, the Minstry of Finance.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business and travel sections.

Sunday, 5 June 2022

Brits and Germans Dominate Dubrovnik-Neretva County Overnight Stays

June the 5th, 2022 - Northern European tourists including Germans and Brits have dominated in terms of the number of Dubrovnik-Neretva County overnight stays so far this year.

The pre-season has been absolutely excellent so far, with tourists coming from far and wide to spend time up and down the country now that the vast majority of European countries, including Croatia, have scrapped their coronavirus-induced epidemiological restrictions following two very stale and toilsome years.

With the very height of the boiling summer tourist season now very rapidly approaching, it seems that the country can finally count on reaching the figures of the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019 and filling its pockets once again. Tourism is by far Croatia's strongest economic branch, accounting for as much as 20 percent of its overall GDP, so floods of tourists and high numbers being recorded within the eVisitor system can't come soon enough for the enfeebled sector.

As Morski writes, when it comes to Dubrovnik-Neretva County overnight stays, foreign guests from European countries such as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Germany, France, and the rest of the Republic of Croatia realised the most overnight stays, with guests from across the pond in the United States also adding to that, local portal eDubrovnik writes.

From the beginning of the year to the end of May 2022, 964,761 Dubrovnik-Neretva County overnight stays were realised. When compared to the same period back in 2021, there were 343 percent more overnight stays achieved, which is very encouraging indeed.

Most overnight stays from January to the end of May were realised by tourists from the rest of of Europe, including neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, Great Britain, Croatia, Germany, and France, followed by guests from the United States of America.

When compared to the record year of 2019, there was an increase in overnight stays from the domestic market and from Ireland, while 77 percent of overnight stays came from the United Kingdom, 67 percent from Germany, 78 percent from France and 62 percent came from further afield in the United States.

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

Friday, 3 June 2022

May 2022 Sees 178% More Croatian Tourist Arrivals Than May 2021

June the 3rd, 2022 - Croatian tourist arrivals are showing some very refereshing numbers following two pandemic-dominated years in which things were extremely slow and concerning for all stakeholders in Croatia's strongest economic branch.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, more than 190,000 tourists are currently staying across the Republic of Croatia, continuing the good trend from May with 1.3 million arrivals and 4.9 million overnight stays, which is 178 and 155 percent more than was recorded back during same month in 2021.

Of the current 190,000 tourists in Croatia, about 175,000 are foreigners, most of them Germans, Austrians and Britons. Tourists from Croatia, Poland, Slovenia and the USA follow, according to data from the country's eVisitor and eCrew systems.

When it comes to the most recent Croatian tourist arrivals, most visitors are staying overnight in hotels and camps, with slightly less staying in private accommodation, while in May most overnight stays were recorded in hotels, 1.8 million of them to be precise, followed by private accommodation with 1.1 million, in camps more than a million overnight stays were recorded, and in the nautical charter, 326 thousand overnight stays were officially realised.

Back during the month of May 2022, with a total of 1.3 million Croatian tourist arrivals and 4.9 million overnight stays realised, the level of 78 and 86 percent of the traffic from May 2019, considered by all to be a record year, was successfully and very encouragingly reached.

During the first five months of this year, there were almost 10 million overnight stays recorded, or 153 percent more than in the same period last year, during which Croatia officially recorded 2.9 million overnight stays. When compared to the pre-pandemic, record year od 2019, that’s 77 percent of the results in terms of Croatian tourist arrivals and 88 percent in terms of realised/recorded overnight stays.

Croatian tourist arrivals throughout the height of the summer season are expected to continue to be excellent, as long as nothing drastic changes in regard to the coronavirus pandemic, which is barely being considered as an issue at all anymore, and as long as the ongoing war in Ukraine doesn't escalate even further.

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

Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Most Investments in Large Dalmatian Hotel Capacities This Season

June the 1st, 2022 - The biggest investments this year will be in Dalmatian hotel capacities, marking a clear shift to the south, as in previous years this trend was dominated more or less entirely by Istria and Kvarner.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, unlike in previous years, when Istria and Kvarner would dominate the scene with hotel openings and investments, with the entry into the 2022 summer tourist season, the trend has moved south, and some of these projects will have a significant impact on the overall development of Dalmatia's many destinations this summer.

Makarska, a Central Dalmatian city that has long been waiting for a significant shift in the quality of accommodation, now has something to brag about. The new Valamar and Aminessa projects could mean a new beginning for Makarska's tourism story and a move towards much more added value.

After Stari Grad on the island of Hvar, the grand opening of the second Valamar Hotel Places is being prepared this week in Makarska, in a building that operated under the name of Dalmacija Sunny before the reconstruction began.

Imperial Riviera has invested an enormous 67 million kuna in the Dalmacija Places project, and they took care of additional promotion in the first season of the new facility by bringing the prestigious WTA Makarska tournament, which they co-organised.

The first five-star hotel on the Makarska Riviera brought Aminess into its own portfolio, and hotel Aminess Khalani Beach received its first guests earlier this month. The hotel has 299 rooms, three outdoor pools, a wellness and spa centre, an indoor pool, a gym, three restaurants and three congress halls fit for about 600 guests, and the investment in the facility is worth 50 million euros, making it just one of a number of large investments in Dalmatian hotel capacities in 2022.

The next major hotel projects were located on the neighbouring island of Brac and across on the mainland in the City of Split, and one of them caused great controversy among members of the general public. In a few weeks, we'll be able to see what possible meshing the quaint former fishing town of Postira and the oversized hotel built along the coastline could ever possible happen. The gigantic hotel in this small, quiet island town has caused a lot of controversy among locals.

The management of the hotel that will operate under the name Grand Hotel View has been taken over by the Crikvenica-based Jadran (Adriatic), which is majority owned by pension funds PBZ Croatia Osiguranje and Erste Plavi. The facility, in which about 50 million euros have been invested, has as many as 230 rooms, an indoor and outdoor pool, a wellness centre and a congress hall, and will employ about 100 workers during the summer season. The hotel will be advertising its capacities as of the 1st of July this year.

In September this year, the doors of the long-awaited Dalmatia Tower in Split are set to open, which will house the first Croatian AC Hotel Split Marriott with 214 accommodation units, five modular conference halls with a total capacity of 300 people, as well as a wellness centre with an indoor pool and a gym.

A few weeks ago, the last element of the architectural design of this skyscraper was installed, which, with its 135 metres of height, became the tallest building in all of Croatia. The hotel will, in addition to enriching the overall congress offer, increase the presence of foreign hotel brands. The next big hotel investment in Split is expected from Adris in Hotel Marjan. Most of the huge sums of money being poured into Dalmatian hotel capacities are occurring in and around Split, which will certainly push what Croatia's second largest city and its surroundings and nearby islands can offer to guests from all walks of life.

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

Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Split-Dalmatia County Bookings Excellent for Height of Season

June the 1st, 2022 - We're on the very first day of June and the height of the Croatian summer tourist season is just around the corner. Split-Dalmatia County bookings are looking beyond excellent so far, with huge expectations for the summer.

As Morski writes, all tourism indicators at this moment in time show that from the beginning of the year to the end of May, we're managing to reach around 80 percent of the traffic, in terms of overnight stays, that we enjoyed back during the record, pre-pandemic year of 2019.

''If we look at 2021, we've got three times more nights than we had last year. There are absolutely excellent bookings for the peak season,'' said Josko Stella, the director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board for HTV recently.

Up north in beautiful Istria, the pre-season is traditionally good, Denis Ivosevic, director of the Tourist Board of Istria County, emphasised that even in the winter months, good work was done. Looking at the beginning of the year until yesterday, Istria realised an impressive 2.8 million overnight stays, which is 5 percent better when compared to the same period back in 2019.

When asked how much the reservations were influenced in some foreign media with reports that large numbers of jellyfish had invaded the waters around Istria, Ivosevic said that every now and then, information of the sort appears that tries to discredit the entire Adriatic coast. He says that they contacted experts from the approproate faculty who refuted the thesis that the entire Adriatic, especially the northern part of it, is full of jellyfish. He pointed out that this was something that had bothered the fishermen a little back during the winter, and someone misunderstood it and published that information falsely, but the reports have since been proven wrong and therefore we can believe that there will be a lot of Czechs and Slovaks visiting this summer.

As for guests heading much further south, Split-Dalmatia County bookings are currently accounted for in around 10 percent of domestic guests, and the ongoing increase in prices will affect these figures as we move forward, if the inflation wave doesn't stop.

When asked how much the war in Ukraine affected the clientele in Istria, Ivosevic said that tourism is a heterogeneous activity that changes from year to year.

''What we had in the previous couple of years definitely had an even more significant impact. Some new trends and criteria for choosing a destination to go to have changed. We, as the northernmost region, did very well during that pandemic-dominated period,'' he said. According to Ivosevic, it's now up to all tourism workers and stakeholders to follow all the trends unfolding across the world and being ready and prepared for new trends to which they'll need to adapt as quickly as possible.

''It's obvious that we're adapting very well because the situation is very good and promising,'' he added.

Josko Stella said that although Split-Dalmatia County bookings are promising, they've still got a master plan for further tourism development, and their main goal is sustainable tourism with the help of the local population. They have already taken some actions on that front.

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

Sunday, 29 May 2022

Plitvice Lakes National Park's Bookings Dominated by Foreign Visitors

May the 29th, 2022 - The gorgeous Plitvice Lakes National Park's bookings over this ongoing long weekend have been excellent, with foreign visitors dominating.

As Novi list/Marin Smolcic writes, the current very encouraging arrivals and stays on the grounds of Plitvice Lakes National Park continues being maintained, we can definitely count on an excellent season, the famous park's director, Tomislav Kovacevic, believes.

The last two weeks have boasted some great, albeit it a little too hot for some, weather conditions for Croatia's most beautiful and oldest national park. Just like in the summer months, there have been recent days on which there have been queues at entrances one and two of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, and there has typically been a longer waiting time for guests seeking transport on electric boats and on the park's much loved panoramic trains.

Speaking about the gorgeous nature, flora and faun which this park boasts in abundance, everything flourished and gorgeous green hues quickly dominated Plitvice Lakes National Park's landscape. From a tourist point of view, the situation is very similar in terms of guest arrivals. This was confirmed to by the director of Plitvice Lakes National Park, Tomislav Kovacevic.

''Given that this extended weekend is as it is due to Statehood Day, we can't count on there being huge crowds, there will mostly be domestic guests paying a visit to the park, and this will more than likely continue be a common situation for us because we still have a busy occupancy of our hotels about 80 percent compared to the record, pre-pandemic year of 2019. The share of foreign guests is now more than 80 percent of the total number of visitors to this national park,'' Kovacevic said.

Due to the intensified COVID-19 epidemic in the Far East, there are still no organised visits to the Plitvice Lakes National Park by guests from China, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea, who in previous years accounted for a significant share of the park's overall number of visitors.

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

Monday, 16 May 2022

American Interest in Croatian Customs and Tourism Increasing Each Year

May the 16th, 2022 - It appears that the interest of American citizens for Croatian customs and tourism is growing year on year, with the number of people lining up outside the Massachusetts Avenue Croatian Embassy increasing.

As Morski writes, after a two year break caused by the unprecedented global coronavirus pandemic, which saw international travel, at least for tourism and leisure purposes, almost grind to a halt, embassies in Washington are now open to the public on Saturdays in an attempt to arouse US citizen interest in visiting various different countries across the globe.

This popular event is called "Passport DC'' and sees the many countries that have diplomatic missions located in the capital of the United States present themselves to people there in order to attract and interest them further when it comes to travel and tourism throughout 2022.

There are more than 175 foreign embassies and consulates in Washington alone, and European Union (EU) countries opened their doors to American visitors this Saturday.

Judging by the long line in front of the Croatian Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue, the interest of Americans in Croatia and as such Croatian customs and paying a visit to this country is growing every year, as reported by HRT.

In the first part of Saturday alone, the Croatian diplomatic mission was visited by more than a thousand US citizens who wanted to learn more about Croatian customs, cities, food, history and the country's very rich tourist offer.

For many people, a visit to the Croatian Embassy in Washington as part of the ''Passport DC" event is a prelude to going to the Republic of Croatia on holiday, so for a lot of those visiting, a decision has likely already been made to cross the ''pond'' and arrive in Croatia in the coming weeks and months.

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

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac and Jadrolinija Management Meet

May the 15th, 2022 - Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac and the Jadrolinija management board's representatives have come together as the height of the summer tourist season rapidly approaches.

As Morski writes, representatives of the Jadroilinija management board met recently at the National and University Library in Zagreb with the Minister of Tourism and Sport, Nikolina Brnjac. The meeting was held as we're now approaching the main part of the tourist year, and Minister Brnjac commented on the current tourist results and expectations from the main summer season.

Along with the President of the Jadrolinija management board, David Sopta, the meeting was attended by various representatives of the Croatian tourism sector, including members of the Croatian Tourist Board and the Council for the Recovery and Development of Tourism, as well as representatives of hotel groups and other professional associations.

''The beginning of 2022 showed an increase in the number of transported passengers and vehicles on national and international lines compared to the same period in 2021. Participating in several tourism events, increased interest in our lines was noticed, so we're very optimistic about the recovery of the market and the return of group tourist trips,'' said the President of the Management Board of Jadrolinija at the meeting.

''The results so far testify that this year we've prepared well and taken all of the necessary activities to strengthen and upgrade the position of Croatia as a desirable tourist destination with high quality and a diverse offer. It's even more important that our emitting markets increasingly recognise Croatia as a year-round destination, which is an important component in the development of the sustainability of Croatian tourism.

When we talk about the value of fiscalised receipts issued for the first four months of this year, we can be very satisfied because on average each month had an increase of 10 percent compared to the same period back during pre-pandemic 2019,'' said Minister Nikolina Brnjac, adding that she believes such good results are set to continue throughout the height of 2022's summer season when we realise 70 percent of 2019's total tourist traffic and 63 percent of that same year's total revenues.

Representatives of the tourism sector said that the demand for Croatia has been extremely good, that the country is one of the leading holiday destinations in its main emitting markets and that they believe that this summer season will continue to yield good results with continued cooperation between the Croatian Government and the entire sector.

According to the Tax Administration, in the first four months of 2022, a total of 5 billion and 457 million kuna in fiscal receipts were realised, which is 170 percent more than in the same period last year, and when compared to the first four months of 2019, the value stands at an encouraging ​​11 percent higher.

So far, more than 1.9 million arrivals and 6.2 million overnight stays have been realised across Croatia, ie 172 percent more arrivals and 154 percent more overnight stays compared to the same period back in 2021.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

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