Monday, 12 April 2021

Pag Becomes One of the Most Desirable Active Croatian Destinations

April 12, 2021 - PAG OUTDOOR is turning Pag into one of the most active Croatian destinations. 

As hrturizam.hr reports, it all started with the synergy of the Tourist Boards of the island of Pag (Novalja Tourist Board, Pag Tourist Board, Kolan Tourist Board, Povljana Tourist Board, and Stara Novalja Tourist Board) which have been participating in the promotion of the island as one destination for many years. In parallel with the development of the Pag Outdoor program, last year's Pag Summer Outdoor Weekend program was implemented, and today the first and most comprehensive phase of building the bike and trails infrastructure of the island is coming to an end.

The success of the Pag Outdoor project was accompanied by the support of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, which provided 150,000 kunas for the implementation of the entire project. The arrangement of all trails on the island of Pag is currently underway. Thus, the Tourist Board of the City of Pag continues to break through, trace, clean, and soon mark new trails in its area that will be included in the Pag Outdoor project.

"Two new, fantastic trails funded by the Tourist Board of the City of Pag are Alan Crljenko, Pag mountaineer and nature lover, a man who knows every corner of our beautiful island and we continued our excellent cooperation that began two years ago when the hiking trail from Lokva to Glacier to St. Quirina. In the meantime, the island's tourist boards have launched a joint Pag Outdoor project, and this trail has fit in perfectly with our planned activities. All three trails will have the common name The Other Side of the Moon…, and we do not need to explain the name in particular," said Vesna Karavanić, director of the Pag Tourist Board.

"After two years and the completion of the first hiking trail, the time has come to build two new trails near the town of Pag on Ledenik, one of the most beautiful and attractive parts of the island of Pag. One will go in a circle around Punta Mikula, and the other to the bay of Veli Zaton. I am happy that the trails will be traced, breached, cleaned, and marked by mid-June. In this way, this gem of Pag's nature will soon be available to all who want to enjoy it, but at the same time, it should remain as nature created it. Therefore, I appeal to the awareness of all future visitors, as well as the authorities, that this fascinating part of the island is preserved in its original, natural form," said Alan Crljenko.

Martin Čotar, a celebrated Croatian cyclist and certainly, the first person for the development of cycling tourism in Croatia, agreed with his statement, emphasizing that it is very important to preserve everything so that it is not destroyed and the natural beauty remains as it is now.

Outdoor islands of Pag are connected by four standard activities (bike, trail, climbing, kayaking), but since it positions them in an absolutely unique environment of Pag nature, they become one of the development moments where tourism of this island of interesting shape will develop in several directions.

The time will extend the calendar season to at least eight months, and at the same time enrich the tourist offer with these attractive facilities and definitely become a motive for coming to the island of Pag. Most importantly, everything is done according to standards, not pro forma.

Because "Moon Island" will, through this project, become one of the most desirable active or outdoor Croatian destinations with a complete outdoor story.

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

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

Monday, 12 April 2021

Croatia Named Most Popular Destination for Germans in 2021

April 12, 2021 - Croatia has been named the most popular destination for Germans this year, according to the research of the world's largest search engine for renting holiday homes - HomeToGo.

Namely, Croatia took first place on the German market in the list of top 100 most popular tourist destinations in 2021, said the head of the Croatian Tourist Board in Munich Nera Miličić on Morski.hr.

"This year, more than ever, we are looking forward to seeing Croatia at the top of the list of the most popular destinations in Germany. Research from the HomeToGo platform shows how we are recognized as a destination with a top offer of holiday homes, especially those secluded and in nature, currently in high demand. Turning to nature is certainly a trend that will remain after the pandemic," said Nera Miličić.

Croatia is at the top of several lists of the mentioned research and took an excellent second place on the list of most wanted countries for a summer vacation in 2021 and on the list of most wanted countries for the whole of 2021. Germany holds first place on these lists, while countries such as Italy, Spain, France, Austria are behind Croatia. As part of the research, a list of the top 100 destinations for Pentecost was made, in which Croatia took a very good fourth place, just behind the leading Germany and the regions on the shores of the Baltic and North Seas.

The research is based on 16 million search terms in the HomeToGo search engine, and interestingly, the application of flexible travel date filters has increased by 600 percent compared to last year. Also, the survey results show that 63 percent of respondents prefer staying in a vacation home, and 71 percent of respondents want to travel by car. As a motive for travel, 63 percent of respondents singled out the beach, and 60 percent of them national parks and nature.

"The research results are optimistic when we talk about trends from the German market, otherwise the most important tourist market for Croatian tourism. However, compliance with all prescribed measures and a good epidemiological situation in the country will be a basic prerequisite for the realization of tourist traffic, both from the German market and from other markets," concluded the director of the Croatian Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić.

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

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

Monday, 12 April 2021

Dubrovnik Tourist Board Director Ana Hrnic Shares Concerns Over Season

April the 12th, 2021 - The 2021 summer season is being called into question more and more as spring is now firmly upon us and preparations need to begin. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic still throwing spanners in the works, it's going to be a difficult season to call. The Dubrovnik Tourist Board director, Ana Hrnic, has spoken openly about her concerns and the situation in Croatia's southernmost city, which relies heavily on air transport.

As Novac writes, once upon a (pre-pandemic) time, th Easter period used to mark the beginning of the tourist pre-season across Croatia. This year, only twelve hotels have been opened down in Dubrovnik, Croatia's tourism Mecca. The Easter holidays attracted about 1,000 tourists, and they were mostly those of us who live in Croatia.

''This year, the announcement of the beginning of the tourist season, despite the situation we're currently in, brings with it certain types of restrictions because neither the catering and hospitality facilities nor their terraces are able to work, Ana Hrnic, the director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, told HRT.

It isn't just Ana Hrnic with worries on her mind. Until April the 12th, the City of Dubrovnik and the Tourist Board were offering their tourists numerous benefits.

''The Cultural and Historical Museum, the Maritime Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, our two archeological exhibitions in Revelin... we invited all Croatian citizens to come down to Dubrovnik and come and visit those museums for free,'' said Julijana Antic Brautovic, the director of Dubrovnik Museums.

Among the few foreign guests on Stradun were three Turkish sailors.

''I came to buy a yacht. We're in the ACI marina. It's nice, we like Dubrovnik, I've been visiting the historic centre with some friends,'' said a tourist from Istanbul.

Indoor restaurants are the biggest problem

''It's difficult, we can't eat anything anywhere. We have to buy food and then go back and eat on board, it’s very inconvenient,'' noted the Turkish tourist.

''We sail to the islands, they're wonderful, they have excellent conditions for nautical tourism, but in a pandemic it is difficult to imagine anything. It's similar in Turkey, so we must all be responsible,'' said the same tourist from Istanbul.

Dubrovnik's catering and hospitality industry workers are also waiting for the outcome of the situation with a sense of uncertainty.

"Twenty-six of my colleagues couldn't take this anymore. They've permanently closed their premises, one part of them has moved out of the city, some others among them are also planning to leave,'' said Ante Vlasic, the  president of the Dubrovnik Restaurant Association.

International air traffic to Dubrovnik has now thankfully been re-established - for now twice a week from Madrid and Munich, which is an enormous downgrade in comparison to what this wildly popular Dalmatian city is used to. Easyjet flights from Geneva also began running from April the 10th this year.

For more on Dubrovnik, visit Dubrovnik in a Page. For more on travel to and within Croatia, follow our travel section.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

German Motorhomes on Croatian Highways Provide Glimmer of Hope

April the 1st, 2021 - With the coronavirus pandemic still raging on across the globe, tourism continues to be among the most negatively affected economic branches. Croatia, relying very heavily on tourism for its overall revenue, has been dealt a significant blow. However, as Easter approaches, motorhomes on Croatian highways bearing German license plates offer a dash of hope.

As Barbara Ban/Novac writes, in normal, non-pandemic years, the period just before Easter here in Croatia tends to be welcomed by a significant opening up of tourist facilities. This year, despite expectations being low, the same thing has occurred but with carefully adjusted the safety standards to national and international recommendations as a result of the global public health crisis we find ourselves in.

Of particular note is the excellent reception in Croatia's emitting countries with the Safe stay in Croatia programme, which shows that Croatia is preparing extremely well for the tourist season in which safety will be the most important factor for any level of success. Although it would be wrong to get too ahead of ourselves, the fact that foreign plates are being seen on Croatian highways is encouraging.

"Guests will also be staying in our camps. We have announcements from locals who have mobile homes, they have slowly started to visit during the weekends, during holidays, etc. For example, this week a well known camp in Istria opened up its outdoor heated pools. Since Istria, at least for Germany, is still green, motorhomes with German plates are visible on Croatian highways. We even have several smaller family camps that are already full of Germans visitors,'' said Adriano Palman, the director of the Croatian Camping Association.

On the eve of Easter, Valamar plans to open the doors of many of its tourist facilities, including higher end hotels and camps. During the Easter holidays themselves, Maistra will also do the same. Pula's Arena Hospitality Group, in addition to the 365-day Grand Kazela Campsite Arena, opened Park Plaza Belvedere Medulin Hotel way back in January, and the Medulin Campsite Arena opened back on March the 27th. Projections also seem good for this company's facilities on the islands and even in Marija Bistrica in the continental part of the country.

From today, so from April the 1st, Plava Laguna will open the doors of the following hotels: Parentium and Park in Porec, Melia Coral for Plava Laguna in Umag and Hotel Bonavia in Rijeka, which is set to remain operational all the time during 2021.

After April the 20th, it will open all of its camps in both Porec and Umag in Istria, and in May it will open yet more. More specifically, from April the 23rd, all Blue Lagoon camps that operate under the Istracamping brand in Porec and Umag will open up as normal, as well as Garden Suites Park Blue Lagoon, Apartments Park Blue Lagoon, Villas Park Blue Lagoon, Apartments Bellevue Blue Lagoon, Villas Bellevue Blue Lagoon , Hotel Molindrio Plava Laguna, Apartments Galijot Plava Laguna, Hotel Istra Plava Laguna, Hotel Plavi Plava Laguna, Apartments Astra Plava Laguna in Porec and Hotel Sol Umag for Plava Laguna, Garden Suites and Rooms Sol Umag for Plava Laguna, Hotel Sol Garden Istra for Plava Laguna, Residence Sol Garden Istria for Plava Laguna, Melia Istrian Villas for Plava Laguna, Apartments Sol Amfora for Plava Laguna and Apartments Sol Stella for Plava Laguna in Umag.

From April the 1st, Camp Aminess Sirena - Novigrad, Aminess Atea Camping Resort and Aminess Gaia Green Villas will open in Njivice on the island of Krk. The opening of the Aminess Maravea Camping Resort in Novigrad on April the 23rd this year is also planned.

The Boutique Hostel Forum, a design hostel in the very centre of Zadar, which has been named the best Croatian hostel four times and which operates in accordance with the national safety label - Safe Stay in Croatia, has been open since March the 15th.

With German license plates already visible now and then on Croatian highways, just what this pre-season is set to bring remains to be seen, and although it will be absolutely nothing like pre-pandemic, record 2019, an improvement when compared the a horrendous 2020 might be expected.

For all current coronavirus information specific to Croatia, including border and travel rules, as well as testing centres across the country, make sure to bookmark this page.

Monday, 29 March 2021

No Big Expectations from Croatian Coastal Tourism as Easter Approaches

March the 29th, 2021 - Easter might be rapidly approaching, but this means very little for the country as the coronavirus pandemic and all of the various travel restrictions rage on. Croatian coastal tourism usually begins waking up with the arrival of Easter, but this year will be different as a result of the current unfavourable global situation.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, here in Croatia, the Easter holidays usually mark the beginning of a more intense arrival of guests, particularly along the Adriatic coast. However, due to the continuing pandemic, this year, for the second time in a row, this won't be the case. Hotels up and down the coast have a few reservations to boast of, but nothing in comparison to what they're used at this time of year, and most tourist workers are preparing anxiously for yet another uncertain and unstable tourist season.

Scenes from April 2019 for tourist workers now seem like a strange and very distant dreamlike memory, despite the fact that this year there are more tourists in the Zadar area than there were last year, when we were in a complete "lockdown". Most of these people are, however, Croatian tourists from other parts of the country. Due to the unfortunate epidemiological situation, the expectations for Easter in terms of Croatian coastal tourism are also quite poor.

"We're also afraid that what we have reserved at the minute will just end up being cancelled. Entries to Croatia have been simplified with these rapid coronavirus tests, but unfortunately for people returning home to neighbouring countries, things continue to be complicated,'' said Tomislav Fain, president of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies.

Owing to the problems surrounding travel and lockdowns still reigning strong in many European countries, particularly in the UK, the expectations are that only Croatian residents travelling around the country are to be expected. Frane Skoblar from Turisthotel believes that Croatian hostels throughout this pandemic crisis have drawn the short straw due to their connection to air traffic, which has been unreliable and costly.

The short straw was also drawn by private accommodation owners/renters who have almost no reservations to speak of. On the other hand, hotels and large resorts claim that they're more or less satisfied with reservations for the upcoming Easter holidays.

"We're mainly focused on the Croatian market, and some guests from Austria and Slovenia are also coming," said Goran Sremec from Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera.

Guests feel safe in the camps as well. Misela Lastric (Falkensteiner Hotels & Residences Borik) says that they expect increased interest from local guests and that the bookings are looking very good for now, adding that they're currently at more than half capacity.

The ongoing pandemic has completely changed the tourist picture all over the world, with Croatian coastal tourism taking a very, very heavy blow.

"There will certainly be no Slovenes coming here at this moment in time. On the days of Corpus Christi, which come after that, the Germans traditionally come, and you know yourselves what sort of situation they've found themselves in,'' said Mario Paleka, director of the Tourist Board of the City of Zadar.

All tourist workers expect the first large number of tourists to arrive only in June, reports HRT, and that still depends entirely on the epidemiological situation not only in Croatia but in the country's emitting markets, as well as the rate of vaccination.

For current coronavirus information specific to Croatia, including border and travel rules, as well as testing centres across the country, bookmark this page.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Croatian Tourism Market Recovering More Slowly Than That of Greece

March the 29th, 2021 - When might we realistically expect the complete recovery of the Croatian tourism market and this now very deeply damaged industry? With competitor countries such as Spain and Greece to watch, it's interesting to see where Croatia falls in this regard.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, global tourism, which has been dealt an extremely heavy blow by the ongoing pandemic, will likely generate about 20 percent less revenue in 2021 than it did back in pre-pandemic 2019, and a full recovery for the tourism industry can be expected within 3 to 5 years.

When it comes to Europe, destinations such as Portugal, Turkey and Greece are expected to recover the fastest, Spain and France will have the slowest return, and for the Croatian tourism market - things will lie somewhere in between.

These are the predictions made by Euromonitor, more specifically made by the head of the tourism department, Caroline Bremner, at a webinar organised by the Institute of Tourism on the topic of building better and sustainable tourism following the pandemic.

The sustainability of tourism after years of excessive tourist congestion faced by many destinations long before the coronavirus struck is currently the number one topic for many. There are now plans in place to completely reset tourism and support the development of local communities but this will be difficult to achieve once travel is fully open again, warned the webinar's participants which included tourism workers from Croatia's immediate region.

Sustainability is mostly a matter of the subjective experience of different groups in any given community, about which there is very, very little real data and research with any concrete results. When it comes to the Croatian tourism market, there's a mixed bag of what is being utilised and what is still untouched (and perhaps better) potential.

"Split-Dalmatia County has a strategic plan for the development of sustainable tourism, with well-defined weak points, from infrastructure to crowding, but we should openly say that it will be very difficult to implement all this because we have very little support from partners and tourism workers. The most important thing for them is to achieve the growth of overnight stays and income,'' pointed out Josko Stella, director of the tourist board of Split-Dalmatia County.

Emil Kukalj from the tourist board of the Montenegrin town of Bar agreed with that sentiment.

"Destinations where individual accommodation prevails over collective accommodation have an issue because this sort of thing is mainly made up of entities which don't have a long-term vision of sustainable tourism, it's not something they're even interested in, they're usually only interested in how they can make more money. Especially in the years after the pandemic, when tourism recovery starts, I doubt that we'll be able to put the sustainability of tourism in the foreground," said Kukalj.

Although almost all of Europe is currently in a new lockdown due to the spread of the pandemic, recovery can be seen by companies such as TUI, which continues to record an increase in summer holiday bookings - they currently have about 2.8 million bookings for the period from July to November, with a bid capacity of 75 percent when compared to 2019.

For current information about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel and border rules, as well as testing centres up and down the country, bookmark this page.

Saturday, 27 March 2021

VIDEO: Move Your Borders and HeadOnEast to Osijek-Baranja County!

March 27, 2021 - You'll want to HeadOnEast to Osijek-Baranja County after seeing all the region has to offer this year! 

HRTurizam writes that the HeadOnEast project, with which the Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board has already successfully promoted the destination, will take a step forward in the new tourist season.

Namely, as could be heard at this year's first "tourist coffee," or socializing with journalists, HeadOnEast has been standardized, and an agreement has been reached on cooperation with all tourist boards operating in Osijek-Baranja County.

Thus, the Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board, together with the tourist boards of Bilja, Baranja, Osijek, Draž, Đakovo, Erdut, Donji Miholjac, Valpovo, Bizovac, Našice, and Belišće, presented numerous initiatives and projects with which the system is actively preparing for the tourist season. And according to the program prepared by the tourist boards, there will be interesting manifestations and events in eastern Croatia this year!

As could be heard from the director of the Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board, Ivana Jurić, the emphasis was on dispersed events. This means that there will be something for everyone, and events will be held throughout the year in different locations. Most importantly, the same visuals will be presented in the entire county in terms of communication.

 

The meeting began by reading the letters from Slavonian and Baranja citizens with an invitation to move your borders and discover this picturesque destination already in spring. This was the introduction to the new promotional campaign of the Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board called "Move Your Borders," which started this week at the national level.

The further development of the brand platform HeadOnEast Croatia / Visit Slavonia Baranja was presented, and new visuals for destinations make up the offer in Osijek-Baranja County.

Thus, for the first time, all three Baranja tourist boards act under one visual identity: the Municipality of Bilje - Kopački rit Tourist Board, the Municipality of Draž Tourist Board, and the regional Baranja Tourist Board.

This informally united tourist board, in cooperation with the county tourist board, is organizing a new event called "Month of Baranja cuisine" this spring, in line with current epidemiological measures. From April 10 to May 2, every weekend, an open-air workshop will be held on rural estates for 25 participants to prepare authentic Baranja dishes, while Baranja restaurants will offer old dishes in a new guise.

Projects implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Croatian National Tourist Board, such as "Safe Stay in Croatia" and special offers for digital nomads, were also presented.

As the new Law on Foreigners has been in force since the beginning of the year, allowing you to stay in Croatia for up to a year, the Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board has joined the project to promote the destination as an ideal place to stay for digital nomads, through special programs prepared in cooperation with Golden Slavonia Travel and Maksi Tours, local travel agencies that deal exclusively with attracting guests to Slavonia and Baranja.

Through the offer of congress and team-building programs, the destination was presented to international customers at the MEETEX business fair. This time, the Croatian Congress Industry Fair was held virtually, and the Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board, Hotel Osijek, and Golden Slavonia Travel presented the destination's offer at a dozen B2B meetings held via the Zoom platform with potential buyers from Israel, Germany, Austria, Finland, Belgium. France and Italy. The interlocutors were representatives of large companies such as Ericsson and travel and event agencies specializing in smaller groups and incentive programs.

 

They are also actively working on developing new products such as circular cycling routes in the most attractive locations in cooperation with Osijek-Baranja County, which recently submitted a project on this topic to the tender of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. In the meantime, the City of Đakovo Tourist Board informally joined forces with the municipalities in the Đakovo region and started preparing the first "outdoor" routes.

The director of the Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board, Ivana Jurić, points out that the goal of all activities and the new campaign is to invite domestic visitors to move to eastern Croatia and Slavonia and Baranja, but also to push the boundaries in the perception of this interesting and yet undiscovered region of Croatia.

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 26 March 2021

70% of Tourism Workers in Croatia Awaiting Vaccination

March 26, 2021 - A large percentage of tourism workers in Croatia are awaiting vaccination in hopes they can have a safer season this year. 

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that as many as 70 percent of respondents from the tourism sector expressed interest in vaccinations, according to a survey conducted by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Croatian Tourism Association.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports initiated the collection of employees' personal data through professional associations to implement the Vaccination Program, which would put the tourism sector in the priority group.

Priority within it is determined following epidemiological risks, with the advantage not only for employees who have greater contact with guests, but also, for example, those who, due to the nature of work, are unable to provide adequate social distance, especially indoors, such as in the kitchen.

Tourism workers in Croatia interested in vaccination were divided into two groups. The first includes operational staff (reception, waiters, household, drivers, guides, skippers, etc.) and those who are in direct contact with them daily. Priority number two refers to "administrative staff" and employees working at the dislocated location, which are not in daily contact with persons from the first group.

"The good news is that we are put on a priority list. All skippers will be vaccinated; there is no discussion. This is of vital interest to us, especially if clients would ask for it or if one of us is a member of a yacht crew," says Vicko Ozretić, president of the Croatian Skippers Association and members of the crew of yachts "Crosca."

The association has not yet received information on when the vaccination will begin, and they hope it will be as soon as possible. However, due to the current epidemiological situation across Europe and strict measures, they have little hope they'll start work soon.

All the figures, Ozretić says without hesitation, have dropped significantly.

"We believe in the peak season; we hope it will be good. As we have a pretty good pre-season and post-season in nautical tourism, we will be the first to feel the loss and lack of this pre-season because charters usually start slowly for Easter, and start working in May. It's about that now. Few of us will work this Easter, and maybe no one," says Ozretić. The first reservations are recorded only in June, but a new problem has arisen, further complicating business in nautical tourism.

"These are vouchers from last season. A part of these clients started asking for a refund, where charterers expect a big blow. This is one of the huge problems we are currently solving. It is easy to have one or two cancellations, but twenty or thirty are hard to bear," explains Ozretić.

The problem with voucher cancellations has escalated currently, as cases rise across Europe due to the rapid spread of new coronavirus strains.

Are travelers giving up even in the postseason?

"September is still under question; for now, what is booked is standing, but these are more or less bookings from last year. September is a ways away; it is no longer booked as in the period before the pandemic. No one can know anything more in advance. Everything is uncertain," concludes Vicko Ozretić.

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 22 March 2021

No Easter Tourism in Croatia Thanks to Third Wave

March 22, 2021 - It's increasingly likely that there will be no Easter tourism in Croatia this year as the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across Europe.

Although no one seriously counted on tourist traffic for Easter, which falls relatively early this year, the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic that is spreading across Europe has sunk the last hopes for the arrival of foreign tourists in Croatia, reports Poslovni.hr.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Croatian tourism will obviously rely almost exclusively on domestic guests in this pre-season. Still, the current epidemiological situation does not promise much here either.

Although it was announced earlier, there will be no 'Vacation-Worthy Week' campaign this spring, as it has been postponed to the fall. The Cro-card did not pick up as planned, either. 

Part of the hotels, or a total of about 1,100 in Croatia, will try to open their doors. 

One of the larger hotel houses selling Easter packages is Aminess hotels and camps, which announced the opening of facilities in Novigrad and on the island of Krk.

The Aminess Maestral Hotel in Novigrad will be the first to open its doors this Friday, March 26, while the nearby Aminess Sirena camp will open on April 1. The first guests will be welcomed on April 1 at Aminess Atea Camping Resort and Aminess Gaia Green Villas in Njivice on Krk.

“Aminess hotels and camps will present a unique gourmet offer this Easter holiday, which will be further enriched with the award-winning Aminess olive oil Vergal for all lovers of Istrian delicacies. We look forward to the first guests at our tourist destinations this year.

The year behind us was challenging, but we are optimistic about the future," says Mladen Knežević, Sales and Marketing Director of Aminess, whose facilities have been awarded the Safe Stay in Croatia label.

An Easter opening was also announced by Poreč's Plava laguna, which will try to fill its facilities with domestic guests by joining the Croatian tourist card (Cro Card) project.

From now on, all holders of the Cro Card will receive a 10 percent discount at Plava Laguna facilities and the mobile homes in the Istracamping campsites.

"We are glad that we got involved in this project to encourage our local guests to spend their holidays in Croatia.

Plava Laguna has facilities in Poreč, Umag, and Rijeka, so we invite all those interested to use their tourist cards for their weekend vacations or their summer vacation in our facilities. Guests can choose accommodation in one of our four resorts, 25 hotels or 13 suites.

The Cro Card is a great project that encourages domestic tourism, which is extremely important to us in this pandemic time, especially because other European countries will want to keep domestic guests in their countries," said Plava Laguna.

However, for now, they still have nothing to look forward to when it comes to realizing the Cro Card because this project is still in its infancy, largely due to the pandemic.

According to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, from July 1, 2020, to February 28, 2021, a total of 15,507 transactions were realized. Only 2728 tourist cards were issued by the Croatian Postal Bank (HPB) in the mentioned period.

As it is known, the Croatian tourist card is a project of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to increase the consumption of Croatian citizens in catering and tourist facilities throughout Croatia.

Employers can pay up to HRK 2,500 of non-taxable income per year to their employees, and the tourist cardholder can cover their costs for using services and products within the tourist offer during the year. They can top up the card with their own money and use discounts.

The 'Vacation-Worthy Week' campaign, implemented by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in cooperation with the Croatian National Tourist Board, will be delayed to the post-season, guided by the idea that the most important thing now is to contribute to a favorable epidemiological situation through responsible behavior to achieve the best possible results in the peak part of the tourist year, said the Ministry.

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Saturday, 20 March 2021

Daily Telegraph on Croatian Tourism Minister Opening Country for Tourism

March the 20th, 2021 - Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac has discussed what re-opening Croatia to British tourists could look like, and it could happen in May, the Daily Telegraph reports.

When it comes to extremely important European markets for Croatian tourism, it's difficult to contend with the British market. UK tourists came en masse to Croatia's beautiful Adriatic coast before the coronavirus pandemic threw a proverbial spanner in the works and flights were disrupted and became totally unreliable. Just how can we bring British tourists back to pre-pandemic levels?

The topic was breached by outgoing British Ambassador Andrew Dalgleish and Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac recently, and the pair discussed how a return of British tourism to Croatia can be facilitated amid the ongoing pandemic and the problematic border rules which continue to dominate.

The United Kingdom is currently under a full lockdown which is due to expire in its entirety on the 21st of June, according to PM Boris Johnson. As such, leisure and tourism travel from the UK is currently illegal. Travel is indeed permitted if one lives abroad and can prove it, or has pressing reasons for which they must leave their place of stay which they can also prove. Other than that, a stay at home order is in full force.

Croatian Tourism Minister has said that as soon as the epidemiological situation in the United Kingdom allows for it, or perhaps it is better to say when lockdown rules ease for international travel, British tourists will be absolutely welcomed back into Croatia. Otherwise, the UK has an extremely impressive vaccination rate which exceeded an enormous 25 million (people to have received their first dose) at the time of writing.

Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac and Andrew Dalgleish initiated the first serious conversation between the two European nations about the return of tourism between both countries, with the hope that border measures, a good vaccination rate and a better epidemiological picture overall, which will be what is key to decision making, will facilitate easier travel.

To read the Daily Telegraph's article, click here.

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