Saturday, 3 September 2022

Crikvenica Riviera Among Most Popular Destinations for Croatian Tourists

September the 3rd, 2022 - The Crikvenica riviera is among the country's most popular destinations to visit for Croatian tourists keen on getting away from where they live and taking time to relax within the country's borders.

As Morski writes, the Crikvenica Riviera is one of the favourite tourist destinations for Croatian tourists, with the most numerous among them living in and coming from the wider Zagreb area and from Eastern Croatia.

Throughout the main summer tourist season, Croatian tourists tend to choose to spend their summer holidays off work in various destinations situated along the Crikvenica Riviera, where there are foreign visitors, but far less of them in comparison to Dubrovnik, Split, or parts of Central and Southern Dalmatia. The proximity of the continental part of the country, the Northern Adriatic, including the Istrian peninsula and Kvarner, is one of the reasons Croatian tourists love this part of the country so much.

Croatian tourists keen for a break by the coast have always loved Crikvenica, and they are second in terms of the amount of number of overnight stays and number of arrivals realised here,'' said Mariana Biondic, the director of the Crikvenica Tourist Board. While some come to this part of the Croatian coastline because it tends to boast more affordable accommodation facilities and slightly lower prices, Crikvenica also offers more luxurious accommodation for those with deeper pockets.

''In this way, we attract a large number of Croatian tourists easily, given the proximity to excellent transport connections. We have one hotel that works all year round, which is excellently recognised by local guests,'' said Lucija Jukic, the director of sales and marketing at Jadran Crikvenica hotels and camps.

As HRT writes, the global coronavirus pandemic has well and truly changed the habits of everyone, and Croatian tourists are no exception. Interest in tourist destinations within the borders of this country has grown throughout recent years, because unfortunately for many, coming to the Adriatic coast in the heart of the hot summer season is an unrealisable and extremely costly dream reserved solely for foreign visitors.

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

Friday, 2 September 2022

Vinodol Municipality Tourism Experiences Surprising Post-Pandemic Boom

September the 2nd, 2022 - The Vinodol municipality, which was neither here nor there in terms of Croatian tourism when compared to many other coastal destinations, has made quite a name for itself this year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, up until relatively recently, the Vinodol municipality was almost anonymous in terms of tourism, but it has experienced quite the tourism boom this year, with almost 20 percent better results than the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019.

Rural holiday homes that experienced a real tourist boom in the two pandemic-dominated years are still being especially sought after, and when he heard about the villas of the Vinodol municipality, Englishman John decided to take a risk by paying the areas a visit, and he didn't regret it. He was left speechless when seeing the area's natural beauty, and the high criteria of the accommodation he wanted for his family were also met with no issues, writes HRT.

"The whole house was so luxurious, five rooms with bathrooms, a beautiful pool, what can I say, I can't imagine a better place. Bribir is a quiet town and the people are so kind," said this tourist from England enthusiastically.

Indoor and outdoor swimming pools, jacuzzis, saunas, taverns, gardens, luxury spaces and, in case of business needs, a conference hall and a helipad are available. ''Guests are more than willing to pay, there is no problem for them when it comes to paying, you just have to actually provide what the guest is asking for, and not take their money and send them home," pointed out Vlado Lancic, the owner of a rural holiday home in Bribir.

This is precisely the Vinodol municipality tourism vision. For years, what was considered a disadvantage of this destination, which is the distance from the coastline, which is mostly more than five kilometres, is actually an advantage in this type of rural tourism. Thanks to a well-thought-out tourism offer that offers hunting trips in the surrounding forests, fishing on Lake Tribalj, hiking, hang-gliding, cycling, and the chance to enjoy the charms of the sparkling Adriatic Sea just a few minutes' drive away - there are no free beds.

"The whole area is just beautiful, but what delights us and what we need is peace. A holiday spent in a green valley at the foot of the mountains, with a divine view of the sea," stated Christian, a tourist from Germany.

"This is absolute relaxation for people, people absolutely adore the peace and quiet here, I think that's what suits them the most," believes Gordana Vlastelic, another owner of a holiday home in Bribir.

Gordana started out working in tourism with one house, and now she rents three of them out. In the Vinodol municipality, more than 300 luxuriously furnished villas of this type are available for rent, which are occupied more than 120 days a year.

"People invest a lot and buy a lot of properties in the Vinodol municipality, most of them try to renovate these old rural houses in the same way and condition as they found them,'' explained Alenka Spoja, director of the Tourist Board of the Vinodol municipality.

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

Thursday, 1 September 2022

25% More Overnight Stays Realised by German Tourists in Campsites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

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

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

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

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

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

Croatian numbers aren't even close to accurate

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Has Croatian Festival Tourism Made a Successful Comeback?

August the 31st, 2022 - Has Croatian festival tourism made a successful post-pandemic comeback? The organisers of music festivals across Croatia and the region can breathe a sigh of relief given what they've experienced over the last two years.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, festival organisers got to see the end of the summer season without any new closures due to the pandemic, all announced and planned large and small festivals took place. The global geopolitical situation didn't stop partygoers from Croatia's immediate region and the rest of Europe, including British guests who had available low-budget flights, crucial for the realisation of traffic. Croatian festival tourism is a huge, lucrative business that generated around 4.5 billion kuna in revenue in the years before the pandemic struck, and is an important base for the development of tourism in destinations such as Pag and Tisno.

Precisely how the Croatian festival tourism industry fared this year, and what the biggest challenges in terms of the organisation and implementation of all of the events were, from inflation and price increases to staffing challenges, will be discussed at the beginning of September at the second edition of the Croatia Beach Music Conference, which will be held from the 7th until the 10th of September in Novalja on the island of Pag. The conference will be held under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, with the support of the Croatian Association of Employers (HUP).

This year, international experts and organisers of successful festivals, well-established and popular ones, as well as younger and promising electronic music performers, production teams, publishing houses and all lovers of musical beats will be present at the CBMC stage.

"The CBMC's goal is to gather people from the music industry in one place, especially those focused on the Croatian festival tourism and club scene, where they will be given the opportunity to exchange new information through networking and sharing experience with their colleagues from all over the world. The main guiding thought is that with the quality of the speakers and the solutions that our lecturers will convey to the participants, the conference will gain a reputation and status among its target group, and thereby include Croatia as one of the leading places in Europe when it comes to events like this,'' pointed out the main organiser of the conference, Ivan Jokic, the co-owner of the famous Noa Beach Club in Zrce.

One of the topics of the conference will be how much music festivals contributed to a successful tourist season and media promotion at the global level.

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

Monday, 29 August 2022

The Sun Shines Spotlight on Isolated Croatian Porer Lighthouse

August the 29th, 2022 - Ever fancied really heading off the beaten path and embracing true isolation? It might well be the last thing on your mind after having to suffer through two years of intermittent periods of isolation, lockdowns, and the threat of being fined for daring to meet up with other people, but if the coronavirus pandemic made you develop a taste for getting away from the world, perhaps the Croatian Porer lighthouse is right up your street.

The Sun has thrown the limelight on the Croatian Porer lighthouse, which was constructed back in the 1830s and sits atop a rocky islet just southwest of the Istrian peninsula's southernmost cape. You can stay here, and The Sun has caught on to just how cheap it is, which would make sense considering there are absolutely no amenities and it's recommended that you don't attempt a swim in the surrounding waters, however inviting the sparkling Adriatic might look.

As Morski writes, the British tabloid The Sun devoted several lines to the Croatian Porer lighthouse, which is located less than a mile away from the mainland of Istria. A 35-metre-tall tower rises above the house where the apartment which can be rented is situated, and the islet itself only three metres high without the lighthouse included.

The apartment there has two bedrooms, each with a double bed, a bathroom and a fully equipped kitchen.

''Make sure you're ready when you arrive - you can get there only by a 35-minute boat ride from Premantura, which will cost you 373 kuna. Be sure to bring enough food and drinks for your stay on the island because there is nothing else on it, so you will need to cook your own meals during your stay,'' the British tabloid warns its readers who might be eager to engage in some post-pandemic Robinson tourism. The Sun adds that you've shot it if you need an Internet connection and WiFi, because there is none, but everything is compensated for by the amazing view on offer, especially at sunset.

If you're a keen swimmer and just can't keep yourself dry for five minutes when spending time near the glorious Croatian Adriatic Sea, then this destination might not be for you. Due to the extremely strong and dangerous sea currents which surround the Croatian Porer lighthouse, which can reach speeds of up to three knots in stronger winds, swimming, especially for children, isn't recommended. The currents around the islet are very strong even throughout the day, so even good swimmers shouldn't swim out more than fifty meters from the shoreline of the islet. The waves are extremely strong, especially in winter.

The underwater area near the islet of Porer is attractive for diving, characterised by shoals of fish and underwater cliffs. In the surrounding shallows lie Krsin, Fenoliga and Veliki Balkun, all of which are the ghostly remains of ships which mate watery fates during storms.

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

Thursday, 25 August 2022

Excellent Tourist Season Mixes With Croatian Property Price Increase

August the 25th, 2022 - The Croatian property price increase has been enormous, and so far, this summer tourist season has well and truly outdone that of last year and of couse of 2020.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, when speaking solely in terms of income earned, the current tourist season could reach the record year of 2019 at the end of August, Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac confirmed in a recent interview for N1.

That's why experts expect that this year's tourism revenue will be 30 percent higher than that often referenced, record-breaking pre-pandemic year. Those who earn their cash from tourism now have "sweeter" troubles to ponder over, such as what to invest their earnings in under the circumstances of high inflation that is rapidly eating away at the value of money itself. The result: the expected new Croatian property price increase.

According to the indicators so far, the season is going more than excellently. We aren't nearing the end of 2022 yet, but Nikolina Brnjac is already extremely satisfied with the income earned this summer from tourism.

"According to some calculations, if this continues, we calculate that at the end of August and the beginning of September, we'll manage to surpass 2019 in that segment," said Minister Nikolina Brnjac.

While that's all well and good, just how much does that satisfaction amount to in the currency of the Croatian future - euros?

"Well, back in 2019, there was some 10.5 billion euros in income earned from foreign tourists, and now the CNB's projects are 11.3 billion," said Brnjac.

"If we're talking about Split, we're talking about Croatian buyers of property, apartment buyers, and if we're talking about destinations like Primosten or Rogoznica, in addition to locals, foreigners also buy property there, and they do so in significant numbers," said Marin Biliskov, director of the Biliskov real estate agency, writes N1.

"If we look at tradition, a good season down on the coast always meant a good property selling season in Zagreb," said Boro Vujovic, the director of the Opereta real estate agency.

A good season means higher demand and higher prices, and when it comes to Croatian property, we're already seeing record growth by as much as 20 percent compared to last year. The average square footage of a new building in Croatia stands at 2140 euros.

Is there room for additional Croatian property price increases?

"Given the average income and standard in Croatia, regardless of a good summer tourist season, I think prices have reached a point that shouldn't be exceeded now. But as long as the demand is greater than the supply, it's an economic law that the price goes up," said Biliskov.

As Vujovic says, if the prices of energy and everything else rise, then real estate prices will rise as well.

"I think it will slow down because interest rates will rise, some people just won't be creditworthy, so that will reduce demand," Vujovic said.

The demand of foreigners for property in Croatia is also constantly growing. Croatia's entry into the Eurozone and Schengen could stimulate both domestic and foreign demand.

"What we mustn't ignore is the significant activity of foreign buyers who, with Croatian entry into the Eurozone and Schengen, will raise awareness of Croatia as an interesting investment destination precisely through transactions in euros. Although transactions were tied to the euro but realised in kuna, they'll now be able to realise everything in euros, which will further stimulate the interest of foreign buyers," said Vedrana Likan, director and partner of the Colliers company.

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

Friday, 19 August 2022

Minister Nikolina Brnjac Talks Changes for Private Renters to Tourists

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

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

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

What about the categorisation of family/private accommodation?

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

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

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

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

New Structure for Pula Tourism as Younger Visitors Dominate Scene

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 15 August 2022

Dubrovnik and Porec Sustainable Tourism Resulting in Great Numbers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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