Monday, 13 September 2021

Autumn Offers in Croatia Planned to Extend Season, Some Up to 50% Off

September 13, 2021 - October is Croatian Tourism Month, where autumn offers in Croatia can be enjoyed up to 50% off. 

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that October this year will be "Croatian Tourism Month," as part of which Croatian citizens and foreign tourists in Croatia will be able to enjoy offers up to 50 percent off and use the tourist offer and services throughout the country, the director of the Croatian Tourist Board (CNTB) Kristjan Staničić said. 

This joint project of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the CNTB is currently being prepared, and all important information will go through the CNTB campaign, announced Staničić, recalling the excellent results of last year's project "Vacation-Worthy Week."

"Motivated by the desire to extend the season as much as possible, but also respecting the suggestions of users on the one hand and service providers on the other, we decided, together with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to provide up to 50 percent off for domestic and foreign tourists throughout October. Naturally, it will be important for the service provider to adhere to the prescribed epidemiological measures, which will then be in force and act responsibly," Staničić emphasizes.

The second wave of the campaign for domestic tourists, "Experience domestic. Explore rural Croatia!" launched this year to encourage domestic tourist traffic by getting to know rural destinations, is also announced for the autumn.

"In the second wave of this campaign, we will promote an additional four thematic destination videos, which are under development, and which will seek to bring closer the rural tourist offer, and an ongoing campaign for domestic tourists dedicated to cycling "Cycling, explore, and enjoy!" focused on the EuroVelo 8 route, which as part of the EU project covers the entire Croatian coast, from Istria to Dubrovnik," says Staničić.

He believes that all this will encourage tourists to use autumn for a short vacation at popular prices and locals to further discover Croatia in an interesting, healthy, and sustainable way. This will increase the current 10.6 million overnight stays this year.

Noting that for the last quarter of this year the CNTB has a fully prepared communication and advertising strategy, Staničić reveals that at the end of September there will be a campaign of thanks, with the working title "Thank you" on all "Croatia, full of life" social networks/profiles in ten markets with the most overnight stays this year.

"The goal is to draw attention to Croatia further, and through the positive experiences of the tourists themselves and their impressions shared on social networks, to thank them for choosing Croatia and spending a great vacation here," says Staničić.

In October, they are planning a campaign on culture, history, intangible heritage, eno-gastronomy through the platform "Croatia Hearts and Crafts" in cooperation with Google, through which an interactive presentation of everything Croatia can be proud of is presented.

Asked whether the revenues from the tourist tax, which is an important income of the CNTB and the system of tourist boards, improved due to better than expected and good physical results in the season (arrivals, overnight stays), Staničić pointed out that in the circumstances without a pandemic meant higher revenues, both for the entire tourism sector and economy and the CNTB.

However, for additional relief and assistance to the tourism sector in business, regulations were adopted that defined the tourist tax reduction and membership fees for renters, tourist taxes for boaters, and tourist membership fees for businesses. This was reflected in the CNTB budget and the entire system of tourist boards, Staničić notes.

"Although about 77 percent of the results from the record 2019 have been achieved so far, which is better and more than the planned 60-65 percent of results, that does not mean higher revenues of the CNTB, which by reducing fees and membership fees has made a strong contribution to the sector in achieving the results we are witnessing today.

We continue to work according to the adopted Annual Work Program for this year, with the most funds allocated for promotional, marketing, and PR activities to maintain Croatia's position as the safest and most successful tourist destination in the Mediterranean. I believe that we will more than successfully end this tourist year in that respect as well," states Staničić.

He adds data from eVisitor, according to which from September 1 to last weekend, i.e., September 11, there were 904 thousand tourists in Croatia or only 7 percent less than in the same days in 2019, with 2 percent more overnight stays or 6, 3 million. Most of them, 5.7 million overnight stays, were realized by foreign tourists, which is an increase of 3 percent, although compared to the same day in September 2019, there were about 9 percent less or 820 thousand, which means that they stay longer in Croatia. 

With domestic tourists, the situation is the opposite - in the first 11 days of September, there were as many as 31 percent more than at the same time in 2019 or 83 thousand, but they realized 6 percent fewer overnight stays or 619 thousand.

On September 11, there were more tourists in Croatia than on the same day in 2019, i.e., about 510 thousand of them compared to about 460 thousand, while on the same day in 2020, there were about 200 thousand.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel and border rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and coronavirus testing centres located up and down the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Monday, 13 September 2021

Red List Who? More Tourists in Croatia Than in Record 2019!

September the 13th, 2021 - The Republic of Croatia might have finally ''turned red'' on the ECDC's so-called corona map and might still be at risk of turning back to amber on the United Kingdom's traffic light system, but people just keep on arriving. There are currently more tourists in Croatia than there was back in pre-pandemic, record 2019.

As Morski writes, it appears less and less people are remotely bothered about the ECDC's corona map as the tourist results for all of Croatia are still excellent. According to data from the eVisitor system, 530 thousand tourists are currently staying somewhere in Croatia, of which 475 thousand are foreign guests, mostly from Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, reports Dnevnik.hr.

One year ago, about 200,000 people spent their summer holidays in the country, and at the same time in the record year of 2019, the trusty eVisitor system recorded a massive 470,000 tourists in Croatia. The competent minister, Nikolina Brnjac, is convinced that a very good post-season awaits us if we're looking at the numbers of tourists in Croatia we still have, even though the very height of the summer season is now behind us.

Could the remarkably good tourist announcements for September end up coming to nothing if we end up remaining in the ''red'' on the coronavirus map? "We're the safest destination in the Mediterranean" is a slogan we've been hearing throughout summer, and it seems as if, at least by comparison to the competition, it's still true.

''Those who come to Croatia now are mostly vaccinated people. They know how standardised travel is, they know what the rules of entry are. Most of the existing reservations are not being cancelled or given up on, so we're continuing with the good trend, and we hope to continue on this way,'' concluded the Minister of Tourism and Sport, Nikolina Brnjac.

For more on tourists in Croatia, check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Tourists from 70 Countries in Croatia this Year!

September 7, 2021 - The good tourism news keeps on coming, as tourists from 70 countries in Croatia this year made 2021 one we won't soon forget. 

In the first eight months of this year, more tourists came and stayed in Croatia than last year from more than 70 countries, with fewer arrivals and overnight stays from only five countries - Indonesia, Korea, China, Japan, and Kosovo, reports Index.hr.

This is shown by eVisitor and eCrew data from the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ), according to which, as expected, Germans are traditionally far ahead of everyone, both in terms of arrivals and overnight stays.

2.1 million German tourists realized almost 16 million overnight stays or 23.3 percent of the total overnight stays in the first eight months of this year, which is 53 and 42 percent more than in the first eight months of 2020. However, compared to the same period in 2019, 2021 saw 200 thousand fewer German arrivals and about a million fewer overnight stays.

Behind German tourists are domestic tourists, with 1.7 million arrivals and 10.1 million overnight stays, which is an increase of 31.6 and almost 10 percent compared to the first eight months of 2020, while compared to the same period in 2019, there were about 100 thousand fewer arrivals and about a million fewer overnight stays. 

Of the ten markets with the highest number of overnight stays, only Austria and Slovakia had more than 100 percent more overnight stays than last year, i.e., Austrians at 4.8 million (+110 percent ) and Slovaks at 2.2 million overnight stays (+107.6 percent). They rank fourth and seventh in overnight stays among foreigners.

However, the largest increase (212.4 percent) was achieved by Dutch tourists with 1.8 million overnight stays in the first eight months of this year, which puts them in ninth place among foreign tourist overnight stays.

From other markets in the top ten, increases are slightly smaller. Poles are in third place among foreigners (or fourth overall, if domestic tourists are taken into account) with 5.7 million overnight stays or 43 percent more than in 2020.

Slovenians are in second place, just behind the Germans (or third if you count domestic overnight stays), with 7.9 million overnight stays or 3.4 percent more than in the first eight months of 2019. After Austria in fourth (among foreigners) is the Czech Republic with 4.5 million overnight stays or 44.5 percent more, and Hungary with 2.3 million overnight stays or 80.2 percent more.

Italy is in eighth place among foreign markets with 1.9 million overnight stays or 41 percent more (behind Slovakia in 7th). In tenth place, behind the Netherlands, is Bosnia and Herzegovina, with 1.6 million overnight stays or 80.5 percent more than in the first eight months of 2020.

Although neither Germans, domestic tourists, nor tourists from other markets have achieved the results of 2019 this year, many markets have seen a large increase in overnight stays, from some over 300 percent, and others 600 percent compared to 2020! In 24 markets, overnight stays have grown by more than one hundred percent.

The largest increase in overnight stays (679 percent) was realized by Kuwait with slightly more than 2780 overnight stays. Still, significantly more overnight stays, 663 thousand, and an increase of 301 percent were realized from the USA. Russia achieved an increase of 351 percent with 561.7 thousand overnight stays.

Oman recorded an increase of 275 percent compared to the first eight months of 2020, but with only 435 overnight stays, while the same increase was from Norway, but with a little more than 76 thousand overnight stays.

And from other Scandinavian countries - Sweden and Denmark - the growth of overnight stays was high, 128 and 129 percent compared to 2020, while Finland was the only one among all markets to have fewer tourist arrivals, by four percent but 42 percent more overnight stays.

Turkey is the only country where more tourists came (6 percent), who spent fewer nights than last year (15 percent).

An interesting fact among all markets is that, for example, from northern European countries this year there was also significantly more overnight stays in Croatia than last year - from Lithuania 101.5 thousand or 181.3 percent more, Latvia 48.7 thousand or 128 percent more, Estonia 45.1 thousand or 105 percent more, and Iceland 145.6 percent more with four thousand overnight stays.

The large increases in overnight stays from Mediterranean countries, i.e., Croatia's competitors, is also interesting. For example, tourists from France realized 1.1 million overnight stays in Croatia by the end of August this year (which puts them in 11th place among foreigners) or 126 percent more, and Spanish tourists 194.4 thousand or 166.3 percent more overnight stays than 2020.

Portuguese tourists achieved 111.2 percent more overnight stays or 51 thousand, and Maltese tourists 168 percent more with five thousand overnight stays.

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

Friday, 3 September 2021

Digital Nomads Promote Croatian Tourism Best, Says Minister Nikolina Brnjac

September 3, 2021 - Minister of Tourism and Sports said that digital nomads promote Croatian tourism best, on the same level as social media influencers. 

According to the tourist traffic data for July and August compared to pre-pandemic figures, Croatia is the tourism star of the Mediterranean this year.

In August, 86 percent of arrivals and 93 percent of overnight stays compared to 2019 were realized. Specifically, about 4.3 million guests visited Croatia last month, and over 30 million overnight stays were realized. Thus, after the lost pre-season, the main season has restored optimism among tourism workers who will have a good post-season if the epidemiological situation allows. However, in addition to all other factors and the situation in the Mediterranean, Croatia has really prepared well for the season, primarily by ensuring the safety of guests, with a great response from foreign partners and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports' Safe Stay in Croatia campaign. Furthermore, the framework for digital nomads was defined at the beginning of the year. In addition, several other activities contributed to the season, which really surprised even the most optimistic.

Before today's press conference, Novi List spoke with Minister Nikolina Brnjac about what August was like, what was crucial in preparing for the season, how staff shortages will be solved, and the prospect of digital nomads in Croatia. 

August is behind us; many say that even the most optimistic could not expect such results in July and August. Was it more than expected?

"I think we have prepared well for this season, in cooperation with the entire tourism sector, in coordination with the Civil Protection Headquarters and all other closely related stakeholders. The fruit of all this synergy is this season's tourist results. Already on August 29, we achieved our minimum goal for traffic for this tourist year, which is 60 percent of tourist traffic compared to the whole of 2019. Still, we believe that the continuation of current favorable trends will be much closer to that record year by the end of the year. In the last days of August, we recorded traffic above 90 percent of what we had in 2019, which is a great announcement for September and for the postseason in general, which is our next goal. Compared to 2019, the biggest difference is in arrivals, but the number of overnight stays shows that tourists stayed longer and spent more.

I believe that we can all be satisfied with the results achieved when we talk about tourist traffic and when we talk about revenue, but now we want to extend the season as much as possible. With all our activities, the epidemiological situation was critical throughout the summer. It will continue to be so, and I believe that we will continue to behave responsibly, get vaccinated in as many numbers as possible because only in this way can we maintain continuity of good results, and ensure normal social and economic trends."

What was crucial in the preparation of the season and ultimately its realization?

"I think that the key thing was that with the preparations for this year's summer tourist season, we started on time with the synergy of the entire tourism sector and all departments in the Government. In each step we took, we involved the sector, listened to their needs and the market's needs, and thus made decisions about each step.

Starting with the Safe Stay in Croatia project, which was well-received in our biggest markets and which provided tourists with access to all relevant information in one place, and at the same time was a tool for educating our tourism sector on procedures for compliance with epidemiological protocols, then facilitating travel procedures and returning tourists to their home destinations by providing additional testing points, to enabling tourists to be vaccinated in Croatia. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been paying great attention to good communication and education of everyone in the system to have timely information and better adapt to today's trends and business conditions. Before and during the summer, we continuously held meetings with tourism stakeholders, leaders of local and regional governments, epidemiologists, and civil protection headquarters in their area so that everyone could be better prepared. As a result, tourism workers were also among the first to be vaccinated in a high percentage. All this shows how much we were all aware of the safety aspect and preparedness as an important factor in the choice of destinations by tourists. As a result, Croatian tourism has once again shown exceptional readiness and all the diversity of the offer that can satisfy the demand of different guest structures. I sincerely thank everyone for the cooperation, effort, and knowledge they have invested so that we can have such good results in another challenging year for tourism."

Which markets were the best in August and the first eight months of 2021? What has changed compared to last year and the years before the pandemic, and what does that tell us?

"The pandemic has definitely affected the travel paradigm, i.e., the habits of tourists for whom safety is one of the most important factors when choosing a destination. We are all aware of that, and that is why we have been working from the beginning to improve all security measures to create the most favorable preconditions for tourism. In addition to the demand for high-class accommodation facilities and those in nature, we also record excellent results in the charter segment. We achieved an even higher turnover in August compared to August 2019. When we talk about changing the structure of guests, the share of guests from nearby markets has further increased. In contrast, for more distant markets, stabilization will occur subsequently, depending on the normalization of travel and the favorable epidemiological situation in the world."

Which segments of the offer proved to be the most sought after? Namely, there is a lot of talk about the fact that 5-star, therefore the highest quality offer was the most sought after?

"Through this year's financial results and the fact that we have the highest occupancy in high-end accommodation facilities, i.e., four and five stars where we record occupancy above 95 percent, it is clear that this year we have a larger number of tourists with higher purchasing power. Quality products and an offer that gives them an extra sense of security were among the most sought after."

In that sense, can it be said that there has been a kind of transformation towards better quality tourism and moving away from the masses?

"Our strategic goal is to move away from the masses and turn towards sustainable and innovative tourism, and the demand for high-quality products and a longer stay in the destination certainly goes in favor of that. In the long run, our goal is to increase the number of tourists compared to previous records, especially in already congested destinations, and distribute tourist results more evenly throughout the year and throughout Croatia while achieving equal or higher total revenues. By the way, even before the pandemic, we started to reform the legal framework aimed at the sustainability and professionalization of tourist boards, recategorize private accommodation, regulate the status of health tourism, tourist land, and the like. We will continue with reforms that will follow our strategic goals."

The Ministry has also initiated the Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy. Will this document also be the basis for further profiling towards high-quality tourism?

"With the new Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy until 2030, we will focus on sustainability, value-added products, and special forms of tourism. The strategy should respond to the challenges of extending the season and expanding the tourist offer outside the summer months and in spatial terms to less-developed tourist areas, especially continental destinations. The project of drafting a new strategy is in line with the Program of the Croatian Government from 2020-2024 and the National Development Strategy until 2030. For the first time since Croatia's independence, the Sustainable Tourism Strategy, a Strategic Environmental Assessment, is being prepared. The fact that we have been provided European funds with which we can strategically direct tourism development should be emphasized. Simply put, we have provided the opportunity to invest in the tourism we want, and that is sustainable, year-round, with greater added value. Funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan will focus on solving the challenges we face in the coastal zone in the summer and encourage the development of year-round forms of tourism with high added value throughout Croatia. The fact that in the next financial period of the EU, both in the National Plan and in certain operational programs, we will be responsible for allocating funds is a great obligation, but also an opportunity to define priorities together with the sector and try to solve long-standing challenges."

In preparation for the season, a big step forward was made towards attracting digital nomads at the beginning of the year. So what specifically has changed legally?

"Croatia is one of the first members of the European Union to legally regulate a one-year temporary stay for digital nomads from third countries. This is an interesting niche for Croatian tourism because nomads are not seasonal but year-round guests, and their interests are diverse and unrelated to the sea and the sun. The idea was realized with excellent inter-ministerial cooperation with other ministries, primarily with the Ministry of the Interior, which carried out the most important legislative processes and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. The Ministry of the Interior amended the Law on Foreigners, and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs announced the procedure for obtaining temporary residence for digital nomads. At the same time, the Ministry of Finance changed its laws through its Income Tax Act and the Ministry of Health through the Law on Amendments to the Law on Income compulsory health insurance and health care of foreigners in Croatia, all to enable the stay of digital nomads in Croatia. Furthermore, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has initiated an e-platform for digital nomads, with the help of the Croatian National Tourist Board, and we have included 21 regional tourist boards in all processes so that digital nomads have the opportunity to discover the whole of Croatia."

What are the conditions for the arrival of digital nomads, and do you have information on how many have taken advantage of this opportunity?

"Digital nomads must first meet all the prescribed conditions to obtain a temporary one-year stay in Croatia. All steps are described in detail on the Ministry of Interior website. By August 20, more than 200 people had applied, while about 80 had been approved, with the most applications coming from the US, UK, and Russia. However, persons working in Croatia as digital nomads, i.e., for companies not registered in Croatia and citizens of EU member states, do not regulate their stay on the same legal basis and are not recorded based on the relevant new provision of the Law on Foreigners. It should also be noted that our legislative framework has been in force since the beginning of this year, when strict measures to restrict movement were applied. Nevertheless, we expect that the improvement of the epidemiological situation and further activities that the tourist boards and private sector plan to initiate will have a positive impact on the interest of digital nomads in Croatia."

Have accommodation providers prepared and generally realized the benefits of longer leases, which we specifically offer to digital nomads?

"Digital nomads, with the conditions and steps they must meet to obtain a visa for "digital nomads," mostly search for the content available in certain destinations. The data from our research thus show that tourist products such as active holidays, nature, culture, and eno-gastronomy arouse the most interest, which Croatia offers them. Moreover, many hotel chains have already adapted their tourist offer to the longer stay of digital nomads with the possibility of work."

What do digital nomads, influencers, and world stars really mean for the promotion of Croatian tourism?

"People who want to make Croatia their temporary office, who fall in love with our natural and cultural beauties, food, people, but also the way of life, can be our best promoters, just like many influencers. Any positive reaction to Croatia as a tourist destination, especially in the world that is mostly informed through social networks, is a great advertisement for our country and an additional invitation to stay."

What are the announcements for the offseason?

"The announcements for September and October are excellent, judging by the bookings of our hoteliers and camps. As I mentioned at the beginning, in recent days, we have recorded traffic above 90 percent of what we had in 2019, and this is a good announcement for September. If the current trends continue in the next month, in the second half of September, we could reach 70 percent of turnover when it comes to overnight stays and financial indicators."

One of the basic problems of Croatian tourism at the moment is staffing. How will efforts be made to address the shortage of tourism workers that has escalated this year, and what is the future?

"In the long run, we see solving the problem of labor shortage in the creation of preconditions for the engagement of domestic labor in the tourism sector. For several years now, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has been implementing measures to promote tourism occupations through the co-financing of innovative tourism projects designed and implemented by high schools to educate students in hospitality and tourism. We also have a program for co-financing the practice of high school students in the tourism sector. Through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, we have provided an additional 10 million kuna to develop educational programs that meet the needs of the labor market. We will also allocate funds for training with employers to support investments in the green and digital transition. We want to increase the attractiveness of tourism occupations for young people and improve conditions and general satisfaction of workers in the tourism sector. We are actively thinking about how to ensure a sufficient quality workforce, first from Croatia, and then through imports, because the quality of services is an indispensable part of the tourist product."

To learn more about digital nomads in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Friday, 3 September 2021

PM Andrej Plenkovic Expresses Pride for Main 2021 Tourist Season

September the 3rd, 2021 - PM Andrej Plenkovic hasn't been shy in expressing his feelings of pride towards what has so far been an excellent tourist season. The predictions back at the beginning of the year as the vaccine rollout was plagued with issues and lockdowns were still ''in fashion'' weren't good at all, and in light of that, the height of the Croatian tourist season of 2021 has been rather remarkable.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic took to Twitter to comment on the new ECDC corona map, according to which the Croatian coast has remained orange, but some parts of Croatia are unfortunately now in red. These areas are Slavonia, as well as Sisak-Moslavina and Karlovac counties.

"According to the new ECDC map, the Croatian coast has remained orange even at the beginning of September. Foreign tourists have recognised Croatia as a safe destination and we could exceed 70 percent of the tourist results from the pre-crisis 2019. With responsible behaviour and with vaccination, we can protect the health and economy of Croatia!'' wrote PM Andrej Plenkovic proudly on Twitter.

It's worth remembering that Croatia's traditional tourism competitors across the rest of the Mediterranean generally had a worse epidemiological picture, with Spain, popular with Northern European tourists such as Germans and Brits having an extremely unfortunate situation on its hands. The whole of Greece, also popular with the above, is in red or crimson, while Cyprus is in crimson.

The whole of Portugal is also marked in red, as is France. Southern and central Italy are in red, while most other Italian regions are in orange. Croatia did excellently and managed to maintain an extremely favourable epidemiological situation throughout the height of the tourist season, which can be seen by the brilliant results and economic recovery.

For more, make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

August Overnight Stays in Croatia Reach 93% of Record 2019!

September 1, 2021 - It was yet another impressive summer month in Croatia, as August overnight stays in Croatia reached 93% of the record 2019!

In August 2021, there were 4.3 million arrivals and 30.7 million overnight stays in Croatia, i.e., 59 percent more arrivals and 46 percent more overnight stays than in the same period last year. At the same time, foreign tourists realized 26.7 million overnight stays, while domestic tourists realized 4 million overnight stays, announced HTZ.

These are the first data from eVisitor, which tracks tourist traffic in commercial and non-commercial facilities and nautical charter (eCrew). Compared to the 2019 results, in August this year, 86 percent of arrivals and 93 percent of overnight stays were realized!

Most tourist overnight stays were realized in Istria (8.6 million), Split-Dalmatia (5.8 million), and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (5.7 million). This is followed by Zadar (4.8 million), Šibenik-Knin (2.3 million), and Dubrovnik-Neretva County (1.9 million). The destinations that attracted the most visitors are Dubrovnik (164,000 arrivals), Split (160,000), Rovinj (149,000), Medulin (125,000) and Poreč (125,000).

"We can be satisfied with the results in the first eight months, and I would like to thank everyone for their effort, work, flexibility, and responsibility. The tourist year continues, and this is best evidenced by the fact that at this time, there are about 680,000 tourists in Croatia, which is at the level of the number of tourists we had at this time in 2019. This is a great announcement for September. We want to continue at the same pace to boost economic development further and ensure tourism has an even better starting position over the next year. I am especially pleased with the fact that, above all, we are achieving excellent financial results. Namely, the value of fiscalized accounts in tourism activities during the previous month was 21 percent higher than in August 2019. Their value amounted to almost HRK 18 billion at the annual level, which is about 84 percent of the value from the first eight months of 2019. I believe that this will be an incentive for everyone to continue to emphasize the quality for which there is significant demand and sustainable business, which is the foundation of tourism development," said Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac.

Looking at the markets in August, most tourists came from Germany (1.1 million), Poland (338,000), Austria (317,000), the Czech Republic (250,000), Slovenia (239,000), and Italy (205,000). Of these markets with the most August arrivals, 83 percent more guests came to Croatia from Germany, 7 percent more guests from Poland, 182 percent more guests from Austria, and 30 percent more guests from the Czech Republic compared to August last year. In addition, there are 100 percent more guests from Italy, while Slovenian tourists achieved similar results in tourist traffic as in August last year.

According to the type of accommodation, most overnight stays were realized in households, camps, and hotels, of which the highest growth compared to the previous year was achieved by camps (93 percent more) and hotels (86 percent more overnight stays), followed by private accommodation and charter with a growth of about 35 percent in overnight stays. Compared to August 2019, the best results were achieved in camps and charters that achieved 2 percent more overnight stays (camps), or 1 percent more overnight stays (nautical - charter).

In the first eight months of this year, there were 10.7 million arrivals and 67.9 million overnight stays in Croatia, i.e., 56 percent more arrivals and 43 percent more overnight stays than in the first eight months of 2020.

The highest number of overnight stays in Croatia was recorded by guests from Germany (15.9 million), domestic tourists (10.1 million), Slovenia (7.9 million), Poland (5.8 million), and Austria (4 .9 million). On the other hand, most tourist overnight stays were realized in Istria (18.9 million), Primorje-Gorski Kotar (12.6 million), and Split-Dalmatia County (12.4 million), while the most popular destinations were Rovinj with 2.7 million overnight stays and Vir and Poreč with 2 million overnight stays.

"Behind us is the main part of the summer season in which the entire Croatian tourism sector has done an excellent job. We have weeks ahead of us in which, according to the announcements of our most important partners and tour operators, we can expect excellent tourist traffic. For the post-season, we have prepared several promotional activities to ensure further visibility in the tourism market as a quality, diverse, and above all safe destination where the prescribed epidemiological measures are respected," said the director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristjan Stanicic.

There were 42 percent more vehicles on the highways last week than in the same weekend last year, but also only five percent less than in 2019

During the last weekend, the motorways under the Croatian Motorways (HAC) jurisdiction recorded a turnover of 734,637 vehicles and tolls of HRK 40.5 million without VAT, which is an increase of 42 percent compared to last year, and tolls by 52 percent.

Namely, compared to the same weekend last year, a turnover of 518,541 vehicles was recorded, and tolls were collected of HRK 26.69 million without VAT.

Compared to 2019, a turnover of 777,654 vehicles was recorded, and a total toll was collected of HRK 43 million without VAT. Thus, this year's vehicle traffic is lower by five percent, and tolls collected by six percent.

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

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Tourism Pushes Croatian Retail Sector Forward, Analysts Optimistic

September the 1st, 2021 - The excellent tourist season which appears to just keep on going has pushed the Croatian retail sector out of the slump the global coronavirus pandemic had forced it into. Analysts are, unsurprisingly, very optimistic as a result.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic writes, after a record jump in GDP in the second quarter of 2021, the indicators for the beginning of the third quarter, the most generous part of the year for the economy, also look fairly positive. In July, retail spending rose 12.8 percent for the sixth month in a row, reflecting a good tourist season and good economic recovery.

Turnover in the Croatian retail sector (referring to trade, and calendar adjusted) during the month of July increased by 2.2 percent in real terms compared to the previous month. Half a year of consumption growth comes after the previous 11 months of decline, or 5.8 percent of the deficit in 2020.

Retail trade in food, beverages and tobacco products rose 12.8 percent in July, and the non-food segment (excluding fuels and lubricants) 9.1 percent year-on-year, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) calculated.

Raiffeisen Bank analysts point to the fact that last year, with which the trends are being compared and measured, the decline was large.

"Apart from the effect of the base period, the continuation of favourable trends is also the result of the good trends in tourism, moderately positive trends on the labour market, as indicated by data on consumer optimism, which, despite a slight deterioration when compared to June, continued to grow annually," they said.

The passage of time certainly provides for a decent dose of optimism for the performance of the economy in 2021 as Croatian GDP rose 16.1 percent in the second quarter, and perhaps more importantly, it was the first jump after four quarters of worrisome decline.

The Tax Administration's data on fiscalised receipts issued from the Croatian retail sector also show continued double-digit annual growth rates exceeding pre-covid levels, the RBA said, underscoring the good labour market situation and strong spending in tourism.

This continued growth, however, will depend on the development of the ongoing epidemiological situation, which is unfortunately deteriorating with warnings from the profession that we are entering the fourth wave with only 39.4 percent of the Croatian population having been fully vaccinated.

For more, follow our business section.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

750,000 Tourists Currently in Croatia, Istrian Cities Proving Hit

August the 31st, 2021 - The Croatian tourist season just keeps on going despite the predictions we had earlier on in the year. With numbers rising to almost pre-pandemic levels and foreign arrivals having a much easier time entering Croatia than before, September is looking great and several Istrian cities are a particular hit at the moment.

While the vaccination rollout in Croatia might still leave quite a bit to be desired for, the tourist season has been excellent so far, with the announcements as we head into September also looking more than promising. The favourable epidemiological situation is likely to continue as long as all of the measures that remain in place are properly adhered to.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to the latest data from Croatia's eVisitor system, there are about 750,000 tourists currently holidaying in the country, of which about 650,000 are non-resident foreign nationals. Most of them are Germans, followed by other Croatian tourists visiting different places across the country, as reported by HRT.

The most visited cities are the Istrian cities of Rovinj, Porec and Umag. After that, most tourists can be found in the Split-Dalmatia, Primorje-Gorski Kotar and Zadar counties.

These figures represent encouraging growth of as much as 67 percent when compared to last year and the current state is only 15 percent less than the record year of 2019. As long as nothing changes drastically in regard to the currently very favourable Croatian epidemiological situation, the post-season could be above all expectations, bringing a very welcome sigh of relief for all those in the hospitality and tourism sector who more than likely believed such success would never come.

For more on travel to and around Croatia, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel and border rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centres, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language.

Monday, 30 August 2021

Croatian September Tourism Looking Good as Post-Season Approaches

August the 30th, 2021 - The Croatian September tourism picture is looking promising according to current announcements, with a favourable epidemiological picture continuing and with the cooler post-season rapidly approaching.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, September is just around the corner and cooler weather is finally approaching as summer begins to wind down. Despite this, the season goes on and the Croatian September tourism announcements are very encouraging indeed.

With ferries which connect Split to the surrounding islands full, especially on the way back to the mainland, things don't appear to be slowing down in Dalmatia.

"As for leaving the mainland, there's a little less pressure than we're used to so far, but we can't say the season is over. Slowly, passengers are still arriving in a somewhat slower rhythm, but they're coming,'' said Jelena Ivulic from Jadrolinija.

As for the ferry to the Italian port of Ancona, more tickets are being purchased as travellers from across the Adriatic is neighbouring Italy end their traditional ferragosto, writes N1.

A young married couple from France have been cycling from northern Europe to the south since the beginning of August, and the icing on the cake, they say, is Croatia.

"If I had a second chance, I think I'd choose another period. In August there's heavy traffic and a lot of people. It’s really hard for us on bikes. Now we're going to Vela Luka, we will tour the island with our bicycles. It will be nice, there's less traffic and we hope for some sun,'' said Philip.

At Split Airport, a similar situation as the one with the ferry port can be seen. In August alone, this airport recorded over 400 thousand passengers, which exceeded the results from the previous July. This weekend, however, departures are taking over that previous figure.

"We have a constantly higher departure at this time of year, which is traditional, but the arrivals that are still coming into the country can't be denied.'' said Mate Melvan from Split Airport who is seeing for himself what the Croatian September tourism picture is likely to look like.

As some leave the country and others arrive, landlords renting out their private/family accommodation facilities can finally rub their palms together and breathe a sigh of relief after such hardships caused by the pandemic and the epidemiological meaures. Split's renters are optimistic and have hopes for the continuation of the post-season too.

Of course, the epidemiological situation and the vaccination rollout not only here in Croatia but across the rest of Europe and the world remains key for tourism, but the fact is that we have, somewhat unexpectedly, approached the result from the record pre-pandemic 2019, which very few could have ever predicted.

For more, make sure to follow our travel section.

Thursday, 26 August 2021

ECDC Corona Map on August 26, 2021: Croatia Remains Orange!

August 26, 2021 - Good news - Croatia remains orange on the latest ECDC corona map on August 26, 2021. 

The latest European Center for Disease Prevention and Control corona map, which has been published around noon in recent weeks, was finally released on Thursday at 3:30 pm. The map revealed that Croatia remains orange, even though many media reports worried the country would turn red with the recent jump in cases. 

Health Minister Vili Beroš said at a press conference today before the map was released that Croatia remained orange and that there were no red zones.

"We contacted our sources in Stockholm and they had some difficulties in publishing the map, and those same sources told us that the whole of Croatia is still orange. So there are no red zones," Beroš said.

In the past 24 hours, 638 new cases were recorded, bringing the number of active cases in Croatia today to 3253, the Headquarters reported.

Among them, 358 patients are in hospital, of which 43 patients are on respirators. Six people died.

To date, a total of 371,623 people have been reported to be infected with the coronavirus, of whom 8,316 have died and 360,054 have recovered (330 in the past 24 hours).

There are currently 7058 people in self-isolation. To date, a total of 2,501,327 people have been tested, of which 10,428 in the last 24 hours.

The ECDC Epidemiological Map for Europe is published each week based on the 14-day incidence and the share of positive tests in the total number tested.

Green on the ECDC map are regions where the 14-day COVID-19 infection rate per 100,000 inhabitants is less than 50, and the share of COVID-19 positives tested is less than four percent, or the 14-day incidence was less than 75 percent, and the share of positives was less than one percent.

Orange means that the incidence of confirmed COVID-19 cases is less than 50, but the share of positives is more than 4 percent, or the 14-day rate is between 75 and 200, and the share of positives among those tested is less than four percent.

Red means a 14-day incidence rate of 75-200, with a COVID-19 positive rate greater than 4 percent and a 14-day incidence rate of 200 to 500, and dark red encompasses areas where the 14-day rate is greater than 500.

ECDC assesses the COVID-19 risk by major statistical regions within the country (NUTS 2). NUTS 2 statistical regions must have a minimum population of 800 thousand and a maximum of three million. There are only four NUTS 2 regions in Croatia - Pannonian Croatia, Adriatic Croatia, Northern Croatia, and the City of Zagreb.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

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