Thursday, 26 August 2021

Excellent 2021 Croatian Hotel Postseason Expected

August 26, 2021 - The 2021 Croatian hotel postseason has excellent expectations, especially with September bookings. 

Based on the current state of reservations, the largest Croatian hotel houses are announcing an excellent postseason, especially in September, reports HRTurizam.

Although the end of school holidays in Croatia in our most important countries will significantly reduce the number of guests in family accommodation and camping, announcements for hotel accommodation are excellent.

“We are especially looking forward to the return of groups, whether it is events, congresses, or trips of special interest. Following the epidemiological instructions received from the national and local civil protection headquarters, careful preparation is the key to successfully implementing the stay of larger groups of tourists. It is estimated that based on market interest, about 800 hotels (80-90% of the number of hotels now open) would continue to operate during September and thus further improve the results achieved so far," said Veljko Ostojić, director of the Croatian Tourism Association.

Croatia remains the epidemiologically safest EU country in the Mediterranean. This is confirmed by comparisons of all relevant public health institutes. For example, according to the 14-day incidence, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control ECDC ranks Croatia 8th on the list of EU members in terms of security, with a significantly better epidemiological situation than other Mediterranean countries.

The German Robert Koch Institute, which monitors Croatia by counties, did not put any county in Croatia on the list of risk areas in the last update on August 20, while all Mediterranean countries have been on that list for weeks. Also, on the European map updated daily by the American Johns Hopkins University, according to the rolling 7-day average of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, Croatia has a significantly better situation than its Mediterranean competition.

Two counties that attract a total of more than half of tourists to Croatia, Istria and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, also have a better epidemiological situation than the national average. Istria County has a 14-day incidence of 46 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County has an incidence of 55, making these two counties a safer environment for most tourists from Europe than they have in their home countries.

On Wednesday, 677 new cases were recorded, so the number of active cases in Croatia on Wednesday was a total of 2,951. Among them, 356 patients are in hospital, of which 46 are on a respirator. In the past 24 hours, 282 people recovered, and 10,453 were tested.

The jump in new cases in Croatia is worrying, and everyone in tourism has been anxiously awaiting Thursday when the new ECDC epidemiological map comes out. Although there is the worry that Croatia will turn red this week, it is certain that such a drastic drop, i.e., the number of tourists, will not happen again, like last year.

However, this year, the context and situation are different, as a large number of the population has been vaccinated or contracted Covid-19. Additionally, test centers have been secured, and, regardless of the spread of the Delta variant, much more is still known about the coronavirus. Therefore, the biggest problem may be caused by the possible need for quarantine, which would certainly lead to a drastic decline in tourists in Croatia. 

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to the Republic of Croatia, including test centres, vaccination points, and travel and border rules, make sure to check out and bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

2021 Safe Stay in Croatia Label: How is it Used Around Croatia?

August 24, 2021 - How is the 2021 Safe Stay in Croatia label being used around the country? Tourism workers chime in. 

Jutarnji List spoke to tourism workers around Croatia about using the 2021 Safe Stay in Croatia label. 

"When we started implementing measures to protect guests and staff from Covid-19 last year, we were initially afraid of how they would accept it. Still, they are on vacation, and we set some rules for them. It turned out, however, that the reactions of the guests were extremely positive, after all, and they want to feel safe and protected on vacation," said Marina Josipović, the owner of the Park Hotel in Makarska. They also boast several international safety certificates, which prove that they take compliance with measures and safety very seriously.

"Upon arrival, we measure the temperature of all guests. If it is slightly elevated, we repeat the measurement after some time because guests come from the outside heat, so we give them time to cool down. There is plexiglass at the reception; everything is often disinfected; we have reduced the number of deck chairs by the pool to allow distance and limit the number of visitors in the wellness area. We are cautious when serving food and drinks," Marina Josipović adds, emphasizing that more than 70 percent of hotel employees have been vaccinated.

Protecting guests and employees from infection is their main motivation, just like other tourism entities that have received the now recognizable Safe Stay in Croatia label since this spring.

Krešimir Ledić, the cult Zagreb restaurant Balon owner, points out that they did not make protocols to satisfy the form but to make their guests feel safe and comfortable.

"We acted according to all protocols prescribed by the Ministry, and even more. Masks, disinfectants, space between tables, air purifiers... We are lucky to have a large, spacious terrace where guests can be away from others and feel comfortable," says Ledić, and adds that 95 percent of his employees are vaccinated.

Kopački Rit Nature Park has been proud to hold the Safe Stay label since the first day of the program. The Nature Park's department head for the reception of visitors and education, Ružica Marušić, points out that visitors react well and that refusing to follow the rules is really rare.

"We got the Safe Stay label easily because we take care of safety beforehand, and more than was prescribed. For example, all of our employees wear masks because they come in contact with many people, and everyone is vaccinated except those who have medical contraindications. Masks are mandatory for visitors indoors and on boats, and if they do not have their own, we will provide one for them. As a result, people react well, the rules are clearly marked, and everyone is more comfortable when they feel safe," says Marušić and adds that a lot of people come to the park aware of the responsibility for both visitors and their employees.

The same is pointed out by Ružica Božić Cerovac, the owner of the Chocolate Museum in Zagreb, who says that the hygiene standards were at the highest possible level even before receiving the Safe Stay label.

"Employees wear masks, keep their distance, ventilate, make sure that no more than ten people are in one room at a time ... We are proud that no visitor is endangered at any time," says the owner of the museum, which is a favorite attraction in Zagreb.

The Zadar adventure tourism agency Feral Tours owner, Iva Bencun, shows how the crisis has changed tourism. Activities in nature and active holidays are more in demand than ever, and with it, all booking and all arrangements now take place online.

"We work with small groups, masks are worn in transfers, everything is regularly disinfected, but most programs take place outdoors, so in that sense, there was no need for some large adjustments," says Bencun.

Research shows that most tourists prioritize the safety and cleanliness of the space they will stay in when choosing a destination. Today, guests are primarily looking for safety: a safe stay, the care of the hosts about hygiene standards, and the safety that they will not be infected during their vacation.

Listening to these needs, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia, with the support of the Croatian National Tourist Board and tourism partners, launched the Safe Stay in Croatia project earlier this year, which devised protocols of business and treatment of users in all tourism and tourism-related activities, all with one goal - a safe stay in Croatia. As a result, almost 17,000 applications have been approved since the start of the project.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to the Republic of Croatia, including test centres, vaccination points, and travel and border rules, make sure to check out and bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Sunday, 22 August 2021

Will European Countries Decide Fate of Rest of Croatian Tourist Season?

August the 22nd, 2021 - Will powerful European countries such as Germany, France and the United Kingdom be the ones to decide the fate of the rest of the Croatian tourist season, which has been going remarkably well so far? Maybe, but with people far more relaxed now than last year - maybe not.

With the memory of the dire 2020 Croatian tourist season still fresh in the memories of many, especially those who work within the sector, few could have imagined that the Croatian tourist season of 2021 would yield such impressive numbers of arrivals and overnight stays realised primarily by foreign tourists. Still leaning on the various coronavirus maps and traffic light systems of European countries, things could still take a turn yet.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, might we expect the mass exodus of tourists and serial accommodation reservation cancellations, like we did last year? Do guests rely on these measurements at all, and do they also surf the ECDC website as often as their hopeful Croatian hosts do?

The methodology itself has been the subject of serious debate for weeks now, but with the vaccination rollout across the continent going more or less well, European tourists seem much more relaxed than they were last year, when there was no such vaccine to speak of.

The public is beginning to realise that the mere addition of positive test results may not be the best criterion for introducing new anti-epidemic measures, especially now the vaccine is here and hospitalisations and deaths can be greatly reduced despite positive tests being returned. Dissonant tones can even be heard among country leaders.

When it comes to the tone being set by Croatian leaders, if we put President Zoran Milanovic and PM Andrej Plenkovic in that category, they managed to agree in principle that ''after the summer'', epidemiological measures can be abolished freely, according to a report from tportal.

The situation in family accommodation for tportal was described by the president of the Family Tourism Association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Martina Nimac Kalcina.

"The potential transition of Croatia in the red zone would definitely affect the course of the Croatian tourist season, but it wouldn't be as drastic as last year. Most of our guests are vaccinated, and there are a number of countries that aren't guided solely by ECDC data, but have their own criteria, such as Norway, the Netherlands or Denmark. On their maps, Croatia is generally in a much better position,'' stated Nimac Kalcina.

"This year, we have an extremely large number of younger guests, and they're completely relaxed and simply want a more chilled atmosphere. The fact that Croatia had milder measures than most of Europe definitely influenced their decision and is definitely responsible for the success of the Croatian tourist season. But now the reversal follows: middle-aged and elderly guests keep their eye on the situation with the pandemic much more closely, they're much more cautious and are obviously less inclined to come. And they're the key for the post-season, meaning September and possibly October,'' explained Nimac Kalcina.

The president of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, Josko Stella, says that the reaction of tourists to a possible change in the colour of Croatia on the ECDC map, which is realistic to expect next Thursday, is actually the question mark above all other question marks.

"It's possible that they'll just completely ignore this information and just go on the holiday they booked, but there's also a chance that they'll urgently pick up their belongings and leave Croatia, while those who intended to come will give up on taking the trip. The truth seems to be somewhere in the middle, and I'm optimistic,'' said Stella.

"The answer isn't unequivocal - in the end, European countries like the Czech Republic, Poland and the United Kingdom have their own criteria. The most important thing is certainly the behaviour of large countries and the Croatian tourist season could be abruptly interrupted only if some of them decide to impose isolation upon return, even for vaccinated people, which in my opinion is unlikely,'' added the president of this Tourist Board.

He warned that the German Robert Koch Institute is preparing for a strategically important move, on the basis of which the largest European economy defines its epidemic measures, including the conditions for the return of its residents from their summer holidays.

"Over recent days, new criteria has been being proposed that will no longer take into account only the number of cases and the percentage of positive tests, but also parameters such as the number of critically unwell patients, the percentage of occupied respirators or the emergence of new strains of the virus. The incidence of coronavirus itself may have been relevant half a year ago, but that will hardly be the case for a long time to come,'' added Stella.

For more on coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and choose your preferred language.

Friday, 20 August 2021

Joško Stella: Split-Dalmatia County in August Only 11% Worse than Record 2019

August 20, 2021 - Split-Dalmatia County in August this year achieved 89% of 2019's record tourist traffic. But that's not all. 

In August, the heart of the tourist season, Split-Dalmatia County is pleased to host an increasing number of tourists who will spend warm summer holidays by the sea, in the green heart of Inland Dalmatia, or on our islands.

In the first half of August, 89% of tourist traffic was recorded compared to 2019. There are as many as 88% more nautical guests compared to the same period last year. Almost all destinations in the County have reached or surpassed last year's figures, which means that we are well organized, and the realization of such a great season in excellent business conditions is the result of excellent cooperation between the private and public sectors in preparation, organization, and implementation of this tourist year. On this occasion, Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board director Joško Stella revealed his impressions. 

What are the tourist results in Split-Dalmatia County?

The first half of August in Split-Dalmatia County is only 11% worse than the record 2019. On August 10, we reached the tourist figures corresponding to the total tourist traffic realized during 2020. With each new day, we are one step closer to the record year 2019, and it is necessary to remain organized and disciplined and adhere to the prescribed epidemiological measures.

In the first 15 days of August, there were 418 thousand arrivals and 2.7 million overnight stays. Since the beginning of 2021, there have been 1,459,233 arrivals and 8,565,826 overnight stays, 55% more arrivals last year, and 47% more overnight stays than last year.

Which markets record the largest number of arrivals?

Observing the share of guests according to the countries they come from in 2021, we record excellent results from the Polish, German, Czech, Hungarian, Slovak, and French markets.

The French market is up 265%, Slovaks up 200%, Hungarians 180%, and Germans by 110%. Thus, on August 12, we reached the tourist figures corresponding to the total tourist traffic realized during 2020.

How much did this year's tourism results surprise tourism workers?

This year's uncertain and extremely stressful season for Split-Dalmatia County tourist workers, with a significant increase in tourist traffic in July and reservations and excellent announcements of guests in August, instills new optimism and hope that significant arrivals and overnight stays will mark the tourist months ahead and especially postseason. The number of guests visiting us has been growing steadily since mid-June, to be visited in July by 710,000 tourists who made 4.3 million commercial overnight stays, an increase of 62 percent in arrivals and 48 percent in overnight stays compared to the same month last year. 

The current guests from Central Dalmatia left satisfied. That they passed on their impressions to others is confirmed by the growing number of airlines from Europe to Split, which means that airlines are following the growing interest of guests to come to our county.

How much has the favorable epidemiological situation affected our target markets?

Due to the favorable epidemiological situation, for which everyone in the tourism sector has been carefully preparing, Croatia is classified as a risk-free area according to the new rules introduced by Germany on August 1 for its citizens returning from other countries. Following the circumstances dictated by epidemiological measures, our hosts in tourist places have made an effort to organize and offer guests some new outdoor facilities that will not jeopardize their safe stay and will give them a pleasurable and experience-filled vacation.

How did Split-Dalmatia County prepare to receive such a large number of guests in complex circumstances?

In August, as the most generous tourist month in the business year, Central Dalmatia is ready to welcome its long-awaited guests and tourist companies, hosts in family accommodation, marinas, and camps, following strict epidemiological measures and safety standards. Like the whole of Croatia, which is currently the safest EU member in the Mediterranean due to the epidemiological situation, Split-Dalmatia County hosts world-famous people every day, who send the best marketing message of our tourism to the world.

In special circumstances, we communicate information about our safety and readiness for tourism to foreign partners, CNTB offices, and foreign media, which are our frequent guests. Despite the complex circumstances, tourism staff is ready to respond to all job requirements to ensure a safe stay to the satisfaction of all guests who arrive on holiday in our county.

We also have excellent results in July. Which markets achieved the largest number of arrivals and overnight stays?

According to data from the eVisitor system in Split-Dalmatia County, 710,671 guests stayed in commercial accommodation in July, 62 percent more arrivals than in July last year. They realized 4,318,121 overnight stays, an increase of 48 percent. In July, the largest number of arrivals and overnight stays from foreign markets were made by Poles (119,839 arrivals and 913,073 overnight stays). Tourists from the Czech Republic recorded 74,972 arrivals and 554,399 overnight stays, Germans 69,804 arrivals and 447,828 overnight stays, and tourists from Slovenia 42,209 arrivals 328,234 overnight stays.

In the first seven months of this year, there were 1,033,065 guests in commercial accommodation in Split-Dalmatia County, which grew 70 percent compared to the same period last year. In addition, 5,843,606 overnight stays were realized, which is an increase of 58 percent, compared to the first seven months of last year.

As much as 40% of all nautical nights were realized in Split-Dalmatia County. So what are the expectations for August and the post-season?

In July, boaters mostly visited the waters of Split-Dalmatia County. Thus, in July in Central Dalmatia, 41,202 boaters realized 257,492 overnight stays, almost 40 percent of all nautical overnight stays in Croatia.

In the first half of August, there were 19,212 arrivals and 152,467 overnight stays, 88% more arrivals, and 131% overnight stays. Since the beginning of the year, there have been 99,720 arrivals and 650,000 overnight stays, an increase of 155% in arrivals and 146% in overnight stays. We expect an equally good second part of August and a good post-season.

We are extremely proud that we have successfully realized a virtual display of sea routes in cooperation with colleagues from the county. Google Maps have the most users in the world, they number in the hundreds of millions, so it is imperative to be well-represented on them. These are the maps on which most navigation devices are based today. The vast majority of our guests use these maps when arriving at the destination. By bringing a virtual display of sea routes to almost every place in our county, guests can tour our entire coast before their arrival virtually. This service is a novelty globally and will make it much easier for boaters to find the desired destination. And when they actually arrive at the location, they will feel like they have already been there. So far, over 14 million views have been recorded. Also, this project has a significant social and communal purpose, achieving more transparent, accountable, and efficient management of maritime assets.

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

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Croatian Tourist Numbers for 2021 Overtake Those of 2020

August the 19th, 2021 - Croatian tourist numbers for for the remarkably good summer season so far in 2021 have well and truly overtaken the figures from the whole of last year, which was dominated by the pandemic, issues with travel and no vaccine.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to data from the Croatian eVisitor system, 55.3 million overnight stays have been realised in Croatia since the beginning of this year, which exceeds the number of overnight stays from the whole of 2020, when 54.4 million overnight stays were realised in the entire twelve months of the year, the Ministry of Tourism and Sport announced.

Of the total number of overnight stays realised in 2021, 46.6 million were realised by foreign tourists, while 8.7 million were realised by Croatian tourists. Since the beginning of this year, 9 million tourist arrivals have been realised, meaning that 1.2 million more tourists have visited the Republic of Croatia this year than last year.

"Given the trends in the travel industry, our goal was to maintain the stability of the tourist system, preserve jobs and the recognition of Croatia as a safe tourist destination. We want to continue with these results and that is why it's important that we all continue to adhere to the epidemiological measures. This creates the foundations for next year and the continued development of Croatian tourism.

This year has first of all shown that safety and quality are crucial in choosing a destination, and that guests are willing to pay even more for that. Ultimately, our desire is to create sustainable tourism in which the focus is not on the number of tourists who come, but on the quality and on tourists who will consume as many offers in destinations as possible, generate more spending, which will further encourage new investments in tourism,'' said the Minister of Tourism and Sport, Nikolina Brnjac.

Looking at Croatian tourist numbers for 2021, there were 46 percent more arrivals and 37 percent more overnight stays recorded than in the same period last year. Compared to the same period in record, pre-pandemic 2019, 61 percent of arrivals and 72 percent of overnight stays were realised. More than a million tourists are currently in Croatia. Most of the foreign tourists are Germans (297,000), Poles (81,000), Slovenes (74,000) and Italians (61,000).

For more, follow our travel section.

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Tourism Minister Does Not Expect Red Croatian Coast on New ECDC Corona Map

August 18, 2021 - Will we see a red Croatian coast on the newest ECDC corona map on Thursday? Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac doesn't think so. 

On Wednesday, Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac said that she did not expect the Croatian coast to change from orange to red in the newest ECDC corona map on Thursday, reports T.portal.hr.

Answering questions from journalists before the Government session, the Minister pointed out that Croatia has much better numbers in tourism this year than last year.

"As of today, we are at 55.3 million overnight stays and 9 million tourist arrivals, which is 1.2 million more arrivals compared to 2020, and compared to 2109, we are at about 60 percent of arrivals and more than 70 percent of overnight stays. But what we are pleased about is the data on consumption, i.e., the value of fiscalized bills, which is about 70 percent compared to 2019, which means that more is spent this year in accommodation, especially in higher categories," said Brnjac.

For July and August, the value of fiscalized bills exceeded the results from the same months in 2019, which means that the tourism sector is stable and able to work the season in such conditions.

There are good announcements for the continuation of the season. Booking is good for both September and October, Brnjac pointed out, and therefore appealed to everyone to pay attention to the epidemiological situation, because, as she emphasized, if we continue with good numbers, we can remain the safest destination in the Mediterranean and try to stay in the orange zone on the ECDC map.

She hopes that good booking will continue. We need to stay responsible and get vaccinated in as many numbers as possible, and we need to look at the whole country, not just the coast, and do everything we can not to have closures like some countries had earlier this season.

She reminded that the Ministry co-finances rapid antigen tests for tourists with more than 20 million kuna, and that they held meetings with all prefects and the sector several times around the season, as well as other institutions, and established more than 350 testing points across the coast so tourists can return to their countries as easily and quickly as possible.

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

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

German Tourists in Croatia Expected for At Least Another 3 Weeks

August 17, 2021 - German tourists in Croatia, especially those coming from Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, are expected to holiday in the country for at least another 3 weeks. 

Traditionally loyal German tourists came back in large numbers this season. Since the beginning of the year, almost 1.6 million German tourists have recorded more than 11 million overnight stays in Croatia, a third more than last year. They have exceeded 80 percent of the results from the best tourist year ever in Croatia. In Istria, for example, they surpassed even that record 2019 in the number of overnight stays, and about 266,000 of them are still holidaying along the coast. And that's not the end, reports Vecernji List.

The travel season has just begun in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, the two federal states from which most German tourists come. The school holidays, which trigger the most massive wave of travel, began in these parts of Germany only in August, and for the next two or three weeks, the Adriatic can still count on a large number of Croatia's loyal and beloved guests.

There are still about a million tourists on the Adriatic, and the number has decreased by only a few tens of thousands after the Assumption weekend. There are 840,000 foreigners, and the largest number of Germans is in Istria, where 122,000 were hosted yesterday.

"The total number of our guests dropped by about 20,000 after last weekend, and currently there are about 275,000 in Istria. In 2019, there were about thirty thousand more of them, but that is why there are 30 percent more German tourists than that year. Thus, we also have a slight increase in tourists from Poland and the Czech Republic in August, and we have been recording similar results practically since the beginning of the year. Reservations are still coming; from today’s perspective, it looks like we will have a great August and an excellent September. Of course, provided that we remain responsible and that the COVID-19 situation does not worsen in our country and Germany. These are guests who are difficult to replace with any other market," says the director of the Istrian Tourist Board, Denis Ivošević.

For now, there is no fear about German tourists. ID Riva Tours, a German tour operator specializing in travel to Croatia, says that interest in Croatia is not waning. On the contrary, places on ships cruising the Croatian Adriatic are in demand not only now for August but also for the whole of September, and the last guests could be seen off only in mid-October.

"This is a real surprise; no one dared or hoped that the season would be so successful, quite similar to 2019. With good preparation from the Croatian side, we got everything else, including the situation with competitors and major markets. Now the only thing that matters is that the hosts remain as responsible as possible. Clearly, they cannot be held accountable for guests' behavior, but they must be an example of their behavior, and irresponsible guests must be warned. Only with such an attitude do we justify what we promised at the beginning of the season, i.e., that we are a responsible and safe country," says the owner of ID Riva Tours Selimir Ognjenovic and adds that complaints and dissatisfied guests are less than expected due to the crowds that have flooded our coast in recent weeks.

Last weekend, for example, 86 percent of overnight stays were realized compared to 2019. There are now about two hundred thousand more guests than last season, which was rapidly coming to an end after the Assumption due to the spread of the infection.

Guests on the Adriatic stay longer than in previous years, and tourism is recovering faster measured by overnight stays than by the number of guests. But this is not the only positive trend that corona has spawned.

"Perhaps even more important is the change in the structure of guests. Namely, tourists come who have incomparably stronger purchasing power than those we hosted before the pandemic. For example, a holiday home for three people in the central part of Istria is now easily filled for 2,500 euros for seven days. Before the pandemic, it was certainly 300 euros cheaper. This is, along with the Germans and the growth of hotel occupancy, the biggest gain this season," says Ivošević.

In addition to the most numerous Germans, local guests did not disappoint, of whom there are still about 160,000 at sea. They are followed by Slovenes, Poles, Italians, Austrians, and Czechs. Rovinj, Vir, Poreč, Umag, Medulin, and Mali Lošinj, and Crikvenica still dominate the list of top destinations.

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

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

150% More French Tourists in Croatia, Mostly in Split and Dubrovnik

August 17, 2021 - French tourists in Croatia have recorded 230,000 arrivals this year, which is almost 150% more than last year!

In one of the most widely-read daily French newspapers, the prestigious Le Figaro, a report was published from a recent study trip organized by the Representation of the Croatian Tourist Board in France, in cooperation with Transavia airline and with the support of the Zadar County Tourist Board, revealed the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board in France, Daniela Mihalić Đurica, as reported by HRTurizam

In the article "Zadar et ses îles, bijoux méconnus de la Croatie" or "Zadar and its islands - unknown gems of Croatia," the famous French tourism specialists and journalist Ludovic Bischoff conveys his impressions of Zadar and the region and emphasizes the city's vibrant history, cultural diversity, and heritage that offers tourists many opportunities.

The text lists the best destinations to visit, suggests to readers where to stay, and in which restaurants to taste the recognizable gastronomic offer of Zadar County. Special emphasis was placed on the island of Pag and the tradition of salt production, Pag lace, but also the cultural and historical heritage of Nin and the richness of the Paklenica National Park.

"So far this year, Croatia has recorded more than 230,000 arrivals from the French market, which is almost 150% more than last year, i.e., we are talking about 52% of arrivals recorded compared to 2019. At the moment, there are about 27,000 French people in Croatia who especially prefer the Split-Dalmatia and Dubrovnik-Neretva counties and are increasingly discovering Istria. Their favorite destinations are Split and Dubrovnik, but also the island of Hvar, which currently exceeds the results from 2019 in terms of French tourist traffic by 30%. During this year's summer season, Croatia and France are connected by numerous airlines directed to the airports of Zagreb, Pula, Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik. In addition, the French can fly to Croatia from Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Strasbourg, and Toulouse, offering more than 30 different scheduled, low-cost, and charter flights from Transavia, Volotea, Ryanair, Easyjet, Croatia Airlines, and Air France," said the director of the Croatian Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić.

In the previous part of August, we recorded about 100,000 arrivals and 380,000 overnight stays of French tourists, which is 103% more arrivals than during the comparable period of 2020, i.e., 74% of arrivals recorded in the same period in 2019.

"In the opinion of popular French Vogue, Croatia is one of the favorite summer destinations of many world stars, while one of the most popular French tourist guides Petit Fute puts special emphasis on Istria, which French guests are increasingly discovering," added Mihalić Đurica.

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

Sunday, 15 August 2021

Not Just the Coast: Osijek-Baranja County 2021 Tourism Numbers Rising

August 15, 2021 - The coast isn't the only part of Croatia that is busy this year. Osijek-Baranja County 2021 tourism numbers are rising with an increasing number of Polish tourists. 

The 2021 tourist season is not only successful on the Croatian coast. And on the continent, tourist boards are recording better results than those achieved last year, marked by numerous restrictions and measures in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, reports HRTurizam.

According to eVisitor data, in the first seven months of this year, there was an increase in the number of overnight stays in Osijek-Baranja County by 36%. If we look at the same pre-pandemic 2019 period, this year’s results are at 70%.

This is the reason for the cautious optimism of Osijek-Baranja County tourism workers. In the Baranja area, there is an increase in the number of guests from Poland who stay for two to three days before heading to the Adriatic. They enjoy eno-gastronomy the most and are mostly from Warsaw and Krakow.

"The good news is that cruisers are moving again in the Croatian Danube region, which is an additional indicator of the sector's adaptation to restrictive business conditions and also a reason for optimism," said Ivana Jurić, director of the Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board.

Along with good announcements, this year's support in tourism to mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic also contributes to optimism. Namely, Osijek-Baranja County, just like last year, awarded grants intended for family farms, crafts, and companies registered for accommodation activities in the County.

Grants per beneficiary amounted to HRK 40,000, a total of 21 beneficiaries responded to the call, and HRK 600,000 was spent on this grant.

"These grants aim to help our family farms, and other tourism workers overcome the pandemic time and return as soon as possible to the improvement of continental tourism, which has recorded positive trends in our county. The latest data on tourist arrivals and overnight stays speak in favor of this because the number of overnight stays is increasing compared to the last "Covid" year, and we are approaching the record numbers from 2019," said the prefect Ivan Anušić.

However, this is not the end of the Osijek-Baranja County subsidies, which provided HRK 2.62 million to the tourism sector through the Administrative Department for Tourism, Culture, and Sports in four models.

"We are still open to the Public Call for grants for the organization and participation in events until we hit the funds planned in the Budget or by October 31, 2021, at the latest," said Tatjana Roth, Head of the Administrative Department for Tourism, Culture, and Sports. 

Support is awarded for the organization and participation in events that are important for developing rural tourism and presenting the tourism potentials of the County, which promotes and represents the County as an active participant in the development of rural tourism.

Family farms, crafts, and companies registered for catering and tourist services in rural tourism, associations registered for activities related to selective forms of rural tourism, and other natural and legal persons residing in the County have the right to apply for support.

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

Friday, 13 August 2021

Croatian Air Traffic in June 2021 Outshines June 2020 as Passengers Arrive

August the 13th, 2021 - Croatian air traffic has well and truly outshined the dire situation we experienced last year as the vaccination rollout continues globally and restrictions on travel and tourism slowly but steadily allow for more flexibility. 285 percent more air passengers arrived in June 2021 when compared to the same month in 2020.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, although the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is far from totally over, all indicators suggest that almost all trends and figures in terms of freight and passenger traffic in national and international traffic, if not already returned to their pre-pandemic levels, are very much on track for a safe recovery.

The data from the Central Bureau of Statistics on traffic in Croatian seaports and airports also confirm this. According to that data, traffic in seaports doubled in June this year, and tripled in airports when compared to last year. Croatian air traffic has certainly been on the rebound, and it hasn't come a moment too late.

According to the aforementioned CBS data, 5.43 million passengers embarked and disembarked in Croatian seaports during the second quarter of 2021, which is an increase of 81.8 percent compared to the same period last year.

Compared to pre-pandemic, record 2019, this is still a drop of 41.9 percent, but that isn't really surprising. Circumstances caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus back in 2020 directly affected the decline in passenger and vehicle traffic across all Croatian seaports, and things are now finally showing signs of steady and sure recovery.

After a six-month break, in the second quarter of 2021, the return of passengers on cruise ships began. There have so far been 12 thousand passengers, but compared to the same quarter of 2019, traffic in that sector fell by a depressing 97.6 percent.

In the second quarter of 2021, there was an increase in vehicles on Croatia's roads when compared to 2020, but compared to 2019, 19.5 percent fewer passenger vehicles and 78.6 percent fewer buses were loaded and unloaded on/from vessels.

The total turnover of goods at the level of the Republic of Croatia increased by 10.2 percent when compared to the same period back in 2020, which was caused by the increase in the turnover of dry bulk goods by 42.5 percent, which has a share in the total turnover of goods of 26 percent.

Current cargo turnover, with a share in the total turnover of goods of 51 percent, decreased by 2.6 percent when compared to the same period back in 2020. Of the five ports that account for 92 percent of the total turnover of goods in seaports, the Port of Ploce (57.7 percent), the Port of Rijeka (18.1 percent) and the Port of Split (18.1 percent) all saw increases in 2021's second quarter.

In the first half of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020, the total number of ships arriving in Croatian seaports increased by 30.3 percent, the total passenger traffic by 40.7 percent, and the total cargo traffic by 12.5 percent.

A similar situation, but with more pronounced growth, can be seen in Croatian air traffic, which suffered tremendously throughout 2020.

In June 2021, the total passenger traffic at Croatian airports amounted to 320 thousand or 285.4 percent more than in June 2020, when Croatian air traffic brought only 83 thousand passengers into the country. For comparison, back in June 2019, the turnover was 1.56 million passengers.

In June 2021, 20.6 percent of passenger traffic from June 2019 was realised. The largest amount of passenger traffic was realised by Split Airport, with 115 thousand passengers, which is 360.1 percent more than in June 2020, followed by Zagreb Airport with 100 thousand passengers and Dubrovnik Airport with 59 thousand passengers.

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