Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Croatia in 2027: What Will the Country Look Like in 5 Years?

July 20, 2022 - Life in Croatia is mostly about remembering the past or living in the present, but when it comes to the future, what is it going to be like for Croatia in 2027? An overview of the things that will shape the country in the next five years.

It has been 31 years since Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia, 27 since the end of the homeland war, and 11 years since it completed its accession to the European Union. For those who have closely followed the development of Croatia as a country in those years, as well as those who were unaware of it, the feeling of surprise is shared. Objectively, the vast majority of people I know have expressed their amazement at the growth of Croatia when they see my photos and videos on Instagram, or when they read my articles on this portal. Some may consider them clueless, but the truth is that many believed that Croatia was just another country in Eastern Europe, torn apart by war and struggling to recover.

Few imagined that Croatia is currently one of the main tourist destinations in the world, with leading technology companies such as Rimac, or one of the safest countries on the planet. Many countries in the world have also gone through bloody independence processes or intense armed conflicts that have left them on the brink of economic, political, and social abyss. But with a population of no more than 4.7 million in 1995, Croatia's growth and development have been remarkable. Although it is worth mentioning the international support received in the last three decades, the resilience and determination of its population have been indisputable pillars in this process.

The country continues to go through constant changes, and some, in particular, seem to be decisive in speculating on what awaits around the corner. Just as we look back to analyze the evolution of the country, the positive and negative of its present, we ask ourselves, what lies ahead for Croatia in the next five years? We go over a few things to see what Croatia will look like in 2027.

Euro currency

This Monday, Croatia began producing its euro coins, which will enter circulation from January 1, 2023, replacing the kuna. As part of its accession to the European Union in 2011, among the conditions was the eventual change of currency to the euro, and last year the Croatian government announced that it would take place in 2023. Despite a strong rejection by the part of the population, in recent months this change has received the green light from different institutions such as the European Commission or the European Central Bank. Change is inevitable, and today some supermarkets are already displaying the prices of their products in both kuna and euro currencies.

money-g13a90df66_1920.jpg

Image: Pixabay

Opinions are diverse. There are those who welcome the arrival of the euro as a way to strengthen economic relations with other powers on the continent, others believe that it will not affect the country in a positive or negative way, and many believe that it will plunge the country into a crisis and radically raise the costs of living. How will Croatia fare in the future with the euro as the new currency? Only a seasoned economist could dare to speculate, but perhaps it is the expectations that matter. In a country plagued by an imbalance between salary conditions and the cost of living, the European Union is expected to require Croatia to match the standards of other member states in the future. Changes in the prices of basic products and services, or the shift from using more coins instead of bills, are considered by many to be minimal changes compared to other macroeconomic trends, but they should still be considered in the first years and in what way it will affect the middle-class Croatian citizen and those mired in poverty.

The comparison is daring, but countries like Italy with the lira, France with the franc, Spain with the peseta, or Germany with the mark, had to go through the process of change that at first was confusing for many, but today, almost twenty years later, it is part of everyday life in those countries.

Schengen area

On June 29 of this year, the Council of the European Union formally initiated the process of admission of Croatia to the Schengen area, currently composed of 26 European countries. In previous years, many political leaders on the continent expressed their support for Croatia joining the Schengen area, and finally this year a vote will take place in October in which 22 member states (with the exception of Switzerland, Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway as they are not members of the EU and do not have voting rights) will decide on Croatia's accession. Once approved, Croatia will become the 27th country to access the benefits of such admission, in the same year that it will adopt the Euro as its currency.

PXL_191220_31215425.jpg

Photo: Nel Pavletic/PIXSELL

Should there be no unforeseen obstacles, all kinds of border controls will be lifted in Croatia starting on March 26, 2023, which will simplify travel to and from Croatian airports, sea ports, and land borders. For instance, passengers traveling from Croatia on direct flights to destinations in the member states of this area (26 European countries), after checking in for the flight and security control, will go to the exit for their flight without crossing the border or police control. This change is expected to have a positive effect on tourism trends in the coming years, especially in a country like Croatia, with a large annual presence of visitors from countries such as Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Poland, Sweden, and the Netherlands during the summer season.

Croatian trains

Unfortunately, unlike the previous two points, when it comes to the future of trains in Croatia there is still no revolutionary project announced. Although it is true that the sad reality of the trains in the country was already known, in recent weeks various news have been published that make it even more evident. From poor connectivity between cities to excessive travel times, to even drivers who were late for sleeping at home. Bus travel and airports continue to support the local and international transport market in Croatia, but expectations for a better train system are rising with time. Tourists and local users alike expect train travel to be modernized, and soon.

The geography of the country is not an excuse since other rugged countries such as Italy or Austria have most of their cities and towns connected to each other by very fast and modern trains. Time will tell whether Croatia decides to modernize its existing lines in the next few years, or whether it decides to add more trains connecting coastal cities as well as from west to east. At the moment there is no clear horizon, but it is an urgent issue.

PXL_160719_25404435.jpg

Photo: Nikola Cutuk/PIXSELL

Population

The most recent census was conducted last year, and the results raised a lot of eyebrows. Much has been said in the last decade about the never-ending phenomenon of migration of young Croatian professionals in search of better job opportunities in other countries on the continent, or even outside Europe. However, the situation seems to have worsened even more and this has been manifested in the last official count of the country's population. The youth of the country continue to look abroad once they receive their degree, and there are plenty of reasons considering the low wages and the limited job offers. 

Some blame the ease for Croats to migrate to other European countries due to their membership in the EU, but the truth is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to convince a Croat to stay.

afp-uses-croatia.jpg

Photo: Borna Filic/PIXSELL

If the cost of living in the country manages to find a balance over time with salaries, labor supply, and working conditions, it is likely that the trend will reverse, but for now one can only speculate. On the other hand, it is important to recognize the increase in Croatian citizenship applications by citizens who belong to the Croatian diaspora, especially those who come from South America. The current situation in several countries of the South American continent, such as Argentina or Peru, has motivated young people and adults to bet on a change of scenery, with a great willingness to take on the challenge of repatriation and offer their skills in Croatia. It has always been talked about how it is that the majority of the Croatian population lives, in fact, outside the country, but this factor must be seriously taken into account in the coming years, which would also invite us to think about a more diverse Croatian population.

Tourism

The COVID-19 pandemic has made many in the country reflect on the enormous dependence of the Croatian tourism industry on international flights. Everyone involved in the tourism sector was deeply affected: hotels, restaurants, tour agencies, tour guides, private accommodation owners, transport companies, and more. Likewise, citizens who dedicate themselves entirely to tourism have felt a severe blow to their own economy, realizing that those two or three months of income should not be so essential for them in order to survive the other nine months of the year. The name of the game for the next few years is diversification. 

The public and private sectors have to come together to look for alternatives, even if a chance of another pandemic is unlikely. Istria, for example, showed the importance of being a destination that can be reached by car. Likewise, it is necessary to bet on tourist offers during the winter, especially in a country that boasts good weather and cultural events throughout the year. This and more will help the country stop depending so much (and dangerously) on the summer months.

PXL_090617_16941635.jpg

Photo: Grgo Jelavic/PIXSELL

Another issue to consider is overcrowded tourist destinations during high seasons, such as Split or Dubrovnik. While it may not sound like much of a concern to those in the tourism industry, the truth is that at the end of the day, tourism is all about experiences. The experience of not being able to walk down an alley in the old town, not having a place to lie down on a beach, not finding an available table in a restaurant or exaggerated accommodation prices can only be a negative and will affect the promotion of the country in the short term, if they are not already doing so. Limiting the arrival of cruise ships, regulating private accommodation, and promoting other tourist destinations more strongly should be some of the goals that the tourism industry, both in the public and private sectors, should set for improving the quality of the tourist experience in Croatia in the next years.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Thursday, 14 July 2022

After Saltworks Museum, Pag Salt Flats to Open to Curious Visitors

July the 14th, 2022 - The strange, moonlike island of Pag is famous for its salt production, not to mention its cheese, and after the island's salt museum opened its doors to visitors from at home and abroad, the Pag salt flats themselves are set to be made open to the public who are curious to see part of the production process.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, a morning spent on the Pag salt flats as part of the famous Pag Saltworks is a totally new and authentic experience for visitors to this rather bizarre looking island, reports HRT.

"We've finally seen the day we have been waiting for for decades now. Thirteen years ago, we opened the Salt Museum, and the Pag salt flats have always been closed off to the public," said Mate Donadic, a tour guide who is in charge of professional guidance and the story of the so-called ''white gold'' produced on the island.

"Pag's salt is collected the old-fashioned way. We have a small grate and with that the flower of the salt is collected. It must be calm weather in order to do this properly, there must not be a storm going on, there must not be rain, there must be absolutely ideal conditions,'' said Antonijo Bakac, an employee of Solana Pag (Pag Saltworks).

However, it is easier for tourists to take the salt from the carriage like this - they can take much as they want, and they can also see part of the production. The Pag salt flats were also visited by entrepreneurs and companies from the island of Pag who cultivate autochthonous wine varieties across the road from the saltworks.

"Pag Saltworks has been measuring the meteorological conditions for a hundred years now. This year, there was de facto no rain since March, meaning there was no significant amount of rain. Last year we produced 18,300 tonnes of fine salt, so this year we will hopefully have some opportunities for record production,'' said Josip Cepin, another employee of the Pag Saltworks.

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

Wednesday, 13 July 2022

Best Tourism Villages: Baranja Village Zmajevac is Croatian Candidate

July the 13th, 2022 - The Baranja village Zmajevac is the Croatian candidate for the Best Tourism Villages, which will shine a spotlight on Croatia's enormous rural tourism potential away from the glitz and glam of the Adriatic coastline.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Baranja village Zmajevac is a Croatian candidate for the aforementioned Best Tourism Villages, a designation under the auspices of the UN World Tourism Organisation that is awarded to a village that is an outstanding example of a rural tourist destination, writes Dnevnik.hr

Zmajevac is a village deep in the heart of the Eastern Croatian region of Baranja which is very well known for its sourdough, is surrounded by vineyards and wine roads, and which boasts a rich offer of local specialties.

Caslav Kostov, head of a tasting room there, spoke about some of the most popular products the Bsranja village Zmajevac can boast of: "Tourists most often choose local fish specialties. Of course, there's also duck meat, not to mention loin, Slavonian black pig cheeks, black pig neck... As for the desserts, the most common are local pastries with jam and poppy seed noodles," he said.

Almost every single house in the village has a wine cellar, but the Gerstmajer family is the forerunner in Zmajevac, as well as in the whole of Baranja. Ivan is the fourth generation in his family to be doing this: "We currently own thirteen hectares of vineyards. Our primary activity is the production of grapes and wine, and we also offer some homemade food that my father and I prepare ourselves," said Ivan Gerstmajer, a winegrower and winemaker.

In addition to the rich gastronomic offer and the famous ''wine marathon'' to be enjoyed in this Eastern Croatian destination, the local nature offers visitors to the Baranja village Zmajevac a true oasis of peace.

"I also gave the rooms I let out local names from this area,'' said restaurateur Blazenka Nadj. "My guests are mostly from the City of Zagreb, but we also have a lot of foreign guests, as well as a lot of hunters, fishermen and companies that come for team building," she said.

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

Thursday, 7 July 2022

State Inspectorate: 46% of Croatian Tourist Facilities Breaking Rules

July the 7th, 2022 - The State Inspectorate has stated that slightly more than half of Croatian tourist facilities are actually operating according to the proper regulations.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the above-mentioned conclusion can be drawn data obtained by the State Inspectorate, which announced recently that through 621 inspections carried out during the month of June, 336 Croatian tourist facilities (54 percent) operated according to the current rules, while 285 or 46 percent were in the group of those where inspectors found 442 various violations of the regulations.

"For 162 violations of various kinds, the State Inspectorate's inspectors applied the principle of giving an opportunity for correction, that is, they made it possible for the owners and and managers of said Croatian tourist facilities to correct the identified irregularity or irregularities during the inspection.

For 280 violations of the current regulations, 16 indictments were submitted to the competent courts, 20 misdemeanor orders were issued, and 61 fines were collected at the place where the misdemeanor was committed. Due to the identified violations, the inspectors of the State Inspectorate issued a total of 250 administrative decisions," the State Inspectorate announced.

They noted that the most frequent violations of the regulations were related to the failure to highlight the notification on how a customer/client may submit a written complaint and the failure to observe the prescribed working hours. In addition, the sanitary inspection found a number of cases in which the workers didn't pass health education courses, and the environmental protection inspection found irregularities related to improper separation of waste, according to the press release.

The labour inspectorate found that a total of 20 workers, citizens of third countries (non EEA), had not been registered for mandatory pension insurance before starting work by their employers.

Coordinated inspections of inspections by the State Inspectorate in the catering and tourism industry last until August the 31st, 2022.

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

Thursday, 7 July 2022

Split Airport Director Pero Bilas Says Facility is Ready for Crowds

July the 7th, 2022 - Split Airport director Pero Bilas has stated that the facility is ready to deal with expected crowds over the summer months, as travel gets back to normal and people put the coronavirus pandemic and all of its woes firmly behind them.

As Morski writes, Split Airport director Pero Bilas claims that the situation with crowding at Zagreb Airport is unlikely to occur there. "Split Airport functions in a different way. We're an extremely seasonal airport and the fluctuations in traffic are very large indeed. We expect crowds in the summer and we know how to deal with them,'' he said.

Not a single employee was fired during the coronavirus pandemic

Split Airport director Pero Bilas said that not a single of the airport's employees was fired during the coronavirus pandemic, they were instead reorganised inside the airport, and he praised the Croatian Government's measure to preserve jobs, which contributed to everyone keeping their staff. He added that they also hired seasonal workers.

What is happening in Europe and what we're seeing as a problem is flight cancellations and delays. When this happens, passengers should have the means to cope with these situations made available to them. We're trying to do our best and we're also trying to make up for all the delays,'' he pointed out.

It is predicted that the traffic by 2024 and 2025 should be at the level of pre-pandemic 2019. Split Airport director Pero Bilas believes that they should easily reach these numbers, because the results that show that they have had an excellent May and June and that they will end this year at 80 percent of the traffic realised when compared to the record year of 2019.

He added that energy prices don't significantly affect the operation of the airport, either. What is significant is that companies that have to load their kerosene at various stations across Europe are sensitive to all changes occuring on the market.

The traffic boom in Split happened with the appearance of low-budget companies, and Bilas says that low-budget companies are very welcome.

They have an equal status, they all operate within the airport under the same conditions. They're very important to us, they make up 40 to 45 percent of our turnover, and the boom in traffic in Split happened with the appearance of these low-cost companies,'' Split Airport director Pero Bilas emphasised for N1.

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

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Aminess Khalani Beach Hotel - First Makarska 5 Star Facility Opens

July the 6th, 2022 - The stunning Makarska Riviera is known for its jaw-dropping panoramic views, rugged and imposing mountains, gorgeous beaches and of course - the sparkling Adriatic Sea that draws millions of visitors to Croatian shores from across the world. There's now a brand new Makarska 5 star facility on offer, as well.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, in the presence of more than 300 guests, the very first Makarska 5 star facility - Aminess Khalani Beach Hotel - was officially opened. This new hotel is otherwise a large greenfield investment worth more than 50 million euros, providing 200 new jobs for locals from the Makarska Riviera, and in addition to luxurious accommodation, it also offers top gourmet experiences, an impressive spa and wellness centre, modern conference halls, a gaming room for children and much more.

Aminess hotels and camps are already located in Novigrad (Istria), on the islands of Korcula and Krk, as well as on the Peljesac peninsula.

This expanding hotel group now has an impressive thirteen hotels under its belt, as well as four camping resorts with more than 450 mobile homes, 92 apartments, as well as 80 villas all over the beautiful Croatian Adriatic coast.

This brand new Makarska 5 star facility can accommodate 900 guests in 299 accommodation units spread over a total of eight floors, boosting not only Makarska's tourism offer but that of Central Dalmatia as a whole.

"We're very proud that Aminess hotels and camps entered the project initiated through a greenfield investment, which is still a rarity here on the Croatian market, especially when it comes to facilities with more than a hundred accommodation units. We believe that in the coming tourist seasons, the Aminess Khalani Beach Hotel will have a favourable impact on the tourism results of the entire region, especially the Makarska region," said Zrinka Bokulic, President of the Management Board of Aminess Hotel and Camps.

Renowned Croatian architect Jerko Rosin is responsible for the hotel's sleek exterior, while Studio Argentaria from Sarajevo in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina was the company responsible for the hotel's interior design. From 2023 onwards, this brand new Makarska 5 star facility will be open to guests all year round.

For more on Croatian hotels and other accommodation, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Croatian Nautical Tourism Sector Enjoyed Excellent 2022 Pre-Season

July the 6th, 2022 - The Croatian nautical tourism sector is absolutely booming and represents an extremely strong branch of the country's most lucrative earner - tourism. The sector enjoyed an excellent pre-season, and it looks as if the very height of the summer season is going to be a great one as well.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatia is the first on many lists, and that can be either good or bad. It's the record holder for people leaving the homes of their parents and becoming independent last, but it's also very often the first when it comes to beach rankings. We suppose its up to you to decide whether to see a glass which is half full or half empty.

Maybe you didn't know, but Croatia has the most boats for rent in the entire world, reports RTL. The country boasts about 4,500 yachts and other vessels for rent in the fleet - which ensured Croatia the title of the world's nautical superpower.

The Punat marina on Krk has 850 moorings in the sea and 500 on land - and this is where the largest amount of nautical traffic within the Croatian nautical tourism sector in all of Kvarner is realised.

A couple from Austria chose it as their base: "In earlier years, I rented a boat in Croatia. I saw this area and the marina and I really liked it! Now we bought our own boat and decided to come to this marina," recounts Nadine Walcher.

This marina continues to record some truly excellent results, even though we're only at the beginning of the peak summer season. "The marina is full, we're already doing better now as far as 2019 is concerned in terms of occupancy and when we're talking about it financially," explained Robert Skomersic, an employee of the marina in Punat.

A Slovenian family has been loyal to Krk's Punat marina for years. They stay there until the end of July, but they come regularly from spring to autumn! "Slovenia is close and there is a sea like this... it doesn't exist anywhere else," said Gregor Preseren.

Of all the charter vessels in the world, i.e. those that are for rent, 40 percent are here in Croatia, making this country a world superpower in that segment. Since the beginning of this year, the Croatian nautical tourism sector has achieved one million and one hundred thousand overnight stays.

"This year, the pre-season has already achieved significant results, which we're satisfied with. Within the entire ACI system, which includes 22 marinas across the Adriatic, transits, i.e. daily berths, are at the level of what was recorded back in the record year of 2019,'' said the head of corporate communications of ACI marina, Adriana Miskovic.

Along with the extreme south of Croatia, Kvarner is also becoming more and more popular when it comes to Croatian nautical tourism. In the last five years, there has been a 65 percent increase in the number of overnight stays being realised by boaters, and the revenue is also growing.

"Guests from within the Croatian nautical tourism sector are also the type of guests who spend more than the average guest does, about 130 euros per day, or 170 if we're talking about a charter, and the total earnings in the ports within the Croatian nautical tourism umbrella last year amounted to around 160 million kuna,'' says the director of the Kvarner Tourist Board, Irena Persic Zivadinov.

For more on the blossoming Croatian nautical tourism sector, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

227% More Overnight Stays in Dubrovnik-Neretva County Than 2021

July the 6th, 2022 - There have been an impressive 227% more overnight stays realised in Dubrovnik-Neretva County so far in 2022 than during the same period back in 2021.

As Morski writes, after two uncertain pandemic-dominated years filled with numerous epidemiological restrictions, lockdowns and last minute rule introductions, tourism has well and truly returned to the Croatian coast with better results than many could have ever initially expected. Down in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, tourism companies and employees are busy rubbing their hands with satisfaction because their results in the first half of the year are an enomous 227% better than they were this time last year.

During the month of June 2022, there were 239,603 arrivals and 1,037,414 overnight stays registered in the area of ​​Dubrovnik-Neretva County. The most overnight stays were realised by guests from the rest of Europe, such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland and from other parts of Croatia. There were also a significant number realised by visitors from more distant markets such as the United States of America.

From the beginning of this year to the end of June, 1,978,615 overnight stays were realised in Dubrovnik-Neretva County. When compared to the same period back in the pandemic-dominated year of 2021, 227% more overnight stays were realised. The most overnight stays from January to the end of June were realised by tourists from the European countries of the United Kingdom, Germany, the rest of Croatia, France and Poland. Following closely after European tourists came the Americans.

Compared to the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019 to which we're always comparing things to, there was an increase in overnight stays from the domestic market as well as from Ireland and Poland, while a huge number of overnight stays came from European countries including the United Kingdom with 70%, 80% came from Germany, 81% came from France, and 75% came from across the Atlantic Ocean - the United States of America.

For more on Croatian tourism's recovery this year, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Croatian 2022 Tourist Season: 24% Percent More Spent Than 2019!

July the 5th, 2022 - The Croatian 2022 tourist season has been beyond excellent so far, and tourist spending is 24 percent better than it was back during the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, tourist traffic is slowly but absolutely surely returning to pre-crisis figures, and data from Croatia's highly praised eVisitor system shows that in the first half of this year, 83 percent of arrivals and 94 percent of overnight stays were achieved compared to the record year of 2019. The financial results for the Croatian 2022 tourist season so far are even better.

Data from the Tax Office shows that in the first six months of this, fiscal year bills/receipts issued accounting for a huge 12.8 billion kuna were fiscalised, which is 129 percent better than back in the same period last year and 24 percent more than during 2019.

"The current results we're achieving are almost at the level of those from back during 2019. The data so far is particularly important because it all confirms the increasingly significant demand for Croatia outside the main summer months and the positive results of activities aimed at making Croatia recognisable as a sustainable and quality destination which can be visited and enjoyed throughout the whole year,'' said Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Tourism and Sport.

In the first six months of 2022, despite a war on European soil breaking out, due to which it was feared that the Croatian 2022 tourist season could be disrupted, Croatia was visited by 5.7 million tourists who realised an impressive 24.7 million overnight stays. The share of foreign tourists in overnight stays stands at almost 87 percent.

Traditionally, guests from Germany (6.1 million), Austria (2.4 million), and Poland (1.3 million) realised the most overnight stays in the country. Most of those overnights were spent in hotels (7.5 million). Negligibly fewer nights were recorded in private apartments - 7.4 million, while campsites recorded 5.1 million overnight stays.

Istria is the most popular destination of all so far in the Croatian 2022 tourist season!

There have been no significant changes in the attractiveness of various locations either, and in the first half of this year, the most overnight stays were realised in gorgeous Istria (7.9 million) and Split-Dalmatia County (4.2 million). The most popular destinations are Rovinj (1.3 million overnight stays) and Dubrovnik (1.2 million). They're followed by Porec (1.1 million), then by Zagreb (909,000 overnight stays).

As for June 2022 when compared to June 2019, 89 percent of 2019's arrivals and 98 percent of 2019's overnight stays were achieved. Expectations are also very high for the two prime tourist months, July and August.

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

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

How Much Are Croatian Tourists Willing to Pay for One Week on the Coast?

July the 5th, 2022 - Just how much cash are the average Croatian tourists ready to part with for a week on the coast? Some choose to head abroad, but most choose to remain in this country.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, typically speaking, most Croatian tourists continue to choose this country's coastline as their first holiday choice, and most of the reservations come from the continental part of Croatia, with only a very small percentage choosing to head abroad to countries such as Greece, Turkey and Tunisia.

This was shown by the statistics of the Arriva travel travel agency. On average, Croatian tourists, let's say a family of four, spends about 9,400 kuna on accommodation, they stay a maximum of seven nights, they usually pay by card in installments and mostly travel by car, and 20 percent go by organised bus transport. Arriva travel notes that one of the trends that emerged as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic is that when booking a holiday, clients want to complete the entire process from inquiry to payment electronically, which wasn't the case before the novel coronavirus took over the world back in 2020.

"Before the coronavirus pandemic, Croatian tourists typically insisted on personal contact with us, while today communication by phone or e-mail is sufficient for them. Likewise, when arranging vacations in other parts of Croatia, the new trend is that clients more often arrange travel cancellation policies, which wasn't the case before the pandemic either,'' pointed out Tamara Cerneka, the director of Arriva travel, noting that tourists are no longer looking for more isolated, out-of-the-way places like they had been during the previous two years.

The difference compared to 2020 and 2021 can also be found in the demand for air tickets to other European destinations. The increase in purchased tickets for European metropolises in comparison to back in 2019 is as much as 80 percent higher, which Arriva travel justifies with the increased desire of travellers to compensate for everything that they couldn't go and everywhere they couldn't visit over the previous two years. Cruise ships that sail the Mediterranean are also returning, but most of them still require valid Covid certificates.

As for the places where Croatian tourists like to travel elsewhere in Croatia, the most sought-after destinations for travellers from Eastern Croatia are the Crikvenica Riviera due to its geographical proximity and the Makarska Riviera due to its stunning natural beauty.

"In terms of numbers and income, this summer season will certainly be at 80 percent of the record year of 2019. It's difficult to say whether it will be reached or exceeded because the largest number of customers book at the last minute, i.e. a few days before their departure. Those who are hoping for ultra last minute discounts will be disappointed, because there are none to speak of, and apparently there won't be any coming up this year either. All capacities on the Adriatic coast are very well filled, in the very height of the summer season, and even during the post-season. Namely, the pre- and post-season(s) are well filled by school groups who continue to choose the Croatian Adriatic coastline as their destination of choice," pointed out Tamara Cerneka.

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

Page 5 of 81

Search