Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Croatian Luxury Tourism Becoming More and More Popular

May the 17th, 2022 - Croatian luxury tourism is becoming more and more popular with visitors from across the globe owing of course to Croatia's stunning coastline, but also because of one other important factor.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Eastern European agents now consider rich and untouched nature, as well as fresh clean air a huge advantage when it comes to luxury tourism and what those with deeper pockets are on the lookout for. Croatian luxury tourism is, as a result, very much on the radar globally.

The segment of so-called luxury tourism has proven to be the most resilient to the crisis which the unprecedented global coronavirus pandemic caused. Although it occupies only a small share in the total traffic, the revenues from this type of tourism are very noticeable, as reported by HRT.

"We noticed that not only Dubrovnik but the whole of Croatia is becoming increasingly popular as a place for luxury holidays. We realised that this is the right time to promote it as a luxury destination,'' said Alexander Vanyukov, the organiser of the Adriatic Luxury 2022 event.

"For this luxury segment, we're still not an expensive destination, we're still cheaper than Italy, I don't know, Sardinia, Spain, the French Riviera, we're still cheaper than all these destinations," said Iris Domazet, the owner of a travel agency in Dubrovnik.

"Safety, comfort, good service, this is what our clients most often ask for and they can find it all in Dubrovnik. In addition, Azerbaijan has its own sea, but it is completely different from this beautiful one here,'' said Rufat M. Hajiyev, President of the Board of the Association of Travel Agencies in Azerbaijan.

Back in pandemic-dominated 2020, a significant increase in the number of Ukrainian guests was recorded in the Republic of Croatia, especially those with higher purchasing power. Clients of Ukrainian agencies may have now left the war zone that Ukraine has tragically become since February, but not the habit of travelling.

"Most of them, mostly women and children, have now left Ukraine. They found accommodation elsewhere in Europe. Certainly, when the school year ends, they will want to go somewhere on holiday somewhere because this is something which is completely normal for all of them during the summer,'' said Anastasia Netrebchuk.

Meetings of hoteliers and travel agents as part of the Adriatic Luxury 2022 conference, which will be held in Istria next year, could soon open some new markets to see Croatian luxury tourism as a lucrative segment for the future.

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

Monday, 16 May 2022

American Interest in Croatian Customs and Tourism Increasing Each Year

May the 16th, 2022 - It appears that the interest of American citizens for Croatian customs and tourism is growing year on year, with the number of people lining up outside the Massachusetts Avenue Croatian Embassy increasing.

As Morski writes, after a two year break caused by the unprecedented global coronavirus pandemic, which saw international travel, at least for tourism and leisure purposes, almost grind to a halt, embassies in Washington are now open to the public on Saturdays in an attempt to arouse US citizen interest in visiting various different countries across the globe.

This popular event is called "Passport DC'' and sees the many countries that have diplomatic missions located in the capital of the United States present themselves to people there in order to attract and interest them further when it comes to travel and tourism throughout 2022.

There are more than 175 foreign embassies and consulates in Washington alone, and European Union (EU) countries opened their doors to American visitors this Saturday.

Judging by the long line in front of the Croatian Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue, the interest of Americans in Croatia and as such Croatian customs and paying a visit to this country is growing every year, as reported by HRT.

In the first part of Saturday alone, the Croatian diplomatic mission was visited by more than a thousand US citizens who wanted to learn more about Croatian customs, cities, food, history and the country's very rich tourist offer.

For many people, a visit to the Croatian Embassy in Washington as part of the ''Passport DC" event is a prelude to going to the Republic of Croatia on holiday, so for a lot of those visiting, a decision has likely already been made to cross the ''pond'' and arrive in Croatia in the coming weeks and months.

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

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Opatija Tourism Figures Make it Most Successful in Kvarner Region

May the 10th, 2022 - Opatija tourism figures are encouraging indeed so far, placing this beautiful coastal town dominated by stunning Austro-Hungarian architecture at the top as the most successful destination in Kvarner.

As Morski writes, so far, the year 2022 has marked by domestic guests, but also visitors from nearby Austria and neighbouring Slovenia, which recorded a significant increase in terms of the number of overnight stays compared when to 2019. Overall, every fourth night in Kvarner over the past four months was realised in Opatija, which is fantastic news for Opatija tourism figures this year.

The best tourist results in all of Kvarner in the first four months of this year were achieved by Opatija, which was the most frequent choice for people wanting to spend holidays in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. From January the 1st to April the 30th, Opatija recorded 71 thousand arrivals and 190 thousand overnight stays, which is 23 percent of the total number of overnight stays spent in all of Kvarner. In other words, so far in 2022, every fourth night in Kvarner was realised in Opatija, as reported by the local portal RIportal.

Of the total number of overnight stays, 58 thousand or 30 percent were realised by domestic guests, who, according to this criteria, are in the first place. Compared to pre-pandemic 2019, the number of overnight stays realised by domestic guests increased by 13 percent. Foreign guests realised a total of 132 thousand overnight stays, and the largest share in this number were visitors from Austria. Having realised 43,300 overnight stays, they "improved" their 2019 result by 6 percent.

After the Croats and Austrians, the neighbouring Slovenians came third in share with 19,000 overnight stays realised and growth of 16 percent when compared to the same period of the last "pre-pandemic" year (2019). A significant increase in the number of overnight stays for Opatija tourism figures was achieved by guests from the USA with growth of 33 percent, Switzerland with growth of 11 percent and neighbouring Hungary with growth of 10 percent.

When it comes to the choice of accommodation, Opatija's guests mostly chose hotels, which hold an impressive 83% share in terms of total overnight stays realised, equal to a massive 158 thousand overnight stays. With 28,000 overnight stays realised, Opatija's private accommodation "incorporated" a 15 percent share into the town's total score, while the rest fell on non-commercial accommodation.

''We can be more than satisfied with the current part of the tourist year, which has shown that Opatija is a sought-after destination and one which operates throughout the year. The interest of guests, along with our natural beauty and rich cultural and historical heritage, we've managed achieved through targeted promotional campaigns, as well as already known programmes from Advent, Valentine's Day, and then Easter. We're optimistic about the summer season, because the announcements so far are good, and the abolition of epidemiological measures has allowed us to reorganise large and well-attended events such as RetrOpathy, which is set to return in late June,'' said the director of the Opatija Tourist Board, Suzi Petricic.

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

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Can Croatian Tourism Sector Access Recovery and Resilience Cash?

May the 4th, 2022 - Who exactly can access Resilience and Recovery cash from the Croatian tourism sector? This huge amount of money, intended to be paid out to help EU member states get back on their feet with respective plans following the coronavirus pandemic, can be obtained by a select few within Croatia's main economic branch.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, within a maximum of two weeks, the Ministry of Tourism will send its proposals for e-counseling related to the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Croatian: NPOO), with specific criteria that will need to be met by all those who want to get their hands on a chunk of this large amount of money.

This was revealed by Sandra Herman, State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism at the Days of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies (UHPA), which has been being held in Opatija. The Croatian tourism sector has been waiting to hear what these criteria are for a long time now.

"We'll send our proposals for calls related to the NPOO, namely 900 million kuna for public tourism infrastructure and 1.2 billion related to the private sector. These are two separate calls, especially public infrastructure, and especially the private sector. Travel agencies will be able to find space for their candidacy through the allocation for the private sector, which refers to clusters and innovations, and which is worth 180 million kuna. This money will be directed mainly towards capital projects,'' explained Herman.

Hoteliers will also find space for their own candidacy in the amount of 1.2 billion kuna, but this involved many different allocations and it will depend on whether the company is small or medium. However, what will surely interest potential users of this cash sum is that there will be a difference in criteria for developed and underdeveloped tourist areas.

"The money is focused mainly on the renovation, ie raising the quality of existing accommodation capacities in tourist developed areas, while on the continent or in undeveloped areas it will be possible to use funds to build new accommodation capacities," explained Herman.

The e-consultation will include a concrete call for proposals, as has been agreed at the moment with the European Commission (EC). After the e-consultation, possible changes will be made and the EC approval will be sought again, and a call will be published in the second half of this year.

For more on the Croatian tourism sector and funding from the NPOO, make sure to check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Croatian Pre-Season Tourist Traffic Signals Excellent Summer

April the 26th, 2022 - Croatian pre-season tourist traffic has been excellent so far, with three times more having been recorded in comparison to the same period last year. This is a strong signal that the summer season will bring great numbers.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Jadranka Dozan writes, over this year's Easter holidays, spending across the country measured by the value of bills and receipts issued by all those within the fiscalisation system was significantly higher than last year.

Higher prices also contributed to the percentage increase in the value of bills and receipts issued, from those for purchases in stores to those in tourism and hospitality services. After an annual increase in the number of issued bills and receipts by 24 percent and the value of fiscalised turnover by 42 percent in the pre-Easter week (with Easter falling two weeks earlier last year), last week's turnover was almost a quarter higher (24 percent) than it was last year.

While trade (wholesale and retail) with four percent fewer receipts increased fiscalised turnover by 13 percent, the data on reported turnover in tourism-related activities (accommodation and food service activities) confirm a significantly different picture of Croatian pre-season tourist traffic. Back during this time last year, it was more than weak due to the global coronavirus pandemic. As such, those within the fiscalisation system operating within these activities issued 74 percent more bills and receipts, and their amount was almost three times higher (an increase of 190 percent) than back during the comparable week of 2021.

Comparisons of last week's turnover with 2020 primarily reflect the "lockdown" which took place during the month of April of that year, meaning that over the past seven days, companies operating within these industries reported turnover which was as much as fifteen times higher.

However, if last week's figures are compared to those for the comparable week of the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019 (which was the week of pre-Easter spending that year), the Tax Administration's data shows a 12 percent decrease in the number of bills and receipts issued, but at the same time, their value was 18 percent higher.

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

Monday, 25 April 2022

A Lot of Croatian Kuna Being Purchased on UK Market, Good Season Ahead

April the 25th, 2022 - A lot of Croatian kuna is being purchased in Britain, which signals a fantastic season ahead as Croatia's favourite Northern European visitors are set to arrive en masse in the hopes of some sunshine. With the United Kingdom having dropped all of its epidemiological measures some time ago now, Brits are hungry for travel.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the Republic of Croatia and the Caribbean are at the top of the most desirable holiday destinations for Britons, according to a new quarterly edition of the analysis of currency sales by the Royal Mail's Travel Department.

The sales of a number of foreign currencies increased in the first three months of 2022 when compared to the first quarter of pandemic-dominated 2020, with strong growth in purchases for the Croatian kuna and the Caribbean currencies, suggesting that they will be popular destinations for tourists from the United Kingdom throughout 2022.

Namely, the purchase of Croatian kuna during the first quarter of this year in the United Kingdom increased by 137 percent when compared to the figures recorded two years earlier. Caribbean currencies also recorded high growth rates, mostly the Barbadian and Jamaican dollars, and the Mexican peso and the East Caribbean dollar also have a strong plus.

"We're used to seeing a spring increase in Croatian kuna sales, but the growth during the month of March was unprecedented, which indicates that the Republic of Croatia is facing another very successful tourist year," said Nick Boden, head of travel.

A review of food and beverage costs by destination showed that due to the weak Turkish lira, prices in Marmaris are by far the lowest - a three-course meal with a local bottle of wine costs around £16! The Republic of Croatia has the fifth highest prices of 11 destinations.

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

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Croatian Easter Tourism Results Reveal Country is Desired Destination

April the 21st, 2022 - The post-coronavirus tourism optimists appear to have been correct in their predictions for this year, with Croatian Easter tourism having seen such good numbers that we can hopefully breathe a sigh of relief this summer.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, those who predicted good forecasts for Croatian Easter tourism were right, despite the very uncertain geopolitical circumstances that continue to threaten tourism across Europe owing to the war in Ukraine.

According to eVisitor, from Friday, April the 15th, to Monday, there were about 135,000 arrivals and about 493,000 overnight stays realised, of which foreign tourists realised more than 412,000 overnight stays. Last year, a third of that traffic was generated for Easter, due to the difficult epidemiological situation with the coronavirus pandemic, which is why the pre-season was almost nothing to speak of last year, but it's also worth mentioning that Easter itself came two weeks earlier than it did this year.

In the last pre-pandemic year of 2019, Easter came a week later, closer to Labour Day, which always means better traffic. As such, in the same period back in 2019, on the eve of Easter, there were 5 percent more overnight stays realised in Croatia than this year with Easter traffic. Still, this is a result that heralds a good rest of the year, the sector believes. Equal optimism reigns in the rest of the Mediterranean and in neighbouring Slovenia.

"In addition the excellent results achieved during the extended Easter weekend, we're also pleased to note that about 145,000 tourists stayed in this country on Saturday. It's also the day with the largest number of tourists recorded on a daily basis this year, and we expect positive trends in the continuation of the pre-season, ie during May and June,'' said the director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristjan Stanicic.

The Germans were the most numerous over the Croatian Easter tourism period

Traditionally, the best traffic realised during Easter was always up in Istria (about 188,000 overnight stays), Kvarner (more than 90,000 overnight stays), Split-Dalmatia (more than 55,000 overnight stays) and then Dubrovnik-Neretva County (more than 43,000 overnight stays). When looking solely at overnight stays, most were realised in Porec, Rovinj, Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Split, Umag and Zadar.

At the same time, the largest number of overnight stays realised over the Croatian Easter tourism period was realised by guests from Germany, followed by those from the Croatian market and guests from Austria, Slovenia, Italy and Slovakia. Also common for the pre-season, most overnight stays were realised in hotels (more than 210,000 overnight stays), followed by household/private/family facilities (more than 112,000 overnight stays) and campsites (more than 99,000 overnight stays).

"We've exceeded the number of 3.6 million overnight stays since the beginning of the year, which is 120 percent more overnight stays than in the same period last year, but also 95 percent of overnight stays in the same period back in 2019. These results confirm the strengthening of the recognisability of Croatia as a year-round destination of added value, which is our strategic commitment.

Tourists perceive Croatia as a destination in which to have a pleasant and quality holiday, so we focused our activities on maintaining that status, but also on developing Croatia as a sustainably responsible destination,'' said the Minister of Tourism, Nikolina Brnjac.

Veljko Ostojic, the director of the Croatian Tourism Association, says that comparisons of traffic with last year's Croatian Easter tourism numbers aren't so important now, as these results are an indicator of that good trend that we wished for, but with great caution.

''We entered this year with great caution due to the war in Ukraine, but these results show that Croatia is an attractive destination and that people really want to travel. Therefore, we have no reason to be dissatisfied, even though we're facing a challenging May, and we've been equipping tourist companies to open the season at the end of May,'' said Veljko Ostojic.

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

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Amount of Croatian Nautical Tourism Arrivals Spells Good Season

April the 20th, 2022 - The blossoming Croatian nautical tourism sector has high hopes for the upcoming summer tourist season, with reason to believe that 2022's summer season could be even better than the record one of pre-pandemic 2019.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, if there are no major surprises in the geopolitical and epidemiological field, all indications are that for Croatian nautical tourism in 2022 in Croatia, traffic could exceed the pre-pandemic year 2019, with this sector already receiving its very first guests.

Good occupancy

According to eVisitor, from the beginning of the year until Easter itself, 13,000 arrivals and 61,000 overnight stays were realised in the Croatian nautical tourism sector, which marks an increase of 115 percent in terms of arrivals and 130 percent in terms of overnight stays when compared to last year.

Compared to the same period back in pre-pandemic 2019, it is also an increase of 6 percent in arrivals and 10 percent in overnight stays. The highest number of overnight stays in the Croatian nautical tourism sector are being realised in Split-Dalmatia, Zadar and Sibenik-Knin counties, and the highest number of overnight stays has been being realised by Austrians, Germans, Czechs, Poles and Slovenes.

"The charter lists are already pretty well filled. A significant number of departures on the booking lists are set to begin from the end of May, with June, July and August generally being filled with more than 70 percent of the capacity. September is traditionally a well-filled month, and because the prices are slightly lower than they are in the main season, and the crowds in the marinas aren't as heavy as they are during the very height of the season. Given the situation over in Ukraine, charters did notice a stalemate in reservations for the month of March. Despite that, it's good that the charters this season have mostly not resorted to approving big discounts on reservations,'' said Selma Cmelik, the founder of the čarter.hr/charter.hr platform.

Currently, the biggest problem for the Croatian nautical tourism sector is the overall increase in costs for external service services, such as cleaning services, gas suppliers, and spare parts. As Cmelik explained, charters cannot increase the price of their services, because all reservations have so far been paid in advance.

It is also not popular to increase rental prices when the season has already begun. Sean Lisjak, president of the marina association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), explained that the competition across the rest of the Mediterranean has already started, which is why marinas here in Croatia will mostly stick to last year's prices of services this year. For now, the marinas are expected to surpass 2019's enviable figures.

"Although we don't have all the aggregate data for last year's business, we already know that the sector achieved almost the same amount in terms of turnover from 2019 last year, and according to announcements and reservations, this year should be even stronger if there are no major shocks elsewhere in Europe. Sailors are specific guests, they are loyal to this type of vacation, they have their own boats, nothing really bothered them during the pandemic because they're separated from other tourists,'' explained Lisjak.

The national marina chain, ACI, also pointed out that the previous season was already very good when compared to 2019, especially in the third quarter, when the most significant results were achieved.

"When we talk about the coronavirus pandemic, Croatian nautical tourism has really proved to be the most resilient type of all. People can stay undisturbed on their own or rented boats practically in isolation, and a safe holiday and stay in our marinas is guaranteed by the Safe stay in Croatia label, which is boasted by all ACI marinas. We're also witnessing a situation where an increasing number of countries have fully opened up or are opening up in the context of epidemiological measures and travel. When we talk about the geopolitical situation in Europe and its impact on the tourist and nautical season, it's too soon to say too much, but we expect the continuation of positive tourist trends this season as well.

At the moment, everything is in favour of things going well. The Croatian nautical season usually starts around Easter. So far, there have been no significant cancellations and all activities in the marinas are taking place as usual. Therefore, we can say that we're optimistic about the beginning of the pre-season and the season itself,'' they stated from ACI, which enjoyed growth in 2021 in terms of sales revenue of 35.9 million kuna, or 21 percent more when compared to 2020.

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

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

2022 Croatian Easter Tourism Figures Beyond Expectations

April 19, 2022 - The 2022 Croatian Easter tourism figures are impressive, with most tourists visiting from Germany, Slovenia, Italy, and Austria and many domestic tourists, too. 

The director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristjan Staničić, said that we could be more than satisfied with the 2022 Croatian Easter tourism results, reports Dnevnik HRT.

"We recorded even more than 140,000 overnight stays on Saturday, which is the largest number so far in this part of the tourist year. Most guests were from Germany, Slovenia, Italy, and Austria and domestic guests. We must be satisfied because we have exceeded last year's Easter figures many times over," he said.

He reminded us that we had not had a pre-season for the last two years due to the pandemic, while this year is different.

"We have a trend that we have been following since the beginning of the year. We are above 90 percent of realizing tourist traffic, our goal this year. We are now at 96 percent. Today, there are over 120,000 tourists in Croatia, and I hope that we will have a good May and June and enter the main tourist season on a good basis," said the Croatian National Tourist Board director.

Many European countries have a strong campaign to promote holidays in their own country due to inflation and fuel prices.

"In the last two years, we have shown that we know how to resist all challenges. I believe that the tourism sector will know how to respond to price competition. It is important to stick to quality and provide something more for a certain price, and I believe that even then, results will follow," he said.

When asked if we could relax and believe in a good season, Staničić said there was no time for relaxation.

"This is the first passing time, and so far, we can be satisfied, but the main work is yet to come. We will intensify promotional activity, marketing campaigns, and tourism markets. Minister Brnjac and I are convinced that we have an excellent position in the Czech market, which also applies to Austria and Germany. We will take it a step further and present Croatian tourism in the USA. We have over 460 announced airlines, which is the level of 2019, but there is no relaxation; there is a lot of work ahead of us," he concluded.

For more on Vir tourism, check out our travel section.

Monday, 18 April 2022

Vir Tourism Figures Like Never Before in 2022's First 3 Months

April the 18th, 2022 - Vir tourism numbers have been reaching never-before-seen heights during the first three months of this year, much to the delight of the local economy which was, much like everything else, struck terribly by the coronavirus pandemic.

As Morski/Kazimir Skrbic writes, with a record number of tourist arrivals recorded from January the 1st to April the 15th this year, and significantly better numbers when it comes to overnight stays than last year, the island of Vir is rubbing its hands in hopes for another great summer tourist season that should surpass last year.

In less than four tourist months, 1,485 arrivals of both domestic and foreign guests and 23,181 overnight stays were recorded on the island of Vir, which is 109.1 percent better in terms of overnight stays and 58.9 percent better in terms of tourist arrivals when compared to last year.

''We're more than satisfied with the current numbers of Vir tourism arrivals and the number of overnight stays realised by guests. This is especially true when it comes to the arrivals of guests, which are the largest since we've been monitoring the statistics of tourist traffic. We also have better data on overnight stays on average than we did back during the record year of 2019, when we had 2.6 million overnight stays, which is a serious indicator of the success of the upcoming summer season,'' explained the director of the Vir Tourist Boardm Srdjan Liveric.

The highest Vir tourism numbers when it comes to arrivals from the first day of January to mid-April was recorded by the neighbouring Slovenes (26.4 percent of the total number of arrivals of foreigners), Germans (19.1 percent), Bosnians and Herzegovinians (14.9 percent), Austrians (9.71 percent), and Hungarians (9.61). These five nations accounted for approximately 80 percent of all arrivals and overnight stays on this Dalmatian island, representing a tourist ''big five'' of sorts, but by the end of the month they will be joined by Czechs and Slovaks who've been coming to that island in increasing numbers.

''We're only expecting their explosion at the end of April and at the beginning of May, because we've been recording dozens of transfers of ownership of holiday homes on Vir, and most of them are being purchased by Czechs, Slovaks and Hungarians,'' explained Liveric.

When it comes to the comparison of Vir tourism figures with last year's pre-season, the current number of 23,181 overnight stays and 1,485 tourist arrivals is stronger by 109.1 percent in terms of overnight stays and by 58.9 percent in terms of arrivals. At the same time, current overnight stays are around 80 percent of the record number of overnight stays in the pre-season of 2020, but current statistics also reveal a significantly higher share and number of foreign guests. As such, two years ago, foreigners realised 9,978 out of a total of 28,980 overnight stays (34.4 percent share) in three and a half months, while now, 13,848 overnight stays out of a total of 23,181 (as much as 59.7 percent share) have been recorded.

The difference was created by Slovenian visitors with a fantastic growth of overnight stays of 383.9 percent (now 3,843, where as the former number was a far smaller 816) compared to last year's pre-season, then with 110.8 percent growth compared to 2020 and 32.4 percent growth compared to 2019. Hungarians recorded 136.9 percent growth from last night, Slovaks 96.7 percent, Austrians 84.9 percent, Germans 68.5 percent and Bosnians and Herzegovinians 63.1 percent growth. With a slightly lower number of overnight stays, Poles, Swiss and Swedes still grew significantly.

If we statistically go back to pre-pandemic 2019, which was a record with the total annual numbers of overnight stays and arrivals, and the last one outside the context of the global coronavirus crisis, this quarter seems to announce spectacular numbers. Recorded overnight stays are 35.5 percent better than they were in 2019, when 17,105 tourist overnight stays were realised, while arrivals are 24.1 percent higher (1,197 three years ago).

For more on Vir tourism, check out our travel section.

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