Wednesday, 7 July 2021

ITB Berlin's Return in 2022 Provides Hope for Croatian Tourist Industry

July the 7th, 2021 - ITB Berlin, which has been on a two year break owing to the outbreak of the global pandemic, is set to return, and partially as normal (in live) next spring. The move is a boost to the Croatian tourist industry for which this fair is of significance.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, ITB Berlin is partially returning in live in the spring of 2022, so a combination of a live fair, hybrid stands and online meetings will take place, ITB reported yesterday. The Berlin Fair is one of the most important for the overall Croatian tourist industry, because it is also the largest event from the German emitting market, from which the most foreign guests come.

''With this year's online edition of "ITB Berlin Now", we were able to offer the industry a sophisticated alternative fair format. However, it also became clear to all of us that nothing could compare to a face-to-face meeting. We're therefore pleased to welcome the global tourism industry in Berlin live and physically in 2022. In addition, our extended virtual formats that include livestreaming and Digital Business Days will take the fair to a new level, combining the best elements of the physical and virtual worlds,'' said David Ruetz, Head of ITB Berlin.

The fair will be held from the 9th to the 13th of March 2022 and will take place in three stages, before the fair there will be live meetings, after the fair there will be a virtual event called "Business Days" with virtual meetings and live broadcasts, and the fair will have both physical and hybrid stands. As early as February 2022, access will be available to a virtual fair platform where exhibitors, visitors and the media can make contact in advance and find relevant content.

In particular, on Wednesday, March the 9th, the exhibition space in the German capital of Berlin will finally open its doors to exhibitors, visitors and the media, respecting the latest hygiene rules and safety concept that ITB Berlin will harmonise with local authorities and test people beforehand. On Saturday, March the 12th and Sunday, March the 13th, everyone from the Berlin/Brandenburg region eager to travel will also be invited to the exhibition halls, where they can get some ideas and inspiration for their next holiday, the ITB said in a statement.

Anyone who wants to attend ITB, but due to travel restrictions cannot be in Berlin, can join the fair live by booking one of the new remote hybrid stands.

For more on the Croatian tourist industry, make sure to follow our travel section.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Croatian Wellness Tourism Could Take Off Following Pandemic's End

July the 6th, 2021 - Croatian wellness tourism will likely be a big hit when the pandemic is over and people begin to become more aware of their surroundings and the need to take care of their health.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, physical health, physical and mental health care has increased, which, among other things, has confirmed the title of one of the fastest growing branches in the world, and with it wellness tourism as a sub-branch of health tourism.

Ana Toncic is the president of the Wellness Tourism Section at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, associate of the Institute of Tourism and owner of Vita Vitalis, which has been providing consulting services in the fast-growing wellness and spa industry since 2019. She explained the ins and outs of the overall "wellness industry", which includes a wide range of activities, starting from the production of equipment and various accompanying inventory, through to all of the associated cosmetics to the turnover generated through the provision of wellness services.

"Wellness is associated with many areas of human activity, including tourism, medicine, architecture, sports, etc. The main role of wellness is to take care of one's health, ie maintaining the body and mind in a healthy way, fitness, physical and mental relaxation and maintaining inner peace,'' stated Toncic, adding that in recent years, wellness centres in the hotel industry have become ''must have'' products which contribute to the added value of hotels and the raising of the quality of provided services in general.

“Today, Croatian wellness tourism, in the sense of medicine, stands out mainly in dental tourism services. While globally, the medical wellness sector records an annual growth of 15-20%, Croatia can't yet boast of such a result. According to research, the average daily consumption of multi-day visitors in the wellness segment is 149 euros, in the spa segment 63 euros and in the medical segment 292 euros. According to household research, users of wellness services have the best paying power, followed by users of medical and spa services, according to the Institute of Tourism,'' added Toncic, noting that Croatia has seen an increase in the number of wellness centres available in recent years.

The categorisation of hotels and new trends and needs of guests contribute to this. But despite that, Croatia is still recognised as a destination of "sun and sea", and not enough as a destination for wellness and a healthy holiday.

"Therefore, the wellness sector is facing high challenges, primarily in terms of staff training and promotion of the product itself," said Toncic.

The problem of seasonality

Most of hotels with wellness centres are located along the coast, so there is a seasonal offer where wellness centres are open six months a year, usually from April to October. According to this expert, the exceptions are some such centres more awake to Croatian wellness tourism's potential, in Istria, Kvarner and in spas in continental Croatia, which provide their services throughout most of the year.

“Various wellness treatment services, programmes that include exercise, proper nutrition, relaxation techniques and the like are offered within hotels and tourist and health centres. Wellness tourism is an integral part of health tourism - wellness, spa and medicine. Medical wellness is based on preventive programmes to preserve health or raise energy. Anti-stress therapies, spine programmes, weight loss programmes and healthy eating lessons, as well as business relaxation treatments, are increasingly becoming part of the culture of living of citizens and attracting guests to a given destination throughout the year.

I think that for the guest, in addition to the wellness service, the overall wellness experience is much bigger - from walking around in nature, running, cycling, inhaling sea air, being around distinctive vegetation, a rich gastronomic offer and the kindness and smiles of the staff. All this is part of wellness and as such makes Croatia a country of special energy and healthy living,'' explained Toncic.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the entire world to grind to a halt and has caused a terrible drop in the number of touristic overnight stays, and thus the use of wellness facilities. Many wellness facilities were not even allowed to be used (eg wet saunas) or were used to a greatly reduced extent.

According to Toncic, the standards of behaviour have changed and adjusted considerably since the pandemic struck, and Croatian wellness tourism has an opportunity to blossom.

"We replaced the handshake, greeting, hospitality and smiles with masks. Although maintaining the highest standards of hygiene has always been one of the main preconditions for successful work in wellness centres, this was given even more importance during the pandemic. Wellness centres have adjusted their offers, working hours and offered as many outdoor services as possible in the summer months. Thus, outdoor treatments, mobile wellness in camps and private spas are certainly services that have done well,'' she explained.

We can easily look back at earlier on in the pandemic and see how it significantly changed attitudes and views when it comes to travel, but also to healthcare in general, because most people have been travelling by car, choosing private apartments, mobile homes or holiday villas, with great emphasis on destination safety and hygiene and health.

Special emphasis is now often also being placed on programmes to strengthen immunity, wellness retreat programmes that include spending time in nature, meditation, yoga and the like. The emphasis is being placed on products from local family farms (OPGs), and therefore I can say that the market is changing and that there is certainly a greater responsibility being taken for healthcare and for nature,'' said Toncic, which shows that today's trends in the wellness industry nurture the notion of less being more, the use of natural eco-certified products, the listing of local products and the branding of the overall offer.

For more on Croatian wellness tourism, make sure to follow our travel section.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Overnight Stay Share Rises in June as Croatian Hotels Regain Momentum

July the 6th, 2021 - The share of overnight stays realised in Croatian hotels as the epidemiological situation improves thanks to vaccinations has risen, providing hope for the height of the 2021 tourist season which is yet to come.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, unlike the first pandemic-dominated year in which Croatian hotels sadly had the lowest occupancy of all accommodation segments, hotels this year can be relieved at least in that regard, as can already be seen from the first tourist statistics.

Although the busiest traffic is still expected, in the first half of the year, Croatian hotels had 83 percent more overnight stays than last year during the same period, and in June there were as many as 2.8 times more overnight stays realised than in June last year. No less important, currently out of a total of 1187 Croatian hotels, 846 of them have been opened, 200 more than were open before the peak of the last summer season.

What has changed? There is also some maths to be looked at in this equation, as Croatian hotels were closed to a greater extent last year due to epidemiological measures than this year, but again, until recently the borders were barely open to tourists. With the vaccination programme giving tourism some optimism as opposed to the uncertainty of 2020, what has perhaps changed the most is the perception of guests this year.

This year, many guests see Croatian hotels as safe facilities, whose service and organisation of operations can guarantee guests will not get infected. This is due to the fact that last year no tourist staying in any of the Croatian hotels was recorded as having caught coronavirus from a facility. Then came the introduction of the national Safe Stay certificate.

"In 2020, Croatian hotels, when we compare all types of accommodation capacities, had the largest decrease in arrivals and overnight stays when compared to 2019. The index of arrivals was 24.36 percent, and overnight stays 27.12 percent. The lowest quality hotels had the smallest decline, which is proof that quality is in demand in the conditions of this crisis and is certainly a signpost for the future,'' pointed out Bernard Zenzerovic, the director of the Croatian Hotel Employers Association (UPUHH).

He noted that the success of this summer season will be measured by its length, if we're in the green all summer and during the post-season then we can expect great results.

Croatian tourism success will also be counted in terms of revenue, and Croatian hotels are known to be the strongest link in the sector in that regard, all the more so because the pandemic hasn't significantly lowered hotel accommodation prices.

Current figures from eVisitor from the Croatian National Tourist Board indicate that overnight stays spent in Croatian hotels in the first half of the year accounted for 23 percent of total overnight stays realised, compared to 19 percent last year. So far this year, the largest share of overnight stays of about 30 percent is held by private accommodation, which in the pre-pandemic year of 2019 was still slightly lower (27 percent), while hotel overnight stays in 2019 amounted to 35 percent of total tourist traffic.

With 3.5 million overnight stays (at 660 thousand arrivals), compared to 2019, family/private accommodation is currently at about 48 percent of turnover, while hotels are at 29 percent of the realisation of overnight stays when compared to 2019.

The Association of Hoteliers points out the data of the Hotel Benchmarking study conducted by the Faculty of Management in Tourism and Hospitality from Opatija, that in accordance with the increase in the number of overnight stays in June, the utilisation rate of work capacity in hotels increased from 7.18 percent in May 2020 to 26 , 97 percent in May 2021.

"But when we know that the capacity utilisation rate in hotels was 65.76 percent in May 2019, according to the same study, we can see that there's a long way to go ahead of us to reach that record year," explained Zenzerovic.

The quality of service and investment in numerous protocols have contributed to the growth of guests' trust in Croatian hotels, noted Zenzerovic.

"Croatian hoteliers have decided to create their own health & safety programmes and protocols, as well as branding, promotion and cooperation with international certification companies in order to emphasise this component that is currently crucial for guests. We've shown all guests that we know how to set up and manage hotel operations in a way that provides them with the pleasure of staying there while respecting epidemiological measures. This is exactly the capital we're bringing into the tourist year 2021. At the same time, projects such as "Safe stay in Croatia" raise the image of Croatia as a safe destination. All of the above gives us reason for optimism regarding the business performance of the hotels, and we expect a better season than last year,'' concluded Zenzerovic.

Vaccination is also considered an important link for optimism. Spring polls show that 70 percent of hotel staff want to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, and they are now dealing with an estimate that about 60 percent of the entire Croatian tourism sector has been vaccinated.

For more, follow our dedicated travel section.

Sunday, 4 July 2021

Jadrolinija Tourist Traffic Picking Up in Split without Ferry Port Crowds

July 4, 2021 - Jadrolinija tourist traffic is picking up at the Split Ferry Port, and with the agency working 24/7, there aren't the usual summer crowds! 

The Jadrolinija agency at the Split ferry port is looking forward to increased traffic. 

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that their counters work 24 hours a day, all to avoid crowds, meaning the famous traffic jams and general chaos that would regularly greet us during the summer months, especially the first weekend of July, are a thing of the past. Furthermore, this summer, the road to the station and the terminal is passable despite the works on the reconstruction of the City Port. 

Jelena Ivulić, the head of the Jadrolinija agency in Split, revealed this summer's secret.

"There are crowds, but everything is flowing, everything is fine, so they are not seen as before. We work non-stop, there is no waiting for boarding, and again, our ferries are full.

This weekend we expect about 40 thousand passengers in both directions and about 11,500 vehicles on ferries. Passengers arrive at a steady pace, most tourists from Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, with of course our domestic travelers. 

For now, there are no extraordinary lines, but since July 2, we have increased, as usual, the number of lines, so now we have 14 regular departures for Brač, seven for Stari Grad, three for Vis, and six for Šolta.

The summer sailing schedule includes later departures, too. At midnight is the last ferry to Supetar and at 1:30 am to Stari Grad. Certainly, the ferries are nicely filled, but there is no waiting. Let it continue like this, and we are there for the passengers, available 24 hours a day," Ivulić told Slobodna Dalmacija.

Jadrolinija is at 65 percent of turnover compared to 2019.

On Saturday, the MSC Magnifica, which sails the eastern Mediterranean from Italy, is also on Split's itinerary. Magnifica brings about 1,200 passengers to Split who can explore the town, but under strict measures.

"Anyone who wants to go out can only do so as part of MSC's organized excursions, not on their own.

There is no separating from the group. Everything is going well in the port, there are no crowds, no extra ferries, the works are in progress, but they do not interfere with traffic, so today is an exemplary summer day," said Vicko Vrgoč, head of the Port Operations Center, on Saturday.

He says that the arrival of 155 cruisers in Split has been announced for this year, but all this is very uncertain and depends on the pandemic. We remind you that the record year was 2016 when 286 cruisers came to Split.

"In any case, we are very satisfied and expect an increase in numbers. June was great, and we are optimistic for July and beyond - it will be convincing."

For more, follow our travel section.

Saturday, 3 July 2021

Strategic Turn of Croatian Tourism and New Opportunities in Times of Crisis?

July 4, 2021 - TCN contributors Natko Vlahovic and Tomislav Lacovic talk about Croatian tourism and new opportunities in times of crisis. 

In this millennium, Croatian tourism has experienced an explosion of development. From 2000 to 2018, the number of overnight stays increased by 135%.

Two projects were the key triggers: the construction of nearly a thousand kilometers of highways connecting the inland and coast enabled tourists to finally reach their holiday destinations in Istria and Dalmatia quickly and comfortably, without jams and delays on winding roads to the sea. A whopping 85% of tourists come to Croatia by road, and according to the data from 2019, among the most numerous in terms of arrivals in Croatia are those from neighboring and Central European countries (Germany 17%, Slovenia 8%, Austria 8%, Italy 7%, Poland 5%). While the average annual growth in the number of overnights stays in the period of the most intensive opening of new highway sections until the crisis of 2008 was 4%, since joining the EU in 2013, it has accelerated and grown at an average rate of 6% per year.

As the number of tourists grew, so did the share of tourism in total GDP, as no other economic sector has recorded such rapid growth. The estimate for 2016 is that the total contribution of tourism to the Croatian economy is 16.9% (according to the methodology of the Tourism Satellite Account), which ranks the country among the most dependent EU member states on income generated by tourism. An additional problem is reflected in the fact that 84% of overnight stays are realized from June till the end of September, due to the prevailing concept of sun, sea, and sand. The leading accommodation type in Croatia is still the family one (rooms and apartments), with a share of 43% of all overnight stays, while hotels contribute 28% and camps with 20%.

This is not surprising since from 1990 to 2019, the number of beds in hotels increased by 24%, fell by 15.5% in camps, and skyrocketed 140% in short-term rentals (rooms and apartments). Owners' investments in these capacities have largely enabled the massive growth of tourism that we have witnessed in the last 20 years. The number of beds in commercial private accommodation exceeds the hotel by a whopping 3.5 times. Surely, the emergence of online booking platforms has facilitated said growth. All in all, the fact is that Croatia chronically lacks top hotels and luxurious resorts, as well as projects that could extend the season and attract an even larger number of high-paying guests.

Decision-makers are well aware that the key to sustainable tourism growth is the extension of the tourist season and the development of selective forms of tourism. Among them, golfing stands out as one of the most competitive and profitable.

We can argue about whether the COVID pandemic is a black swan event, but the fact is that tourism is disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The season results could raise the question of how to return tourism to previous figures while guaranteeing safety and health protection for some tourists might not be reasons convincing enough to come. Even unrelated to the pandemic, the time has come to open a number of questions about the further strategic direction of development. The development of selective forms of tourism such as nautical and golf, in which higher per capita expenditure is achieved, will gain importance.

While charter providers in Croatia, according to some estimates, have the largest nautical fleet in the world, with solid infrastructural conditions and one of the most naturally attractive archipelagos in the world, golf tourism is in its infancy. Although the government adopted the Golf Development Program in 1999, which envisaged the construction of 23 golf courses with 18 or more holes, today, Croatia has only 2 maintained 18-holes golf courses, one of which is on the coast.

The project to build a golf course in a spectacular location above Dubrovnik was blocked. Despite the interest of a foreign investor, the investment is stuck in resolving property disputes due to opposition from local pressure group activists and a $ 500 million dispute is currently before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington. Unresolved property and legal relations on the ground and the lack of a clear strategy of local authorities is a common denominator for the underdeveloped golfing potential in Croatia.

This year, the Ministry of Tourism led by minister Nikolina Brnjac should begin developing a new tourism strategy until 2030. It is an opportunity for the state to strategically position the development of golf projects as one of the priorities of investing in tourism. In the catalog of investment projects of the government, two projects which include the construction of a golf course have been offered (Project Muzil in Pula and Larun Golf Resort also in Istria). However, so far, the most concrete move had been made last year.

In July 2020 the Ministry of State Assets announced the results of the tender for the realization of the mega tourism project Prukljan, which is located in a spectacular location in central Dalmatia near the city of Sibenik. The concession for the project whose value is estimated at around € 280 million, was granted to the investor from the Netherlands. The project envisages the purchase of 30 hectares of the state-owned land, construction of a catering and tourist zone with two beaches and a hotel with 1500 beds, a nautical tourism port, and a golf course on 160 hectares out of which 24 ha is intended specifically for the construction of tourist villas. However, since then, the government has not yet made a decision to accept the offer of a foreign investor, which would be followed by the signing of a contract with the investor.

The nearby town of Skradin and the Krka National Park has so far hosted many world-famous yachters, from Bill Gates and Roman Abramovich to the Princess of Monaco, Queen of Jordan, Saudi and Qatari sheiks, and many other anonymous high-end guests. Can this project be a turning point in the strategic development of tourism, being the clear signal for PM Plenkovic and his government to prepare and support projects that could change the face of Croatian tourism?

Natko Vlahovic is the CEO and founder of the Vlahovic Group LLC, PA consultancy from Croatia, and Tomislav Lacovic who is a practice lead in Tourism, Digital, and Fintech.

For more, follow our travel section.

Saturday, 3 July 2021

About 120 Tourists Arrive in Split from Budapest by Train

ZAGREB, 3 July 2021 - About 120 tourists arrived in Split from Budapest on Saturday on board a train that will be operating on this route three times a week until 11 September. 

This is this year's third seasonal train service bringing tourists from central European countries to the southern Croatian Adriatic city, after the Prague-Split route launched on 29 May and the Bratislava-Vienna-Split route established on 19 June.

The management board chairman of the Croatian Railways (HŽ) Passenger Transport company, Željko Ukić, who welcomed the train from Budapest, announced a promotional route between Poland and Split for early September.

"We expect a new train service to be established between Poland and Split next year, and possibly between Poland and Rijeka as well," Ukić said.

Lucijana Natalija Jerković of the Croatian Tourist Board said that an increasing number of tourists were travelling to the Croatian Adriatic coast by train. In the previous years, Hungarians mostly spent their summer holidays in the Zadar area, but now with the introduction of the latest train service their number in Split-Dalmatia County is expected to increase, she said.

For more, follow our travel section.

Saturday, 3 July 2021

50% Croatian Tourism Growth Even Without "Covid Passports"

July the 3rd, 2021 - Even without the controversial ''covid passports'' which have only become available relatively recently, Croatian tourism growth is encouraging to say the least. With 50 percent better results for Croatian tourism growth in the first six months of 2021, things appear to be looking up.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, despite the announcements of the fourth wave of the pandemic potentially approaching, the interest of tourists for holidays in Croatia is failing to wane, and the results from the first half of this year confirm that the vaccination programme has increased optimism. During the first six months of 2021, there were 2.6 million arrivals and 11.8 million overnight stays realised in Croatia, which is 54 percent more arrivals and 53 percent more overnight stays than in the same period last year. At the same time, foreign tourists realised 9.1 million overnight stays, while domestic tourists realised 2.7 million overnight stays.

German tourists are the most numerous

The largest number of overnight stays was realised by foreign guests from Germany (2.4 million), Slovenia (1.5 million), Austria (987,000), Poland (866,000) and the Czech Republic (681,000).

According to the type of accommodation, most overnight stays were realised in household/private facilities, hotels and camps, the Ministry of Tourism reported yesterday.

"We're extremely satisfied with the results of the 2021 tourist year so far and the announcements for the months ahead. At the moment, 425,000 tourists are staying in Croatia, which is about 100,000 more than at the same time last year. In the coming weeks, the peak of the season awaits us, and we must all be aware that the precondition for the further continuation of such results is a favourable epidemiological situation in Croatia. The recognisability of Croatia as a safe destination for which tourists choose our country gives us the opportunity for better financial results and the continued development of tourism, and thus faster economic recovery,'' said Minister of Tourism and Sport, Nikolina Brnjac.

As it is known, Covid certificates came into force throughout the EU and in Croatia as of the 1st of July, combined with new measures that will be more relaxed for the holders of these certificates, and will enable people with EU digital certificates to participate in various events without limiting the number of participants or time spent.

Direct flights as a further Croatian tourism growth boost

As has previously been written, the situation with freedom of travel within the EU is likely not going to be quite as previously expected or hope due to the penetration of the Delta strain virus into some countries such as Portugal. At the same time, a lot is expected from direct flights from the USA to Croatia.

The two major US airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, are launching their routes from New York to Dubrovnik this week.

For more, follow our travel section.

Friday, 2 July 2021

Stories About New Wave Causing Croatian Accommodation Cancellations

July the 2nd, 2021 - Despite the fact that vaccination is going well and both infection rates and deaths are dropping, new variants of the virus continue to emerge, which is totally normal, but for some the constant headlines are becoming too much. Unfortunately, numerous Croatian accommodation cancellations have begun ever since headlines about new variants and new waves have begun to dominate once again.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatian Immunologist Stipan Jonjic from the Medical Faculty in Rijeka warned that there is a great risk that the illusion of normalcy, the biology of the virus and our mistakes will lead us to a catastrophic situation with coronavirus again in autumn, much like 2020.

The decision on the application of EU digital green certificates came into force in all European Union countries yesterday, and Ivana Pavic Simetin, Deputy Director of the CNIPH, said that the digital certificate is a tool that will become easier to apply over time and that it will be easier to get it as time goes on.

''One of the most logical ways to continue our life today is with this digital confirmation, and it will be easier for us to get together and do everything we like to do, like we did before,'' Pavic Simetin said while on Croatian Radio recently.

"Nothing important has changed for us except vaccination, which for now seems to be the only successful way to fight this. Viruses do tend to mutate and improve, by the end of the summer we'll probably have a few new variations. Thankfully, a variant that is completely resistant to vaccination doesn't appear to have occurred so far,'' Jonjic assured.

“However, there may be a variant that is practically completely resistant to this vaccination and then we have to look for other options. Of course, other options are new types of vaccines, new variants of vaccines that target the so-called preserved part of the viral genome, or proteome, against which the virus can do nothing, because if that part mutates, then that virus is gone. And a lot of work is being done on that,'' said Jonjic.

"Until we have a completely covered as many people as possible with vaccination and until we have a cure for COVID-19, we're left with conservative measures that are unpopular, and these are actually precautions, targeted measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic," Jonjic said, adding that he wasn't feeling optimistic, even admitting that he was feeling pessimistic with regard to the vaccination rollout and what might await us this autumn.

"I'm simply scared about this, I don't see a way that optimism will help," he said bluntly, HRT reports.

Barbara Markovic, vice president of the Croatian Association of Family Accommodation, said that due to media reports that the Delta strain would arrive in Croatia, which it already has, many would-be tourists are cancelling their Croatian accommodation for this summer season.

Pavic Simetin said that it wasn't the statements about new waves and new variants that were important, but the statistics and data.

"This is all precise data and we have to present it as we have it. Sequencing is done for us by the European Centre for Disease Control,'' she added.

Markovic said the only strategy is to motivate people to get vaccinated, but by no means shorten the tourist season with any direct dates.

"Doing the latter is how we end up seeing Croatian accommodation reservations cancelled. It's one thing to sit in the office at a comfortable 24 degrees, it's one thing to work in the field at plus 40 with guests,'' said Markovic, adding that the situation on the field is very sensitive and that tourists are inquiring about all statements made.

Pavic Simetin called on people once again to get vaccinated, adding that it is important to vaccinate children with chronic diseases and those who have people with chronic diseases in their families during the summer, and that they will prepare organised vaccinations before the beginning of the school year for kids, which will be based on the premise of volunteering.

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

Thursday, 1 July 2021

11.8 Million Overnights in Croatia Recorded in First Half of 2021!

July 1, 2021 - Some good tourism news for the first half of this year, as 11.8 million overnights in Croatia have been recorded, mostly in Istria, Primorje-Gorski Kotar, and Split-Dalmatia County!

After a mostly tourism-less 2020, some reassuring news coming from the first six months of this year.

Namely, during the first six months of 2021, there were 2.6 million arrivals and 11.8 million overnight stays recorded in Croatia, i.e., 54 percent more arrivals and 53 percent more overnight stays than in the same period last year. At the same time, foreign tourists recorded 9.1 million overnight stays, while domestic tourists recorded 2.7 million overnight stays, reports HRTurizam.

These are the first data provided from the eVisitor system, which contains tourist traffic in commercial and non-commercial facilities and nautical charter (eCrew system).

Most tourist overnight stays were realized in Istria County (3.6 million), Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (2.2 million), and Split-Dalmatia County (1.8 million), followed by Zadar County (1.6 million overnight stays), Šibenik-Knin County. 732,000), and Dubrovnik-Neretva County (624,000).

Observing the results of destinations, the highest number of overnight stays since the beginning of the year was achieved in Rovinj (681,000 thousand), Zagreb (427,000), and Poreč (418,000). Looking at the markets, since the beginning of the year, the largest number of overnight stays was recorded by foreign guests from Germany (2.4 million), Slovenia (1.5 million), Austria (987,000), Poland (866,000), and the Czech Republic (681,000). According to the type of accommodation, most overnight stays were recorded in household facilities, hotels, and camps.

During June this year, there were 1.5 million arrivals and 7.9 million overnight stays, or 62 percent more arrivals and 61 percent more overnight stays than in June 2020.

Guests from Germany (1.6 million), Slovenia (1.2 million), and Austria (805,000) spent the most overnight stays in Croatia. Most tourist overnight stays were realized in Istria County (2.4 million), Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (1.5 million), and Split-Dalmatia County (1.3 million), while the most popular destinations were Rovinj (439,000 overnight stays), Poreč (266,000), and Vir (232,000).

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Thursday, 1 July 2021

68% of Croatian Residents Thinking of Going to Coast This Summer

July the 1st, 2021 - As many as 68 percent of Croatian residents are planning on heading to the country's coast this summer, marking an increase when compared to last year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, this year, 68 percent of Croatian residents are planning to travel during the summer holidays, significantly more than last year when just 54 percent of them planned such a holiday, according to the results of the MasterIndex survey which was published on Tuesday.

The survey was conducted for Mastercard back in May 2021 by the Improve agency on a sample of 1,043 users of banking services in Croatia aged from 18 to 55. A total of 68 percent of the survey's participants plan to spend their summer holidays this year in Croatia, with 39 percent saying they will definitely go on holiday somewhere in the country this year, a jump of 16 percent from a year earlier, while 29 percent plan to travel, but aren't yet quite sure of where and exaxtly when, this year's survey showed.

The main reasons for the large decline in the travel segment during the coronavirus pandemic were the epidemiological measures, fear of coronavirus infection and financial uncertainty. Thankfully, that is dinally changing, an increasing percentage of the population has been vaccinated and that has led to a drop in the number of infected people and to a more optimistic financial outlook, so more and more people are opting for a long awaited break somewhere, the statement said.

The research also showed that this year's summer holidays are being planned for primarily by (78 percent) highly educated people, those with higher incomes and those from Zagreb or Northern Croatia. In terms of travel, 51 percent of respondents have no fear of contracting the novel coronavirus.

When it comes to Croatian residents with certain concerns, the main fear is the possibility of contracting the virus. In addition, they're afraid of travelling and then being faced with quarantine, while 11 percent are worried that they will not be able to return home on time. In terms of safer travel, 22 percent of the respondents opted to ban boarding for passengers who didn't have a negative test.

Survey participants who will not go on holiday this year in 28 percent of cases cited financial uncertainty as the main reason for their indecision, 21 percent said they gave up on the idea this summer because of work commitments, and 20 percent cited health concerns as the main reason for not going to the coast. Half of the respondents said they would stay in private/family accommodation during the summer.

That number is then followed by 37 percent of Croatian residents who plan to stay in their own properties, with family or friends, and this accommodation option is most common among respondents from Zagreb (46 percent). Only 17 percent of the respondents plan to stay in hotels. The price of accommodation this year plays a much bigger role in choosing a travel destination than it did last year - the price-quality ratio is crucial for 64 percent of people, and the cost of the accommodation is the most important factor in choosing a destination for 62 percent of the Croatian residents surveyed.

For more, follow our travel section.

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