Monday, 9 August 2021

Rovinj Tourism Booming as Istrian Town Sets Record So Far for 2021!

August the 9th, 2021 - One beautiful coastal Istrian city has set the tourism record so far for the year 2021 as Rovinj tourism is booming. Both visitors and those working in the town's tourism sector can't hide their enthusiasm, especially with memories of the dire situation we endured this time last year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, currently, more than 38,000 guests are staying in gorgeous Rovinj, and that is, if we look at how things stand today - a six percent increase when compared to the record, pre-pandemic 2019, HTV's Dnevnik reported.

To reach the absolute record this year, Rovinj tourism is still lacking by about twenty percent, but the good news is that a two-millionth overnight stay is expected on the night from Monday to Tuesday, thanks to the loyal German tourists, who make up a third of all guests in Rovinj.

''I'd say that this is the result of good preparation of the tourist season, not only at the level of the City of Rovinj but also that of Istria County as a whole. Thanks also has to be given to the Istrian Civil Protection Directorate. We showcased our responsibility related to vaccination and that showed our guests that we want a safe season and that we want to work,'' said the mayor of Rovinj and the president of the Tourist Board, Marko Paliaga.

He added that it's difficult to predict to predict how the ongoing situation with the pandemic will continue to unfold, but that Istria still hopes for a good September, which will help the entire Croatian economy.

He emphasised the fact that large events have never really attracted many guests to Rovinj during the warm summer months, and that they themselves are responsible for Rovinj tourism's good results, as he says, with excellent catering and hospitality facilities and adherence to anti-epidemic measures. Rovinj has countless smaller events which typically involved tours and gastronomic events.

Back in pre-pandemic 2019, Rovinj tourism enjoyed more than four million overnight stays, and quite unexpectedly, this year could come close to that amazing result. This Istrian city's tourist offer is top notch, and although prices are also high, those who really want to come to Rovinj continue to arrive.

Namely, this Istrian city boasts the most five-star accommodation capacities and is therefore, among other things, the most sought after destination. There is also a luxury marina with five sails. Yachtsmen come from all continents, but most are from Europe. Those who are surely even happier than their guests are the hosts as their earnings are excellent and finally, there is a lot of work to be done for all those involved in Rovinj tourism.

For more, follow our travel section.

Friday, 6 August 2021

Croatian Covid Reservations Cancelled for Last Minute Bookings

August the 6th, 2021 - Croatian covid reservations, which means the far cheaper reservations made months and months ago are being cancelled as higher paying last minute tourists are being favoured by apartment owners.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, this information has come about mainly from irritated Croatian guests who had booked accommodation units last winter, paid for them, and then a day or two before arriving at their destination, they'd received notice of the cancellation of their reservation.

"There are excuses from the landlords that they've had a death in the family, so they don't want to rent their units for a certain period, then their guests got infected with covid, so they have to be allowed to stay in the same apartment/house for another fourteen days," annoyed would-have-been guests told Slobodna Dalmacijap. In reality, this is deception and cheaper Croatian covid reservations are being kicked to the curb as those with deeper pockets turn up on a whim.

It's clear to everyone how the following has happened: in fear of a bad season, landlords offered their units for very low ''covid'' prices, now they've realised that the season is doing far better than anyone could have ever predicted and they're opting for higher paying last minute tourists instead, giving those who had previously reserved the accommodation ridiculous exuses.

Not all landlords are like that, of course. Many have stuck to their guns and rented to those who had made Croatian covid reservations months ago, when the epidemiological picture was dire and the season looked bleak.

One lady decided to book an apartment not far from Split back in March. Four people, one week, with a hundred euro advance payment included, and then two days before departure - she was hit with a shock.

"The reason for the cancellation is allegedly that the German guests who are currently there have become infected and need to isolate there. When I angrily told them that I would send an inspection to their address, they begged me not to report them,'' she said.

In Podstrana close to Split, a similar story played out but with a different reason for cancellation. Before their arrival to their Croatian covid reservation which had been booked months in advance, the would-be renters called the unit's owner and found that their reservation had been cancelled due to an alleged ''death in the family''.

Josko Stella, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, said that he had heard of no similar complaints, and claimed the same from the Croatian Tourist Board, which said they had no knowledge of such unfair practices.

Despite the above claims, we at TCN have been told of several similar cases occuring in Dalmatia, and claiming this isn't happening is adding insult to injury to all of those on the receiving end of this awful behaviour.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

20% More Polish Tourists in Croatia in Summer 2021 Than Summer 2019

August the 4th, 2021 - When it comes to Polish tourists in Croatia, it's almost as if the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic doesn't exist, with the number of Polish tourists in Croatia as surprising and encouraging as it was even last year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the growth of the Polish emitting market when it comes to tourism, which has been recorded in Croatia for several years now, hasn't been halted by the ongoing pandemic. In July this year alone there were as many as 20 percent more Polish tourists in Croatia than there were recorded back during the record 2019 summer before the pandemic.

Polish tourists in Croatia surprised us all with their sheer numbers last year as well, when the tourist season was significantly weaker than this. The Polish market was practically the only emitting market that, despite the epidemiological situation back in August 2020, recorded an increase in arrivals of 4 percent when compared to August 2019. The share of turnover from the Polish emitting market in July and August reached as much as 95 percent of the pre-pandemic year of 2019's impressive figures.

After the figures on the 33 percent increase in overnight stays realised in the current part of the peak season at the level of the entire Republic of Croatia were published, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County tourist board reported an increase in tourist arrivals of as much as 90 percent on Monday. The extreme south of the country, which had the biggest drop last year due to issues with air traffic, recorded 65 percent more overnight stays in July than last year.

Instead of the Brits and Americans, who have been the most numerous guests in Dubrovnik for years now, the most overnight stays so far this summer season were realised by guests from Poland, Slovenia, the rest of Croatia, Germany, neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Czech Republic.

Almost 207 thousand overnight stays realised by Polish tourists in Croatia, more specifically in that southern Dalmatian county, is an increase of almost 40 percent when compared to the record year of 2019. It also represents 30 percent more overnight stays realised when compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

As the British market was officially closed in regard to tourism until the middle of the month, Dubrovnik-Neretva County had only 12 percent of overnight stays from that traditionally very secure Northern European market during the month of July, but direct flights with the United States introduced this summer helped bring US traffic to almost 70 percent of 2019's number of overnight stays.

This year, as many as nine times more American guests arrived in Dubrovnik-Neretva County than last year, and there also twice as many Poles, who thus became the most numerous guests in Dubrovnik.

At the level of the whole of Croatia, according to currently unofficial figures, e-Visitor counted 347,346 arrivals of Polish tourists who realised a total of 2.42 million overnight stays, which is not only 50 percent more overnight stays than last year, but a growth of 20 percent compared to to the last normal season of 2019.

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

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Last Minute Croatian Holiday Prices on Adriatic Go Wild as Guests Arrive

August the 4th, 2021 - Last minute Croatian holiday prices on the Adriatic coast are going wild as more and more guests arrive and attempt to seek out accommodation. Nobody could have possibly predicted this scenario at the beginning of the year, but could it be that we're finally closing the door on the global pandemic?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, many predictions were made about summer 2021 for Croatia, and some were a little less negative about it than others, but the optimists who claimed that this summer would end being just a little worse than the summer of record 2019 were few and far between, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

''I looked at the statistics yesterday and I couldn't believe my eyes. I compared them to those from the same period back in 2019 and concluded that there are only 12 percent fewer guests in Makarska today than there were back during that prosperous pre-pandemic year. In Makarska we have 43 percent higher tourist results than we did during the same period last year!'' stated Tonci Lalic from the Tourist Board of the City of Makarska, adding that the current issue of guests struggling to find places to stay is very real.

''In the age of online reservations, our guests, just like before, physically come to the tourist boards and travel agencies and look for accommodation. Who could have known they'd start doing that given the fact that it has been so long since people did it that way. They come here begging to be helped and they just agree to everything. They'd also spend the night in some accommodation unit somewhere below the hill, just to have it dealt with. We're witnessing a huge influx of tourists,'' explained Lalic as the last minute Croatian holiday phenomenon continues.

In Split, the situation is such that guests agree to rent basement space and ancillary facilities, and the owners suddenly evict tenants from their apartments, aware that, due to a poor assessment of the season that surprised everyone, they should have received tourists and not played it "safely" with longterm tenants. The moment one reservation is cancelled, another is booked, but it also comes with a thirty percent higher price tag.

The catch is that some of the people of Split gave up renting their accommodation units out to tourists last year entirely, so now there's a lack of apartments. The situation is similar to the one when "Ultra" took place in Split in the first few years, and there weren't enough tourist beds available. That's why those hurt by the pandemic and hoping to make some quick and effortless cash are looking to seize the moment and charge prices which go beyond any logic.

For more, follow our travel section.

Sunday, 1 August 2021

July Tourist Figures in Croatia: 3.7 Million Arrivals, Most Overnight Stays in Istria

August 1, 2021 - The July tourist figures in Croatia confirm an excellent summer so far!

In July 2021, there were 3.7 million arrivals and 25 million overnight stays in Croatia, i.e., 47 percent more arrivals and 33 percent more overnight stays than in the same period last year. At the same time, foreign tourists realized 21.6 million overnight stays, while domestic tourists realized 3.3 million overnight stays, reports

These are the first data of the eVisitor system, which contains tourist traffic realized in commercial and non-commercial facilities and nautical charter (eCrew system). Compared to the results in 2019, in July this year, 80 percent of arrivals and 81 percent of overnight stays were realized in July 2019.

Most tourist overnight stays were realized in Istria (6.7 million), Split-Dalmatia (4.7 million), and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (4.7 million), followed by Zadar (4.3 million overnight stays), Šibenik-Knin (1.9 million), and Dubrovnik-Neretva County (1.5 million) County. Observing the results of destinations, the highest number of overnight stays in July was realized in Rovinj (909,000 thousand), Vir (856,000), and Poreč (734,000). Looking at the markets, in July, the largest number of overnight stays was realized by foreign guests from Germany (4.4 million), Slovenia (3.7 million), Poland (2.4 million), the Czech Republic (2 million), and Austria (1.9 million). According to the type of accommodation, most overnight stays were realized in household facilities, camps, and hotels.

"The results so far in 2021 are an indicator that despite the pandemic, with good preparation and cooperation of all stakeholders in tourism and beyond, Croatia can be a safe and successful tourist destination. The trends are outstanding and are a great announcement for August and the off-season. Namely, in the last week of July, we achieved 90 percent of those we had in the record 2019 July.

In July this year, we achieve even better results from some markets, such as Poland and the Czech Republic, than in July 2019. This gives us the right to be optimistic, but also cautious and responsible; we adhere to epidemiological measures and thus maintain the status of the safest destination in the Mediterranean," said Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac.

"Excellent results and trends in tourist traffic in July, but also so far this year are the result of excellent preparation of the season by the entire tourism sector, but also the fact that our country is the safest tourist destination in the Mediterranean. Compared to the record 2019, we are currently at about 63 percent of the results, and the announcements for August and September are also very good. However, further flows and results will mostly depend on ourselves and the epidemiological situation in the country, so we call on everyone to continue responsible behavior and adherence to the prescribed epidemiological measures to ensure the smooth flow of tourist traffic in the weeks ahead," said the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić.

In the first seven months of this year, 6.3 million arrivals and 36.9 million overnight stays were realized in Croatia, i.e., 51 percent more arrivals and 39 percent more overnight stays than in the first seven months of 2020. Guests from Germany (6.8 million), Slovenia (5.2 million), and Poland (3.3 million) spent the most nights in Croatia. Most tourist overnight stays were realized in Istria (10.3 million), Primorje-Gorski Kotar (6.8 million), and in Split-Dalmatia County (6.6 million), while the most popular destinations were Rovinj with 1.6 million overnight stays, Poreč (1.2 million) and Vir (1.1 million).

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

Friday, 30 July 2021

Croatian Smart Tourism Pilot Project Begins Under Smartmed Auspices

July the 30th, 2021 - Could a Croatian smart tourism project be the way forward for tourism not only here in Croatia but for the entire Mediterranean region?

We know tourism has been hit like never before over the last eighteen or so months since the coronavirus pandemic struck the world, and this could be a vitally important way forward.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, the Ministry of Tourism and Sport is developing a unique pilot project for Croatian smart tourism worth 1.1 million kuna.

It will be implemented until February next year, and it is a pilot project of the SMART tourism business model, which refers to the establishment of a platform for cooperation and which aims to establish proper cooperation for joint action and the empowerment of all involved stakeholders in tourism.

The Croatian smart tourism project aims to develop and test instruments that will enable partner countries and regions across the entire Mediterranean to achieve a common high level of understanding of the importance of participation and inclusion, the exchange of best practices and the promotion of the Mediterranean as an inclusive destination where tourism actors and visitors are integrated and make decisions together.

The platform will focus primarily on strengthening local capacities, developing territorial and thematic networks among its users, promoting tourism products, content and infrastructure, and ultimately on the development of tourism involving a wide range of stakeholders, including local people and even the tourists themselves.

It's worth mentioning that this pilot project of establishing a platform for cooperation is being implemented under the auspices of the Smartmed strategic project, which brings together thirteen partners from nine Mediterranean countries, and for which the Croatian Ministry of Tourism and Sports is the leading partner.

For more on Croatian tourism and what's on offer from the continent to the coast, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

900,000 Tourists in Country - Croatian Coastal Destinations Popular

July the 28th, 2021 - There are currently 900,000 tourists staying in various locations across the country as the traditionally popular month of August approaches, with Croatian coastal destinations proving the most popular of all.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic remains a threat to tourist seasons across the Mediterranean, but with the vaccination rollout making things easier, tourists are moving around more easily and bringing the hope of a better tourist season than that of summer 2020 to Croatia's shores.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to the first data from the Croatian eVisitor system, there are currently more than 900,000 tourists staying across the Republic of Croatia. Most of them are holidaying in Croatian coastal destinations in Istria, Kvarner and further south in Split-Dalmatia and Zadar counties.

Looking at Croatian coastal destinations which are of course the most popular at the moment, most guests are staying in Rovinj, Vir, Porec, Medulin, Umag and Mali Losinj. Most of them have come from Germany, Slovenia, Poland, Austria and the Czech Republic, reports HRT.

Last weekend, there were 448,000 arrivals and 2.7 million overnight stays recorded, which marks a 20 percent increase when compared to the same weekend last year. Compared to that same weekend record back in pre-pandemic 2019, there have been 24 percent fewer arrivals and 18 percent less overnight stays.

During the weekend, almost 843 thousand vehicles were recorded on Croatian motorways and 46 and a half million kuna in tolls were collected.

When compared to the same weekend last year, vehicle traffic has very encouragingly increased by 39 percent, and the amount of tolls collected has increased by 41 percent. Compared to the same weekend of the record 2019, vehicle traffic is down by 3 percent, while the amount of toll fees collected is down 8 percent.

For more on Croatian tourism and destinations that you might want to pay a visit to in the near future, make sure to follow our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Tourists Fooled by Croatian Scammers Offering Someone Else's Accommodation

July the 27th, 2021 - Croatian scammers have fooled at least fifteen German families in a new form of cyber-fraud in which other people's private accommodation units are being offered. The situation occurred in Istria.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, as yet unknown Croatian scammers have caused financial (and indeed psychological) damage to at least fifteen German families by falsely offering them a holiday home rental in Istria. On a German website, they published an ad with pictures of the house, introduced themselves as owners and offered the property at an extremely affordable price.

This particular holiday home in Istria was used by these unknown perpetrators for a brazen cyber-scam. The last victim of this particular scam was a tourist from Germany who was suspicious that the house was being rented out as Villa Imamovic, while the pictures read the inscription Casa Delphia. The group of Croatian scammers told her that they had bought the house, but they hadn't replaced the board yet, RTL reported.

"However, the woman in question was suspicious and saw that the price was too low so she started researching and found out that the house was being falsely rented out, that the gentleman she'd spoken to wasn't the owner," said co-owner of the rental house, Ljerka Lisica.

German Edmond Rama wanted to gift his parents a holiday, so he bought them two-week accommodation and plane tickets to Croatia, but when he called the number from the ad again, there was no answer.

“I wanted to see pictures of the house to show them to my parents. I tried to contact them via Ebay and by phone, but there was no answer,'' said Edmond Rama, a victim of the same fraud and likely the same group of Croatian scammers.

He was damaged for about 850 euros, but the worst situation of all involved a single mother with three children.

"In the end, she said that she was amazed, that she didn't know how to explain to her children that she had no more money, and that they weren't going to be able to go on holiday," said a disgusted Ljerka Lisica.

Although the owners themselves haven't actually been harmed, they say that they greatly sympathise with the deceived would-have-been German tourists.

"It's a disaster for these people, and we're involved in it and we feel obligated to those people even though we haven't actually done anything to anyone, we aren't involved in this nor do we have anything to do with it, but it hurts us because our house is involved in it," explained Boris Lisica, the co-owner of the house at the centre of the scam.

From the information available so far, the name used by the fraudster is known: Samir Fabian Imamovic, the actual German IBAN to which the victims paid money is also known. The police are advising people to use verified websites for the renting out of such property and to read the reviews of previous users when choosing.

"They can also check the landlords through the tourist board, and if they suspect that it may be some form of fraud, they can contact the police," said the spokeswoman of the Istrian Police, Suzana Sokac.

The police are not revealing the stage of the criminal investigation into these Croatian scammers at this moment in time.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 24 July 2021

Faithful Czech, German, and Polish Tourists Saving the 2021 Tourist Season in Split

July 24, 2021 - The 2021 tourist season in Split is in full swing, with 14,000 tourists currently in the Dalmatian capital. 

"Currently, more than 14,000 tourists stay in Split, and according to the eVisitor system, 67,600 tourist arrivals and 254,000 tourist overnight stays have been realized in the Split area since the beginning of July, which is an increase of 94 percent in arrivals and 80 percent in overnight stays compared to 2020. The largest number of tourist overnights was realized from these main markets: Poland, Germany, France, and the USA, and from Croatia itself," said Tina Ćurković from the Split Tourist Board and explained that the number of tourists in Split is actually higher because of the midnight registration deadline for currently registered tourists in the eVisitor system, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

"Our statistics do not include guests from cruise ships or visitors who do not spend the night," says Tina Ćurković.

When looking at Split-Dalmatia County, things are also going better than expected in the most optimistic forecasts from the beginning of the year. However, it has become increasingly difficult to find free accommodation in Split and its surroundings in recent days, especially with private renters.

"The acceleration of the season is noticeable. Statistics also show this. The most numerous guests are Poles. From the beginning of the year to July 22, as many as 935,000 Polish tourists arrived in Croatia," reports Joško Stella, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board.

He confirms that the Czechs are behind them, and there are also Germans and Slovenes. There are also a lot of local guests - about half a million.

"Tourists who come by car predominate, and this has been the case for the last ten years, and the only thing that has changed is their order, so sometimes we get the most Germans or Czechs, and this time its Poles. So we can say that Poles, Czechs, Germans, Slovenes are among our most loyal guests and that our season, at least for now, is going very well," Stella says satisfied.

Between 65 and 70 percent of traffic from the record and most prosperous 2019 has already been recorded. 

"Which, hand on heart, should not be a reference because it was exceptional by all criteria. Honestly, we all shot at the seams that year because of the overcrowding and could hardly wait for that season to end. So I would rather say that our measure is tourism that happened to us in 2016 or 2018, and if we compare ourselves with those seasons, then today's numbers of guests and overnight stays are close to the results achieved then," says Stella.

Americans and Brits have not arrived in large numbers yet. However, in recent years, they dominated when Ultra came to town. 

"The numbers have always been on the side of Poles, Czechs, Germans, Slovenes ... The Americans and the British prefer Split because they come by plane, and there is also Hvar, Dubrovnik, Zagreb, and Plitvice. There are indeed fewer guests from Asia. From South Korea, for example. Americans often came to us as cruise guests, and today there is much less of that," Stella adds.

Luckily, we are very well connected by motorways with the richest countries in Europe, which are practically our neighborhood, and our airports are great.

"Especially Split, which can be seen by the number of flights and guests, and that is our great advantage. In fact, if they managed to finish the season at this pace, they would calmly welcome autumn because the state, based on such tourist results, would still have the strength to encourage those whose business was threatened by the coronavirus pandemic," says Stella.

He also commented on the announced arrival of British tourists, whose government has lifted all epidemiological measures.

"The biggest problem for us is testing guests on their way home and prescribing mandatory quarantine. So, naturally, that discourages people from going on vacation. However, in the case of Britain, which has almost completely abolished epidemiological measures, logically things should not be asked of their tourists, which means that they could easily come to Croatia on holiday," Stella is optimistic.

He thinks that it would be more correct to measure the number of hospitalized and thus determine completely safe or less safe zones than to look at the total number of infected.

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

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

Saturday, 24 July 2021

Vili Beros on Croatia and Competition: Croatia is Safest Destination

July the 24th, 2021 - Croatian Health Minister Vili Beros, otherwise a neurosurgeon by profession, has taken to Twitter to praise Croatia for being the safes destination for tourists when compared to the country's typical competition across the Mediterranean.

Despite the Delta variant seeing infection rates shoot up once again across Europe, with the United Kingdom being hit particularly hard despite their decision to drop all restrictions and attempt to live with the novel virus as normally as possible, Croatian numbers are still favourable.

Britain recently moved Croatia to its much desired green list in its own traffic light system, but the ECDC map recently changed the colour of the Croatian coast from green to orange, which isn't the best news as the height of the summer season approaches, but Health Minister Vili Beros isn't letting that get in the way of the generally positive Croatian epidemiological trends.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Health Minister Vili Beros took to social media and published a graph showing a comparison of the Republic of Croatia and the countries that represent its competition in terms of the summer season and tourism.

Vili Beros concluded that we're still the safest destination compared to tourist competitors and uged people to continue getting vaccinated and sticking to all of the current epidemiological measures in order to make sure this summer season is closer to that of pre-pandemic 2019 than to the dire situation we all experienced this time last year.

''Compared to the competitive flagships of European Union tourism, the Republic of Croatia is the safest tourist destination. Let's keep it that way! Do we need a better motive for vaccination and adherence to epidemiological measures than this? Let's stay responsible, let's get vaccinated and let's preserve the tourist season,'' read Vili Beros' tweet which accompanied the graph.

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

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