Sunday, 27 June 2021

93% More Overnight Stays on Hvar and Tourist Crowds on Croatian Islands Increasing

June 27, 2021 - There are 93% more overnight stays on Hvar than last year and crowds are increasingly forming on some of Dalmatia's most popular islands. 

Although the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) has just made Croatia 'green' on the "COVID map" of Europe, which means that according to the strict criteria of the institution, Croatia is among the safest destinations in the context of the coronavirus epidemic, judging by current tourism figures on islands in Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia has been green for a while, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

Hvar, Brač, and Vis have already been attracting large crowds. Data from the tourist boards of Supetar, Komiža, and Hvar shows a good start to the season, which is expected to be much higher than last year. 

"The city of Hvar is currently recording a 93 percent increase in overnight stays compared to June last year, and 36 percent compared to 2019, before the pandemic. According to the forecasts for July and August, we could be around 65 percent compared to the results from 2019," Petar Razović, director of the Hvar Tourist Board, reports optimistically.

Americans, Germans, and French are the most numerous guests in Hvar, while the locals are growing by about ten percent. With school holidays and intensified actions on offer, there will surely be more.

"With the delta variant, the loss of the British tourists is noticeable, we are at about ten percent compared to 2019, but a change in the regime could lead to a slight increase. Our primary goal is to protect the destination because God forbid the delta variant penetrates Hvar. That is why the new conditions for the arrival of British tourists will certainly be announced, both in the whole of Croatia and on our island," Razović announces.

People of Hvar, he says, tried to be as ready as possible for the season, so a large number of private renters responded to the vaccination campaign of the Ministry of Tourism (vaccination on the island is about 54 percent), and they are ready for boaters whose number already suggests that the season could be successful.

"We are even recording an increase compared to 2019! Hvar is this year's top destination for boaters. They come to us from all over Southeast Europe and the surrounding countries, possibly many Italians. Numerous boaters and shipowners have already announced an increased number of arrivals in the port of Hvar at the beginning of July, which indicates that we will continue with significant growth," said Petar Razović.

If Croatia remains "green," Hvar should still see the influx of car guests from Central Europe.

Apartments in Komiža on the island of Vis are also being filled earlier than usual. Bogoljub Mitraković, the director of the local tourist board, says that such a thing could not be said from a cursory glance at eVisitor, in which only five hundred and a few guests were registered yesterday.

"A decent number of people still do not report guests; the inspectorate is as it is. There are house owners, their friends, people who do not live in Komiža but have some connection with the place; there are apartment owners who do not register guests ... Everything. Unfortunately, that's the way it is," says Mitraković, noting that both Vis and Komiža are currently at 73 percent of overnight stays from June 2019.

And they had a relatively well last season with 60-70 percent of arrivals compared to the year before. However, it could have been even better.

"We still have two ferry lines this month. Last weekend there was a collapse ... On Monday morning, I came to buy a ticket for the ferry at 11 am, and there was only one at 6:30 pm. I don't know why Jadrolinija couldn't start driving three times a day a little earlier. It will be a simpler solution to keep people on hold at the ferry port. The Jadrolinija people are kind, but the lines to Vis already needed to be strengthened. They don't do us any favors like this," Mitraković thinks.

Last year, domestic tourists saved the season for Komiža, and now foreigners are slowly returning.

"Poles, Czechs ..., there are a solid number of sailors. The Blue Cave works well. Prices?! Um, a scoop of ice cream in Komiža is 12 kuna. Restaurants? People had to equip themselves, hire staff, and not everything is great every day. We have about thirty percent of renters who do not live on the island. And the same is now with the owners of an increasing number of restaurants," the director of the Komiža tourist board said.

Last weekend brought a bit more tourist activity than usual in Supetar on Brač, where they also expect a significant increase in the number of guests at the beginning of July. So far, they were mostly domestic, along with those from Hungary, Poland, Germany, and Slovenia.

"Currently, there is a minimal number of arrivals of guests from the United Kingdom, and Norway and Sweden, tourists who were among the most numerous in the pre-pandemic period," says Ivan Cvitanić.

"The announcements we have from hotels, but also the private accommodation sector, are good, and reservations have started in a much larger volume in the last few weeks. So, from today's perspective, it seems that this tourist season will be better than last year's, which, despite the pandemic, was very good in the end," Cvitanić says hopefully. 

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

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Dalmatia Moving Forward with Filipino Workers this Summer?

Just how many problems employers have finding workforce was demonstrated on Tuesday by the interest of employers in Dalmatia who sought information about Filipino workers and ways to hire them. Organized by the Croatian Chamber of Economy - County Chamber of Split and in cooperation with the Pasat agency, representatives of the Filipino employment agency Magsaysay International Corporaticon INC. were presented, reports HRTurizam on June 11, 2019.

"For 2019, more than 65,000 foreign workers were approved, which is twice as many than in the previous year. The odds are bigger than ever, the workforce is missing, and this is a problem not only affecting Croatia but also neighboring countries in the region. Therefore, colleagues from the FBiH and Montenegro Chambers are now in contact with us to share information on the possibilities and procedures for recruiting Filipinos workers,” said Croatian President of the Chamber of Commerce of Split, Joze Tomaš.

According to Antonija Bašićiz of ŽK Split, in the first half of the year, 60% of the quota has been used or will be, and said that most workers are missing in tourism and hospitality, construction and shipbuilding. Tuesday’s presentation is a continuation of a series of activities that the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Split realized this year to support members in solving the problems of finding a workforce.

One of the largest recruitment agencies in the Philippines is Magsaysay International Corporaticon INC.

The director of the agency for the employment of seafarers 'Pasat d.o.o.', Ino Munitić, said he has the best experiences with Magsaysay, his longtime partner, and with the Filipino labor force. 

"Given the great lack of labor in Croatia, Filipinos represent a quality, substitute workforce, and according to my experience, they are calm, quiet and working people. The process of granting Filipinos labor visas in Croatia takes about a month,” Munitić said.

The participants were interested in many details of employing Filipinos, such as the how long it’ll take to bring the workers overs, the length of their contracts, and their employment opportunities not only in tourism and hospitality, but also in other activities such as vineyards, quarries or, for example, installing lifts.

Goran Rihelj writes that thanks to the chronic lack of workforce in Dalmatia, employers in tourism are willing to take such measures and adventures. However, in the long run, this is certainly not good because, besides returning to the root of the problem - cheap labor, rather than quality workers from Asian countries cannot be ambassadors of our destination, as they do not help the local economy or plan to move here. But if we want cheap labor, then we will have such tourism - inexpensive, massive, seasonal, which means we have to reduce prices in all segments significantly.

Rihelj suggests that the only solution is to raise wages and working conditions in tourism, focusing on quality rather than mass tourism. On the other hand, Croatia has high VAT, high tax burden and tolls, and a short season… So, what’s the best solution?

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Sustainable Tourism in Dubrovnik - What Steps Can You Take?

As you all know, the beautiful city of Dubrovnik is located along the sparkling waters of the Adriatic, and attracts people from all over the world for its bright blue sea, medieval walls and Game of Throne’s filming spots.

Tourism in Dubrovnik has sky rocketed in the past few years, and a lot of it has to do with the Game of Thrones’ filming locations, which brings 60,000 tourists a year just for that particular reason.

It was reported that in a single day in August of 2016, over 10,000 tickets were bought to walk Dubrovnik’s famous city walls. This heavy influx of tourism has caused excessive pollution, the destruction of animal habitats, and it overloads the infrastructure as well as threatens the culture and heritage of the city. The limestone of Stradun has been gradually smoothed down from thousands of people walking along it with each tourist season, so much so, that the city has had to manually create texture on the limestone with hammers to create some kind of slip resistance.

The prices of homes in Dubrovnik’s Old Town have increased because of the amount of houses being turned into Airbnb’s to accommodate tourists. This destroys a sense of community and inflates the price of property. It has been reported that today only 1,157 people call Dubrovnik's Old City home, compared to 5,000 in 1991. Many argue that Dubrovnik is on its way to become the next “Disneyland”, which has already happened in places like Venice, just across the Adriatic.

Along with the threat of the city turning into a place that does nothing but cater to its many foreign visitors, over construction along the coast is threatening the biodiversity of the land, as well as pollution from the thousands of visitors who walk through the streets of Dubrovnik each day. Dubrovnik is a beautiful city that has a rich history, and it's a no brainer why people want to go within the city’s walls. There needs to be a solution that allows visitors to travel to this uniquely alluring city on the Adriatic, but in a way in which such trends won't destroy the land and the culture.

Any tourist who is interested in planning their next trip to Dubrovnik should see if they're meeting a standard checklist that will keep over tourism from saturating the city. This checklist should make foreign travellers consider the following,

Is the place you are staying at owned by locals?
Are you supporting local businesses and contributing to the economy versus buying items at manufactured souvenir shops?
Are you participating in any excursions that do not respect the environment?
Are you respecting the locals’ culture?
Do you clean up after yourself when visiting the hiking trails or beaches?

By promoting and implementing the use of a kind of checklist for tourists to use to keep these questions in mind when visiting Dubrovnik, visitors and locals are ensuring that there is a way to coexist in a positive manner, where the economy can prosper, and continue to make Dubrovnik a thriving destination for people from all over the world. Making visitors aware of sustainable tourism through promotional advertisements or a simple brochure when they enter Dubrovnik’s walls has the potential to influence their actions.

By supporting local businesses, treating the land as if it were your own, and respecting Dubrovnik's way of life, it is ensuring that the long-term development of tourism in Dubrovnik is sustainable and promotes the harmony of the local economy, the environment and the cultural/social aspects of the city.

SOURCE(S): Overtourism in Dubrovnik from Responsible Travel. (n.d.). Retrieved here.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If it's just Dubrovnik you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow or find out all you need to know about the Pearl of the Adriatic with Dubrovnik in a Page.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Too Lazy to Cut Your Own Pizza? Think Again: In Croatia, It Might Cost You

Another day in The Beautiful Croatia, a land of ridiculous service charges

Friday, 20 January 2017

Who is Who in Dubrovnik: Marin Drzic

Continuing our look at Dubrovnik's important historical figures, let's meet Dubrovnik's very own Shakespeare, Marin Drzic.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Dubrovnik to Limit Tourists to 8,000 Per Day

Dubrovnik's Old City will set its limit at 8,000 tourists per day with the help of technology.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Your Guide to Parking in Dubrovnik

Monday, 16 January 2017

Top 5 Dubrovnik: Best Day Trips



Wondering what to do after you've seen all the city sights? While Dubrovnik is a destination in itself, it has much more to offer than what meets the eye...