Monday, 4 October 2021

So Long, Ferragosto! More Italians in Croatia in September Than August

October the 4th, 2021 - Ferragosto is typically ''celebrated'' by Italians in Croatia during the blisteringly hot month of August, and whether or not the coronavirus pandemic has changed this habit, or something else has altered, there were more Italians in Croatia in September this year.

As Novac/Jutarnji/Barbara Ban writes, the Croatian travel company Croatia Luxury Rent recorded an increase the arrivals of Italians in Croatia during the month of September. This is an increase of three percent when compared to August, which they say was one of the most successful months for Croatian tourism in the last few seasons. A turn of events few expected back in spring.

''The causes of such sales results should be sought in more economic and sociological details. First of all, it should be noted that due to economic circumstances, Croatia as a destination has become too expensive for Italians to visit to some extent. That's why they're looking for arrangements outside the prime part of the tourist season, when they are more favourable. Furthermore, Italy is extremely sensitive to the effects of coronavirus due to high mortality in their country at the very beginning of the global pandemic, so the reason for their later arrival in slightly larger numbers on the Adriatic is probably the fact that due to fewer tourists in destinations, there is no greater threat of infection,'' they explained from CLR.

There are very few retirees...

They also presented information on the types of Italians in Croatia this summer, and there were very few retirees to speak of.

''Demographically speaking, the largest percentage of Italians in Croatia since the beginning of the summer season were families with children and travellers of younger age groups, who were looking for isolated accommodation in destinations not far from the most popular tourist centres. There's been a slightly lower percentage of Italian guests of the older age group,'' CLR claims.

Istria and Kvarner

They are also satisfied with this, a small shift, because in the last few years, Italians have been choosing Croatia less and less for their summer holidays.

''As the number of arrivals of guests from this market has been systematically decreasing over more recent seasons, such sales results are in a way, quite the surprise. The Italians who visited Croatia in September chose Istria and Kvarner once again, of which the most sought after destinations were Porec, Rovinj, Umag, Crikvenica and Opatija,'' they concluded.

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Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Italian Il Giornale Defends Croatia: Is It Really A Time Bomb, Or Did Someone Exaggerate?

August 18, 2020 - Italian newspaper Il Giornale published an article stating that Croatia has found itself under the magnifying glass of Europe after the increase in the number of new coronavirus infections, although Croatian figures are significantly below the number of new cases in Italy.

T.portal reports that the Italian newspaper claims the most probable cause of the deteriorating health situation in Italy is the return of those who decided to spend a few relaxing days on the Adriatic.

"But what are the real numbers in Croatia? First of all, we must emphasize that the number of new daily infections is significantly below the values recorded in Italy. On Sunday, Croatia had 151 new infections, while in Italy, there were 479, or more than double. This gives rise to debate: Are Croats really a time bomb, or has someone exaggerated? The real answer could be the latter. And for a straightforward reason. Infections in Europe have risen almost everywhere. Croatia did not have to fight with significantly higher numbers, as is the case with Spain or France. But it still ended in the middle of a storm," writes Il Giornale.

On August 15, as reported by the Adnkronos agency, Croatia recorded 162 new cases of infection and two deaths. Admittedly, the current numbers are worse than in February, during the first wave. But on the other hand, it is a reduction in numbers given that there were 208 infections on August 14 and 180 on Thursday. The peak of the first wave, discovered on April 1, stopped at a maximum of 96 newly infected in one day.

Minister of Health Vili Beros was very clear in explaining the situation to RTL: "We consciously accepted the risk and decided to continue our life with tourism. Without tourism, one of the key sectors for Croatia, things would be worse for us."

President Zoran Milanovic is of the same opinion. In order not to lose control of the situation, a decision was made that bars, restaurants and nightclubs must close at midnight.

The number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the epidemic has exceeded the threshold of 6,500 people, while the number of deaths is a total of 166. There are 1,062 active cases, while for comparison, in Italy, there are 14,404. This shows that it makes no sense to consider Croatia a dangerous destination. 820,000 foreign guests are indeed in Croatia, and the movement of these tourists may spread the infection from one country to another. But figures show that the risk is not higher than in other locations.

Infections of returnees from holidays or from abroad can be a cause for concern. Several young people who returned home from Croatia transmitted the coronavirus to relatives and friends, creating real hotspots. This was also the reason for the alarm and the decision of the Italian government to introduce measures for the return of tourists from Spain, Greece and Croatia.

"But what is indisputable is that we need to emphasize the attitude of some of the tourists, both in Croatia and in other countries. Several young Italian men said that only a few wear masks in clubs in Croatia. Some of them, as in the case of young people with whom Tg1 spoke on Pag, show that they significantly reduce the real danger of coronavirus. In any case, it would be good to silence the alarm towards Croatia," they concluded.

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Sunday, 16 August 2020

VIDEO: Young Italians Go Wild On Pag: “There Is No More Coronavirus!”

August 16, 2020 - Italian TV reports shocking disregard for social distancing as young Italians go wild on Pag

Italian TV have aired shocking footage showing their young countrymen on holiday. The report, aired on the TG1 segment of Rai Uno TV shows hundreds of island holidaymakers packed into nightclubs as young Italians go wild on Pag. They display a wanton disregard for any social distancing.

One young Italian lady is interviewed and claims there is no more Coronavirus. Another, a male, says he'll get tested upon returning home, although he's not worried because he is young. Perhaps his elderly relatives should be more worried?

Young italians go wild on Pag

After a slow start to the season, scenes from the report appear to show the famous nightlife of Pag now in full swing. With so many holidaymakers from Italy currently enjoying the island, its clubs and the alcohol they serve, it appears it would be a struggle for the venues themselves to enforce social distancing regulations. But, the holidaymakers do not appear keen to take on the responsibility for themselves.

While it makes a change for judgemental TV reports from the Croatian holiday season for once not to feature British youths, this is hardly a matter for amusement; Italy was one of the first European countries hit hard by COVID-19. It took a sustained and painful effort to bring the number of infections down. Italians at home must be watching such scenes with horror. They are terrified of the virus re-emerging at the uncontrollable level seen earlier this year. Already 30 young people who had been on holiday in Croatia this year returned home with Coronavirus infections.

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Friday, 31 July 2020

760,000 Tourists Currently in Croatia, No 'Ferragosto' this August?

July 31, 2020 - According to e-visitor data, there are currently 760,000 tourists in Croatia, of which 126,000 are domestic. Most are from Germany, said Kristjan Stanicic, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, on Thursday.

T.portal reports that in addition to Stanicic, the coordination meeting of the Croatian National Tourist Board, with the tourist boards of Split-Dalmatia County, was attended by the director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, Josko Stella, and 34 representatives of tourist boards of cities and municipalities from Split-Dalmatia County.

"Split-Dalmatia and Dubrovnik-Neretva counties are the most affected because air traffic has decreased because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am glad that we currently have intensified air traffic. I believe we can be more optimistic in the coming weeks, as we will intensify marketing campaigns in certain markets and do our best to do this tourist season the best we can," said Stanicic.

He pointed out that marketing campaigns are underway in Germany, Austria and the UK. "Currently, we record the most guests from our most important markets - in the first place is Germany, followed by Slovenes, Austrians, Czechs, Poles and Hungarians," said Stanicic.

When asked how he commented on the negative campaign towards Croatia from some European countries, in which Croatia is placed on the list of undesirable countries for the arrival of guests, Stanicic said that it was part of the market competition because some competing countries had significantly lower tourist traffic than Croatia this year.

"We react to negative PR promptly and immediately through the network of our representative offices and publications in foreign media. We react with concrete, continuous positive campaigns and try to mitigate negative signs about Croatia. This is all the context of market competition by our competitors, which are below ten percent of this year's tourist traffic compared to the same period last year, while Croatia this year is cumulatively at 45 percent compared to the same period last year," said Stanicic.

Referring to 'Ferragosto', during which a large number of Italians traditionally come to Croatia, Stanicic said that given the situation in Italy, it is "irresponsible and unserious to expect" that Italians will come to us in numbers this year as before. "We must be aware that the situation in Italy is not good," he added.

The director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, Josko Stella, pointed out that in July this year, the number of overnight stays was 53 percent compared to 2019, and that there is a tendency to increase if the epidemiological situation remains stable.

He also said that there were almost as many Germans in the county as last year, i.e., 96 percent compared to last July. "Almost all Germans who were in Split-Dalmatia County last July came this year as well," he said.

Responding to a journalist's remark that the British, who have been the most numerous guests in the Split area in recent years, are almost non-existent this year, Stella said that marketing actions had been taken in the British market to encourage them to come to Split-Dalmatia County.

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Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Heart of Ferragosto: Over 66,000 Italians Holidaying in Croatia Daily

August 7, 2019 - Ferragosto is known as the summer holiday period for Italians. This year, not unlike the past, Croatia remains one of their top destinations. 

Italy represents one of the most important markets for the Croatian tourism sector, which has achieved 579,000 arrivals and 2.3 million overnight stays so far, representing a 1.3 percent increase in arrivals and a 2.4 percent increase in overnight stays compared to last year, reports Dalmacija Danas.

Positive results were also achieved in July, during which Italian tourists generated 209,000 arrivals and 1.1 million overnight stays, which represents a growth of 1.5 percent in arrivals and 3 percent in overnight stays compared to July last year.

Croatian National Tourist Board Director Kristjan Staničić points out that the above results are excellent indicators for Ferragosto, the period when the largest number of Italian tourists visit Croatian destinations. 

"Most of the tourist traffic from the Italian market is follows the announcements for August and the first half of September, which key partners, tour operators and agencies confirm.

This is the result of a continuous and proactive promotional strategy that includes numerous marketing and PR campaigns, as well as excellent cooperation with Italian partners,” said Staničić, adding that the increasing transport links between Italy and Croatia are a driving factor for the further growth of tourist traffic from this market.

Italians mostly travel by car (almost 60 percent), followed by airplane (20 percent), train, bus and boat. When it comes to booking travel, about 56 percent of Italians book their trips directly, 37 percent do not book at all, while about 7 percent book their trips through an agency. When looking at accommodation in Croatia, Italians prefer household facilities and hotels, while in the tourist offer, they value top gastronomy, natural beauty, nautical tourism, and especially in the post-season, health tourism.

"We have done key promotional activities in the Italian market, which is evident from the results achieved, but also from numerous positive announcements that certainly contribute to creating a positive image and recognition of Croatia in this important market. Traditionally, Italians travel the most in August, with their favorite foreign destinations being Greece, Spain, and Croatia, where they most often travel to Istria, Kvarner, and Dalmatia, but increasingly discover the continental part of our country, especially Zagreb,” said Viviana Vukelić, Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board representation in Italy.

The popularity of Croatia among Italians is evidenced by several publications in the Italian media. Just before the tourist season, most were written about the Croatian islands and the coast, summer festivals, locations where the popular series ‘Game of Thrones’ was filmed, national parks, beautiful beaches, and detailed reports on trips with motorcycles and campers were published. The specialized magazine ‘Caravan e Camper’ dedicated its cover to Korčula, calling it timeless, while the cover of the popular ‘Dove’ magazine featured Vrbnik on the island of Krk. Furthermore, the Hvar lavender fields and the Makarska Riviera adorn the cover of 'Bell'Europa'.

The June issue of the specialized sailing magazine "Il giornale della Vela" published a detailed report on sailing in Croatia, providing a series of information on where to sail in Croatia, which bays to rest in, and what destinations on the islands and the coast to visit, all of which are illustrated by attractive photographs. The Kornati is featured on the cover.

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