Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Croatian National Tourist Board Forgets Slovenia in Safe Stay in Croatia Campaign

March 17, 2021 - Slovenian media has noticed that the Safe Stay in Croatia campaign is not available in the Slovenian language, although Slovenians are the second largest market for Croatia. 

According to the Slovenian daily zurnal24.si, the Safe Stay in Croatia page can be translated into nine foreign languages on the campaign's main website, but there is no Slovenian among them. Thus, they have sent an inquiry to the Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB) Head Office to explain this to Slovenian readers, reports Jutarnji List.

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A similar inquiry was submitted by Jutarnji List, after which the Croatian National Tourist Board clarified that the Safe Stay in Croatia page will be translated into Slovenian by the end of March and that they have decided to carry out activities that do not involve the classic lease of advertising space.

"Regarding the accompanying promotional campaign, the Croatian National Tourist Board carries out PR and marketing activities, i.e., advertising activities within the Safe Stay in Croatia campaign, in the markets of Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, France, and the Netherlands.

On the other hand, in the Slovenian market, due to its proximity and excellent knowledge of the Croatian tourist offer from Slovenian partners and the guests themselves, activities are carried out through other communication channels.

In other words, the Croatian National Tourist Board Representation in Slovenia organizes training and presentations of the Safe Stay in Croatia project, intended for travel agents, partners, carriers, and today begins a two-day b2b workshop where all segments of the project will be explained in detail.

PR activities are continuously carried out through Slovenian media to inform the general public, and information about the project is also placed through newsletters," explained the CNTB.

By the way, according to the CNTB data for 2020, the importance of Slovenian tourists is best evidenced by the fact that last year they realized as much as 15% of the total number of overnight stays in Croatia, ahead of German tourists who achieved 23%.

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Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Croatian Tourist Board Promoting Croatia as Attractive Destination For Digital Nomads

ZAGREB, 10 March, 2021 - The Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) has launched a new promotional campaign "Croatia, your new office!" with the aim of promoting Croatia as a suitable destination for digital nomads.

As part of the campaign a special landing page Croatia your your new office was created in English on the Croatia.hr website together with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, which contains all the important information related to the permit application process and stay of digital nomads in Croatia, the HTZ says.

At the end of November 2020 the Croatian parliament adopted the Aliens Act, which entered into force at the beginning of 2021 and the legislation enables digital nomads to be granted temporary residence in the country for up to a year.

"Croatia is one of the first members of the European Union to regulate a one-year temporary stay for digital nomads, and this is the result of the cooperation between the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Tourism and Sports," Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac was quoted as saying.

"Digital nomads are an excellent opportunity for the Croatian economy, and we are pleased with the fact that digital nomads are showing increased interest for numerous Croatian cities," the minister said, adding that she is sure that Croatia will impress digital nomads with its natural scenery and cultural heritage.

"I wish all current and future digital nomads a warm welcome to one of the most desirable and unique European destinations - Croatia," Brnjac said.

"Croatia is a country where English is widely spoken, a country that offers a unique way of life with authentic experiences, has a good internet connection, favourable climate and beautiful natural surroundings, good proximity and is easily accessible to the rest of Europe, highly affordable compared to European standards and good and affordable healthcare," the HTZ Director Kristjan Staničić said.

"The above has also been recognized by many foreign media outlets, including the world's leading brand of travel guides Lonely Planet which dedicated a recent article to the topic of digital nomads and the conditions that foreigners must meet to spend a year in Croatia as digital nomads, while the reputable magazine Forbes, in both the French and American editions, published an article about our country as a desirable and open destination for digital nomads. Also, many American media list Croatia and Dubrovnik as extremely desirable destinations for digital nomads," the HTZ says on its website.

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

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Croatian Tourism Representatives Seek Tour Operators During Online Berlin ITB

March the 10th, 2021 - Croatian tourism representatives from the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) are on the hunt for tour operators as the Berlin ITB takes place online amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the popular and highly respected tourism fair, ITB Berlin, which will be held online as a result of the pandemic will bring together world experts from the industry and try to find answers to the "new normal" along with the representatives of hotel companies, travel agencies and others as another unfortunately very uncertain tourist season approaches.

The fair, which will go on until March the 12th, will be attended by a Croatian delegation led by the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, Kristjan Stanicic, and the director of the CNTB Representation in Germany Romeo Draghicchi. Croatian tourism representatives are seeking answers to pressing questions as the virus continues to throw spanners in the works of leisure travel.

They announced yesterday that they plan to meet with representatives of the most important agencies in the German capital, including tour operators and other partners in the German market.

"Among the agreed meetings is the one with the representatives of the second largest European and German tour operator, DER Touristik, which in 2019 had traffic to Croatia of about 60,000 passengers, and there will also be talks held with the representatives of FTI, the third largest European and German tour operator, which in 2019 had traffic to Croatia of about 70,000 passengers,¨ the Croatian tourism representatives explained from HTZ.

The focus of the presentation of the Croatian tourist offer at the ITB fair will be eleven different Croatian tourist products: active holidays, camping, nautical tourism, cultural tourism, eno-gastronomy, health and wellness, business tourism and more, and the project and accompanying promotional campaign will be highlighted with the now already fairly well known ¨Safe stay in Croatia¨ campaign, as the epidemiological situation across the globe will continue to dominate bookings throughout 2021.

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Monday, 8 March 2021

Below Deck and Break Time: How Stray Cats Connected US Reality Show and Split Nautical Jewelry

March 8, 2021 - So, how was Split's famous nautical jewelry shop connected with one of the most famous reality shows in the US? Stray cats. A look at the Below Deck and Break Time bracelet story. 

The Croatian National Tourist Board reports that the new season of the highly popular American reality series Below Deck Sailing Yacht, filmed in Croatia last summer, began airing on American cable television Bravo TV, the head of the Croatian Tourist Board in Los Angeles, Iva Bahunek, revealed on Monday. 

"The show will last at least 16 weeks, which is the perfect time to additionally promote Croatia because it is the period when Americans most often book their trips. An additional benefit is that this series is shown in other countries. We are especially pleased with the production team's assessment that, of all previous seasons, the most attractive and interesting season was filmed in Croatia," said Bahunek, adding that the recent Golden Globe Awards broadcast an advertisement for the new Below Deck season, which gave the series, but also Croatia, additional visibility on the American market.

This famous American reality show has been airing since 2013, and the concept of the show includes following the professional and private lives of the crew and their guests on mega yachts. The new season of Below Deck Sailing Yacht 2 - CROATIA was filmed in the Split waters during July, August, and September 2020. During the filming, the 54-meter-long Parsifal III sailboat was used, anchored in front of the Le Méridien Lav Hotel in Podstrana near Split. It is also interesting that this was the first Hollywood production that was filmed entirely and without interruption outside the United States during the coronavirus pandemic, in which a significant contribution was made by the Split Institute of Public Health.

 

Just how much they liked Croatia and their kind hosts was confirmed by the $40,000 donation from the production company 51 minds and Bravo TV through the Global Giving Charity to help earthquake victims in Sisak-Moslavina County. Furthermore, all fans and viewers will also be able to donate to the same cause.

Namely, during the premiere of the first episode of the series, the show's biggest stars invited viewers to donate, which will be shown during the broadcast throughout the spring and early summer of 2021. Fans of the show will be able to donate through the Ministry of Finance portal, and the entire action was initiated by Iva Bahunek, head of the CNTB in Los Angeles.

But that's not all. 

During their time in Split, Below Deck's main charter guests were connected with one local nautical jewelry shop TCN fans know well - and it was all thanks to stray cats. 

"On August 11th, 2020, a group of cool American tourists entered our shop. If you watched episode 1 and 2 of the Below Deck Sailing Season 2, then you know them: the main charter guests Nikki and Rusty, along with their friends, came to our Trogirska 8 Split Atelier & Outlet Store in Split to leave a very generous donation of 1200 USD on behalf of their ARNI Foundation in Daytona Beach, Florida to help with the stray cat situation in the Split area, a donation which was put to very good use by the ladies who run the Macke & Co. Group

They read Daniela Rogulj's article in Total Croatia News about the work that the ladies from the Macke group are doing and about the bake sale we organised in our shop to support the stray cats of Split. They came to us straight after getting off Parsifal III," said the Break Time owners Mirela and Leonard on their blog about the news, which they were only now able to reveal to the public! 

And it gets better.

"Nikki and Rusty had no idea what our shop was actually about, but they immediately fell in love with our nautical bracelets and, besides getting some for themselves and friends back home, they ordered 12 of our Yacht Club anchor bracelets for the crew of Parsifal III, all custom engraved with the message "Live long, sail hard" to honour Nikki's father (you probably say also the Tshirts they were wearing in episode 1 of Below Deck Sailing).

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www.nautical-bracelets.com

We also made a special Captain by Break Time all-black nautical bracelet for Captain Glenn, engraved with PARSIFAL III (and from what we could gather from the teaser images, he is wearing it)," they added. Being big fans of the show, they decided to deliver the bracelets to the Le Meridien Lav marina themselves. 

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www.nautical-bracelets.com

While Mirela and Leonard could not meet the crew due to COVID-19 restrictions, the story uncovers an even happier ending. 

"A couple of weeks later, Nikki wrote to us and asked us to make 80 more custom engraved "Live Long, Sail Hard" anchor bracelets from our YACHT CLUB by Break Time original collection for the entire production team of the Below Deck Sailing Yacht Season 2 Croatia. It was our biggest private order in 2020, and we were happy to oblige. My partner, Leonard, worked non-stop for a whole day to make them and engrave them while I helped packing them nicely."

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www.nautical-bracelets.com

The Below Deck series is shown on the Bravo TV network, one of the most-watched American cable channels, which in 2020 recorded a large increase in "on-demand reviews," 427 million to be precise, as well as 222 million "live broadcasts." So far, a total of 15 seasons of this TV franchise have been filmed, consisting of Below Deck, which is filmed in tropical destinations, Below Deck Mediterranean, which is filmed in the Mediterranean, and the latest Below Deck Sailing Yacht, which is filmed on large sailboats unlike other variants of the series that are filmed on motor yachts.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 6 March 2021

Croatian Tourism Brand Recognisability Increases 50%, Says CTB Director Kristjan Staničić

ZAGREB, 6 March, 2021 - The brand awareness of Croatian tourism destinations on foreign markets has increased by 50% in the last seven years, the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) director Kristjan Staničić has said in an interview with Hina.

The enhancement of the recognisability of the Croatian tourist industry is one of the targets of the last Croatian tourism strategic marketing plan and Staničić announces the preparation of the new plan for the 2021-2025 period this autumn.

Findings of the regular annual Brand Tracking survey conducted in late 2020 by the HTZ on ten European markets among 5,000 respondents aged 18 to 65 show that the brand awareness of Croatian tourist destinations increased from 3.3 in 2013 to 5.0 in 2020.

The respondents eligible for the survey were persons who had spent at least two nights on holidays abroad before the survey and who planned to travel abroad in the following five years.

In the survey, Croatia was compared to its Mediterranean peers -- Spain, Greece, Turkey and Italy, -- and our country fares best in terms of the preserved scenery and the value for money criterion.

The findings show that Croatia was also associated with terms such as security and family-friendly destination.

Staničić points out that Croatia was to the lowest degree associated with mass tourism, which he finds as a positive thing.

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Stay Safe in Croatia: New Croatian Travel Label Officially Presented

February 25, 2021 - Stay Safe in Croatia is the new national safety label by the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian National Tourist Board.

HRTurizam reports that the application of safety and health protocols and the vaccination of tourism workers will certainly be an important element of Croatia's perception as a safe destination.

To this end, the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian National Tourist Board presented the national safety label - Safe Stay in Croatia. In addition to the already well-known World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) label Safe Travels, a national label named 'Safe Stay in Croatia' was created.

Through the Safe Stay in Croatia project, business and customer treatment protocols have been designed in tourism and tourism-related activities. The Safe Stay in Croatia label is awarded free of charge to stakeholders from the Croatian tourism sector and others who are part of the travel chain, such as carriers, airports, stations, nautical ports, and marinas, who log in to the system and fill out an admission form of current health and safety recommendations of the Croatian Institute of Public Health.

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The Safe Stay in Croatia label enables guests to identify destinations, accommodation providers, transport, tourist attractions, and the like who have adopted national and world standards of health and hygiene protection. The prominent Stay Safe in Croatia label provides information to all visitors that the tourist facility of their interest operates according to the current recommendations of the World Travel and Tourism Council and the Croatian Institute of Public Health.

"During the preparations for this tourist year, in which, unfortunately, we are still followed by a pandemic, we have put the safety and health of our fellow citizens and guests in the first place. It is a project in which the Ministry of Tourism and Sport was supported by leading tourist and professional associations in the Council for the Recovery and Development of Tourism, to realize the 2021 tourist year, and improve the tourist offer. With the prescribed protocols, we have covered more than 200,000 caterers and service providers in tourism," said Nikolina Brnjac, adding that it is important to ensure that the national label is available to all stakeholders in the tourism and travel chain, which has been achieved.

The Croatian National Tourist Board is in charge of the promotional campaign.

"We will carry out campaign activities during March and April in the markets of Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, France, and the Netherlands. In addition to the promotional part, which refers to the positioning of Croatia as a well-prepared and safe tourist destination, this campaign has an educational character because we want to introduce our guests to protocol and epidemiological measures implemented at all levels of tourism to ensure a safe and comfortable stay in our country," said Kristijan Staničić, adding that advertising activities, including through video, will be carried out on online channels and social networks with #SafeStayInCroatia and the most read online portals in these markets.

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The Safe Stay in Croatia promotional campaign will be implemented instead of the PPS campaign before advertising the main calling brand campaign, in March and April, in the markets of Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland, the UK, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, France, and the Netherlands. 

Advertising will be carried out through online channels through social networks with #SafeStayInCroatia (Facebook and Youtube) and the most read online portals in markets such as web.de, t-online.de, oe24.at, krone.at, corriere .it, onet.pl, Daily Mail, The Sun, Novinky.cz, 24.hu, Lefigaro.fr, aktuality.sk, etc., according to the CNTB.

A promotional video of 3 minutes and a shorter version of 30 seconds was created for advertising purposes. Shorter videos will be made covering security protocols by certain categories (accommodation structure, catering, transport, nautical, attractions, etc.).

 

"Users will have the opportunity to leave their impressions through the form on the website, which is important feedback that we will be able to use for further upgrades," said Brnjac and invited all interested stakeholders in the tourism sector and related activities to join Safe stay in Croatia campaign, download the security labels for free and thus contribute to the perception of Croatia as a safe destination.

It is imperative that everyone in tourism clearly displays the Safe Stay in Croatia label on their facilities. Also, for Croatia to present itself as a safe destination, it is important that the labels, like all other accompanying video and photo materials, are communicated through social channels with the market and guests.

The video materials present safety protocols that respect the guidelines of the Croatian Institute of Public Health and the World Council for Travel and Tourism, refer to all categories in tourism - accommodation; nautical; catering; tourist attractions; tourist guides, agencies, and information centers; traffic; attractions; sports and recreation.

Find out more about the national safety label - Safe Stay in Croatia on the official website www.safestayincroatia.hr. It is important to point out that the web platform has been translated into eight foreign languages ​​and the Croatian language.

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Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Croatian Rental Owners Want Joint Decision Making With Tourist Boards

February the 23rd, 2021 - Croatian rental owners want to strengthen their own role as cogs of the machine of Croatian tourism, and get more of a say when it comes to decision making with local tourist boards.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, this week, for the very first time at the initiative of private landlords of Kvarner, Istria and Zagreb, which started up last summer, the National Association of Family Accommodation was founded.

''The main goals of the association will be to strengthen the role of Croatian rental owners and the private/family accommodation sector when it comes to decision making, raising the development and importance of small businesses, and then attracting funds from EU funds for quality improvement projects,'' revealed Goran Prskalo, a Zagreb landlord and one of the initiators an association that should defend the interests of hundreds of thousands of Croatian rental owners.

"In a country where 50 percent of the tourist traffic is realised by family accommodation, this segment is not represented in decision-making bodies at all, no one asks us anything, although many of us have a lot of experience in tourism, we know what the needs of guests are, what sort of destinations they like, and what the problems we need to solve together are.

That's why we're wanting to change the laws that prescribe representation in the tourist councils of the tourist boards, which include representatives of sectors that have nothing to do with tourism, and when it does come to the representation of tourism, in turn, mostly hotel companies are listed,'' said Prskalo.

Prskalo provided the example of the Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb, in which even telecoms have a stronger voice than family accommodation providers, which in recent years has gained significant momentum in Zagreb, and attracted hundreds of thousands of guests.

Prskalo doesn't plan to run for president of this association, which should hold its founding assembly this week, because he believes that the association should be led by someone from the coast, since this segment of accommodation has the strongest tradition along the Adriatic coast and is most represented in Adriatic towns and cities.

"The goal is to have an association whose members will all be equal and that those from more remote areas will also get their vote. The association will have county committees that will deal with issues specific to their area, and everyone would have a voice in their county, while issues at the national level would be discussed at the assembly of the association,'' explained Prskalo.

The goal of this representative association for Croatian rental owners is to gather as much experience from the field and examples of projects as possible, as many of their project ideas have so far not been able to be realised due to lack of money for implementation.

''Thanks to the bringing together of a formal body, opportunities are opening up for some of these projects to apply for some of the EU tenders and secure co-financing, which has been impossible so far,'' Prskalo pointed out.

His opinion is that family accommodation and Croatian rental owners should be understood as small businesses, which is something which isn't often recognised in Croatia.

"Croatian rental owners generate significant revenue and make a very important contribution not only to tourist traffic in various destinations, but also to the local economy. Many suppliers of family accommodation, even down to the retailers of furniture and equipment for such apartments, have have weight on their shoulders during this crisis,'' added Prskalo, who advocates that private renters should finally be seen as entrepreneurs.

The association also plans to engage in the issue of minimum requirements for the categorisation of family accommodation, which still doesn't respect the laws of this segment of accommodation and mixes it with hotel requirements.

“For example, you can't get four stars in an apartment in the city centre if you don't change the towels every single day, and that's difficult now if have a guest who doesn't want to see you all week because of the worries surrounding passing on the coronavirus infection. Instead of that, other things should be turned to, for example, the obligation to install carbon monoxide detectors isn't prescribed anywhere, which is the very basis of security,'' explained Goran Prskalo, aware that there are still Croatian rental owners conducting this sort of business illegally, which the association also plans to fight against.

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Thursday, 11 February 2021

Croatian Virtual Get2Gether: Croatia Presented in 30 Virtual Presentations to 16 Markets

February 11, 2021 - This year, the Croatian National Tourist Board is launching a series of 30 virtual presentations and workshops titled Croatian Virtual Get2Gether, which will be held in the 16 most important markets.

The first in a series of presentations, which will be held via the online platform due to current market circumstances and prescribed epidemiological measures in the country and the world, was held in the Polish market in cooperation with Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Korčula, and the municipality Župa Dubrovačka, reports HTZ.

"Along with the main goal, which includes the promotion of Croatian tourism and the overall Croatian tourist offer, we want to gather the most important foreign partners and agents in one place in the markets and convey the current security situation in the country and Croatia's readiness for the upcoming tourist season," said the director Croatian National Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić.

Most of the Croatian Virtual Get2Gether workshops and presentations are planned for the first half of the year. In addition to the promotion of destinations and tourist products, they will also discuss epidemiological measures, the safety of Croatian destinations, and protocols during future tourist trips.

In Poland, in addition to today's presentation, an additional seven presentations and workshops are planned for June, within which Split-Dalmatia and Šibenik-Knin counties, Kvarner, Zadar, and Lika-Senj counties, the city of Zagreb, and Krapina-Zagorje County, the Slavonia Cluster, and the County of Istria will be presented, and a business workshop is planned for Polish and Croatian entities.

"Through virtual workshops and presentations to Polish tour operators and travel agents, we want to present Croatian regions, and the first in a row is the Dubrovnik region. All 50 available online places were filled in record time, which is proof that this activity has been well received by the Polish tourism industry. We hope and believe that Poles will come to Croatia in large numbers this year to show that they are true friends and lovers of our country," said Agnieszka Puszczewicz, Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board in Poland.

Croatian Virtual Get2Gether workshops, in addition to the already mentioned Polish market, are also planned for the markets of Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, the Netherlands, France, Great Britain, Belgium, Sweden, Russia, China, and the USA.

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Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Croatia Wish List 2021: Croatian Tourist Board to Kick Off With New Campaign

January the 19th, 2021 - Travel for tourism purposes is more and more restricted and continues to be plagued (literally) by constant alterations and sometimes impossible complications despite the advent of the coronavirus vaccine. The Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) however, is still continuing to plan for the season ahead. Meet Croatia Wish List 2021.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB) is currently implementing a new campaign for Croatian tourism in 2021 across social media, called "Croatia Full of New Beginnings/Hrvatska puna novih pocetaka" combined with the label Croatia Wish List 2021, which aims to promote Croatia through new beginnings and positive wishes.

The CNTB launched the campaign on Monday and is running it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok with the hashtag #CroatiaWishList2021 across fifteen European markets - Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Netherlands , France, Slovenia, Sweden, Norway, Belgium and Switzerland.

"With this campaign, our goal is to maintain the visibility and presence of Croatia on our most important emitting markets by presenting more undiscovered locations and proposals for planning a holiday this year in Croatia, with which we want to inspire our followers on social networks and motivate them to create their own wish lists for Croatia, places they want to visit and things they want to experience as soon as all of the necessary conditions for travel are created,'' said the director of the CNTB, Kristjan Stanicic.

At the end of January, he'll be announcing a separate campaign that will communicate all the advantages of Croatia as a safe tourist destination through seven specially prepared videos, and in February a campaign for digital nomads, focusing on the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Sweden will be launched.

"As of spring, we will launch intensive so-called invitational marketing campaigns, and overall in 2021 we expect better tourist results than we had in 2020 and we also expect to maintain the position of Croatia as one of the leading destinations in the Mediterranean,'' concluded Stanicic when discussing the upcoming CroatiaWishList2021 campaign.

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Saturday, 16 January 2021

Special COVID Protocols Prepared for 2021 Tourist Season in Croatia, HTZ Reveals Plans

January 16, 2021 - Which unique COVID protocols are planned for the 2021 tourist season in Croatia? Croatian Tourist Board Director Kristjan Staničić gives us a closer look. 

After the Croatian National Tourist Board launched the communication platform "Croatia Full of Magic" on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at the end of last year, which will be active for a few more days, a new online campaign, "Croatia Full of New Beginnings," marked #CroatiaWishList2021, will begin in target markets, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

The beginning of the year is usually a period of travel planning. Still, as the coronavirus pandemic has turned all established patterns of life upside down, it has dealt one of the strongest blows to tourism. Its recovery will largely depend on the development of the pandemic, and in the Mediterranean, workers in the tourism industry agree, a battle will be fought for every guest. The keyword “safety” will play a significant role when choosing a holiday destination.

For example, Turkey, whose huge advertising budget Croatia cannot compete with, is conducting a fierce campaign on digital platforms under the slogan "Safe in Turkey," and on the website "Safe Tourism Go Turkey," it is possible to find everything a tourist needs to stay in that country - from potential accommodation and catering facilities to travel agencies, and transportation, with the indispensable label of safety.

Greece is also at a low start, where the introduction of COVID passports is mentioned. Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis announced that there would be two categories of tourists by the end of the pandemic, those who have not been vaccinated and those who have. For them, he explained, the condition for entering Greece would be neither quarantine nor a negative COVID test, but only a vaccination certificate and the option of mutually recognizing certificates between countries of departure and destination is being considered.

For those tourists who are not vaccinated, Greece plans to expand border control measures, which could affect the flow of guests and ultimately contribute to fewer holidays in the country. Minister Theoharis believes that the vaccination will affect tourist reservations from the countries they are interested in, namely Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and France.

Will Croatia implement special COVID protocols for tourists in 2021? And will Croatia introduce COVID passports? Slobodna Dalmacija asked Kristjan Staničić, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB).

"Croatia is a very active member of the European Travel Commission (ETC) at whose last session the emphasis was placed on the importance of the post-pandemic recovery of tourism, i.e., the importance of implementing uniform health and hygiene protocols and promoting tourism and tourism products through joint promotional campaigns. In this context, a large global ETC campaign has been announced this year, and co-branding and transnational campaigns are planned, which will be partly co-financed by the European Union," says Kristjan Staničić, emphasizing that the level of security in Croatia will be further raised through active vaccination of tourism workers, who themselves are aware of how important the safety segment is in these market circumstances.

"The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is also preparing a special safety label that will be available to all tourism service providers if they meet all prescribed epidemiological safety measures and protocols. Namely, an important message to everyone is that the precondition for a successful season will be a high degree of vaccination of the population," adds the Croatian National Tourist Board director.

Thus, he reveals, the CNTB will launch a unique campaign in February that will highlight all the advantages of Croatia as a safe tourist destination through seven specially prepared "safety" videos, which will show all potential guests that Croatia is a well-prepared destination that guarantees a quality and safe stay.

"The campaign will be conducted on our subpage, which is updated daily with all relevant information related to travel in these new circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic. We will start implementing the main promotional and invitation campaigns in March, i.e., in the spring when the first major realization of tourist traffic in Croatian destinations is expected," says the Croatian National Tourist Board director.

He believes that this year, especially its first quarter, will be marked by the intensity of epidemiological measures being taken in significant markets to slow down and curb the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, he explains, we cannot hope to establish more substantial tourist flows. Still, the arrival of spring and periods of nice weather will undoubtedly positively affect the epidemiological situation and travel.

"We expect a distinct last-minute demand, as well as that for safe, and at the same time quickly and easily accessible destinations. There will be greater demand for accommodation that provides additional security, such as holiday homes, accommodation on boats, in camps, and staying outdoors in nature. A positive effect is also expected from the vaccination of the population, which is confirmed, for example, by the data of the tour operator TUI Nordic, which recorded an increase in reservations as soon as the news of the vaccination process was published. In general, this year we expect, measured by overnight stays, achieving about 60 percent of the results from the record 2019, as well as maintaining the position of our country as one of the leading destinations in the Mediterranean," Kristjan Staničić concluded optimistically.

The online campaign "Croatia Full of New Beginnings" will be active until mid-February, focusing on 18 markets.
"The campaign aims to draw attention to Croatia through new beginnings and new beautiful and positive wishes in 2021. Visuals of lesser-known Croatian places will be used, with short and interesting stories as suggestions on what to visit, taste, and how to spend a holiday in Croatia. The focus will be on products such as eno-gastronomy, natural beauty, hiking trails, and nautical tourism. From the end of January, we will start implementing a special promotional campaign to position Croatia as an attractive destination for digital nomads, especially in the US, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, and Sweden," said the Croatian National Tourist Board.

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