Sunday, 19 September 2021

HUT: Over 1,000 Pupils From Quake-Hit Sisak County Offered Free Seaside Holidays

ZAGREB, 19 Sept, 2021 - The Croatian Tourism Association (HUT) continues implementing its project of offering free seaside holidays for primary and secondary school students from the earthquake-affected areas in Sisak-Moslavina County.

All the 12 hotel companies within HUT, in cooperation with four ministries, decided to provide free holidays on the coast for over 1,000 students and teachers from 13 schools in the quake-hit Sisak-Moslavina County's areas.

At the launch of the scheme in June, 180 pupils from three elementary schools spent the summer holidays in Valamar hotels in Istria.

The implementation of the programme resumed in mid-September for students from the remaining 10 schools covered by the scheme and will last until mid-October.

The free-of-charge stay is provided in the following hotels: Aminess hoteli Novigrad, Plava laguna Poreč, Maistra Rovinj, Arena Hospitality Group Pula, Jadranka Mali Lošinj, Jadran Crikvenica, Hoteli Omišalj, Falkensteiner Zadar, Turisthotel Zadar, Bluesun Hoteli Zagreb, Imperial Riviera Rab and Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Split.

HUT director Veljko Ostojić was quoted as saying that he was glad to see that the successful tourist season could be wrapped up with this charitable action.

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Thursday, 3 June 2021

HUT COVID-19 Map Now Shows Epidemiological Situation by Counties and Islands

June 3, 2021 - The HUT COVID-19 map now shows the epidemiological situation by counties and islands!

While we are still waiting for Croatia to be displayed on the website, by counties, and not in two regions, the Croatian Tourism Association (HUT) has changed its epidemiological map of Croatia, which daily shows the situation in counties and larger islands -, reports. HRTurizam.

The map is updated with new data every day. It shows all the key standardized indicators of the epidemiological situation in the country - the daily number of new cases, the incidence per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 and the last 7 days, the number of active cases, and the share of positives in the last seven days. In addition, key measures related to restaurants, working hours, and other important measures for tourists are presented, both at the national level and at the level of individual counties. All these data are updated daily for each county, and the epidemiological situation is monitored separately on the larger islands.

Following the epidemiological situation, counties and islands are assigned colors defined by the criteria of the European Center for Disease Prevention - ECDC. According to these criteria, the "green" is currently Istria County and 5 Croatian islands - Brac, Cres, Korcula, Losinj, and Vis, which have less than 25 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days.

“Regional presentation of the epidemiological situation in Croatia is crucial for the correct communication of the epidemiological situation in the tourist season towards our major markets. Germany has continuously supported the regional approach to the counties in Croatia since last season. Now it has been accepted by Austria, which is extremely important for this season's success. We believe that this is the best way to motivate the local population to behave responsibly, especially in tourist counties where safety is a prerequisite for tourist traffic. I thank you for your support in preparing this map and providing all the necessary information to the National Civil Protection Headquarters, the Ministry of the Interior, the Croatian Institute of Public Health, and the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance," said Veljko Ostojic, director of the Croatian Tourism Association.

The epidemiological map will be regularly communicated through all official channels of the Croatian Tourism Association and the channels of the largest tourist companies, members of HUT. Last season, the epidemiological map of HUT was reviewed by 750,000 visitors, of which 55 percent from Germany and then from Austria and Slovenia, and gave much crucial information that prompted them to travel to Croatia.

You can see more HERE.

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Friday, 6 November 2020

Veljko Ostojic Concludes Safety in Tourism Proving Crucial Amid Pandemic

November the 6th, 2020 - The Croatian Tourism Association's main man, Veljko Ostojic, outlined what Croatia's next steps should be in order to rescue tourism next year, with safety being the most important factor of all.

This year has been incredibly challenging in an entirely unprecedented and unexpected way. When one usually thinks of a global pandemic, at least up until 2020, they think of the Spanish flu which ravaged a delicate post-WWI world. This time last year, it would have been impossible to imagine that 2020 would be dominated in each and every sense by another global pandemic involving an entirely new virus. The Croatian Tourism Association has stated that from now on, safety and security are paramount in people's minds, and that Croatia must be positioned as a destination that can offer that to its visitors in future.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the main motive for tourists planning on taking a trip next year will be safety and security in the broadest possible sense of the word, so we must try to be a safe tourist destination and do our homework as we did this year, because that we haven't had any cases of people becoming infected with the new coronavirus in commercial accommodation tourist facilities.

The leader of the Croatian Tourism Association (HUT), Veljko Ostojic, explained the above in the new bulletin of the Croatian Tourism Association "Croatia Tourism & Travel News", in which he analyses the direction in which the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic will force tourism to head in.

He believes that Croatia, when seen from today's perspective, can once again achieve better tourist results next year and claims that in 2021 the profit will be made from those who can drive to Croatia.

In addition, he predicts that last minute demand will be very much present once again, and that accommodation facilities of higher categories will be sought after, as well as those that are physically separated and more isolated, which guarantee safety. He also believes that online reservations for stays in Croatia will additionally increase significantly.

Veljko Ostojic noted that this year, most of the tourists who came to Croatia had visited it before, and that some new people also chose the country, who, up until recently, chose other Mediterranean destinations. They are expected to pay Croatia a visit next year as well.

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Monday, 24 August 2020

Veljko Ostojic: Main Tourist Season is Over, but Longer Post-Season Possible

August 24, 2020 - The main tourist season in Croatia is over. Still, since tourists want to come despite tightened measures in some countries, the post-season could last, says the director of the Croatian Tourism Association (HUT), Veljko Ostojic.

Glas Istrereports that commenting in an interview on achievements in Croatian tourism this year, especially in hotels and camps of member companies of the Croatian Tourism Association (HUT), which are among the largest and leading in Croatia, Ostojic emphasizes that the foundation of success this season is safety and that Croatia is the winner of the Mediterranean this summer.

"We can all be proud of that, we had a quality epidemiological situation at the beginning of the main tourist season, thanks to the great efforts of epidemiologists, staff systems and the government, and we recorded great interest from tourists. But now, with the worsening of the epidemiological situation, we find ourselves in trouble over the continuation of the season," says Ostojic, adding that everyone in tourism warned that due to several clubs and weddings, the whole season should not be questioned, but that is exactly what happened in the end.

However, even now, after some countries put Croatia on the red list, Ostojic says that we should not give up the rest of the season, because tourism accounts for about 20 percent of domestic GDP and "giving up tourism revenues in September and October would not be responsible neither from us in tourism, nor from anyone in Croatia".

With epidemiological improvements, the postseason may take some time

On the other hand, he points out that "most countries that have tightened travel rules for their citizens in Croatia have clearly communicated the numbers we need to return to in order to go back to the category of safe countries, without restrictions. This should also be seen as a result of the continuous work of our institution, because when things are clear and transparent, then you know what needs to be done".

All this means that by the end of August, September and the future period, as well as the current tourist season, will determine the epidemiological situation in the country and individual counties and regions.

"If in the next ten days we manage to improve the epidemiological situation significantly and as a result change the travel rules from certain countries, we can expect that some hotels and camps will work until the end of October, possibly one in the destination will be open all year," he says. Ostojic, noting that hoteliers have no expectations from the congress post-season, for which they will have to wait for better times.

He also believes that the CNIPH, national and local headquarters have invested a lot of effort since the beginning of the epidemic, and the HUT has cooperated well with everyone, as well as that more can always be done, especially in communication. But instead of criticizing, he keeps looking for solutions more correctly.

Due to increased transparency and showing that the epidemiological situation is not the same in all parts of the country, HUT launched the COVID-19 regional tracker website this summer, updating data from headquarters, which was viewed by about 350,000 people.

They also published 12 weekly newsletters with the most important tourist information, which they sent to more than a thousand addresses and communicated daily, although this is not the main purpose of HUT, with domestic and foreign media, tour operators, individuals with the sole aim of making the season in Croatia better.

High occupancy of camps and hotels, but lower revenues

For the occupancy of facilities in the peak season, it reveals that it was the best in campsites, more than 80 percent, while hotels utilized more than 70 percent, in these categories of accommodation, the best occupancy was recorded by large facilities, both camps and hotels with more than 50 beds, with the fact that, as he points out, it is clearly shown that occupancy increases with the number of stars or quality.

Hotel houses in the northern Adriatic worked best, which was expected considering that this is the year of car guests, because everyone wanted to avoid the risks of joint transport, distant destinations, possible sudden repatriation and the like.

State assistance and ‘quick’ measures needed by the end of August 

However, the financial results, says Ostojic, will be lower than the physical ones, which is also expected, and the realized revenues will definitely not be enough to cover winter. Help from the state will be needed, as it was from March to August.

"We expect the measures to be defined quickly. HUT has given its proposals to the relevant ministry and we expect answers by the end of August at the latest. Otherwise, the process of taking care of extra workers will begin," Ostojic said, noting that they are satisfied with the first messages by the new Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac, but also with the overall commitment to tourism of the Prime Minister and the Government.

It seems, he says, that there is an understanding in the government that tourism needs a set of short-term measures to maintain liquidity and jobs, and then a set of long-term measures to strengthen the competitiveness and resilience of the entire sector, for which they also expect concrete measures soon.

"It is certain that the EU Recovery Fund and the new financial envelope will help us all, for which we must prepare for concrete programs and projects. Talks about it have been launched and it seems to me that we are on the right track. We have a new tourism development strategy ahead of us, and we expect the active involvement of the sector and the adoption of ambitious, but also pragmatic and feasible results, because no one needs another strategy that will remain a dead letter on paper," Ostojic believes.

Recognition, quality and sustainability are still key to success, but there is still a lot of work to be done

Although tourism is at a turning point globally in these circumstances, and it seems that the coronavirus will forever change some of the established ways of working in tourism and even the expectations of tourists, Ostojic still considers recognition, quality, and sustainability the keys to success.

"We have to focus here because we have to strengthen the overall competitiveness of Croatian tourism on these 'pillars' and there is a lot of work ahead of us," he said. He believes that, in addition to the new tourism strategy, a number of fiscal issues need to be addressed - VAT brought to the level of Mediterranean competition, which is important for investment, increase the number of hotels with incentives, but also improve spatial planning, reduce bureaucracy, finalize the law on foreigners and the issue of the permanent season and to regulate the system of tourist boards with stronger control over the spending of funds.

He adds that the implementation of the Law on Tourist Land should be continued and a decree should be passed that will regulate the issue of the rental price.

"In the sector, we also expect an exemption from the payment of the fee for tourist land for this and next year due to a significant reduction in income," concludes Ostojic.

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Saturday, 15 August 2020

Giving Up On Tourism Season Would Be Irresponsible, Says HUT

ZAGREB, Aug 15, 2020 - The Croatian Tourism Association (HUT) has warned that giving up on the tourist season in the current economic situation due to recommendations by some neighbouring countries restricting travel to Croatia would be irresponsible towards the tourism sector and citizens. 

"The foundation of this year's season has been a good epidemiological situation, and in the month and a half that we have had a favourable epidemiological situation across the country, we have shown that we can be winners in the Mediterranean," HUT director Veljo Ostojic told Hina on Saturday.

Statements that can be heard lately about the need to give up on the tourist season because of the imminent start of the new school year "are simply unacceptable to the tourist sector," said Ostojic.

"Giving up on the tourist season in the current economic situation would be irresponsible, not only towards those who work in that sector, which generates around 20% of Croatia's GDP but to all citizens. We believe that urgent action is needed to communicate facts through all available channels and to adopt measures to reduce the number of new infections," Ostojic said.

He noted that the situation in Istria and Primorje-Gorski Kotar counties is still more favourable than in many European countries, including the countries which generate the most tourist arrivals in Croatia.

"That fact should be constantly stressed in our communication with those key markets, including through diplomatic channels and the media," he said.

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Friday, 7 August 2020

Croatian Tourism Association Targets Dutch Market: Croatia - Safe and Desirable Destination

August 7, 2020 - This week, the Croatian Tourism Association. (HUT) launched a newsletter specifically for the Dutch market titled, 'Croatia: Safe and Desirable Destination', which communicates the epidemiological situation to key institutions and epidemiologists in the Netherlands daily and provides an overview of the tourist situation in the country.

For our previous article on the tracker, please follow this link. 

HRTurizam reports that the website, which was launched to give daily updated and accurate information on the number of COVID-19 cases in Croatia and its regions, was visited by over 110,000 unique users in the 12 days since its launch. Most foreign visitors come from Germany (42.5%), Hungary (14.7%), Austria (8.5%) and the Netherlands (6.3%).

"In almost six months since the first case of COVID-19 infection was recorded in Croatia, there is still no official information that none of the citizens of other countries became infected in commercial accommodation in Croatia. Croatia continues to be the safest, closest and most acceptable holiday destination in the Mediterranean for all guests from the EU," said Veljko Ostojic, director of HUT.

Also, the site was supplemented in such a way that, in addition to the epidemiological situation by region, it now monitors the situation in the counties on a daily basis, and two new indicators were added - the ratio of active cases per 100,000 inhabitants (A100I *) and the ratio of active cases per 100,000 people, i.e., the total number of inhabitants and tourists staying in the area at a given time (A100P *).

In the last week since the previous issue of the Croatia Tourism & Travel newsletter (July 28-August 5), Croatia has recorded an average of 1,165 new cases per 100,000 people in the country, which is 27.5 percent fewer new cases than the daily average from a week earlier. The number of active cases has decreased by 16.7 percent since the previous edition of the newsletter.

"The site clearly shows that the epidemiological situation in Croatia is 'in the green' and is the best in the Mediterranean, with the least active cases," concludes Ostojic.

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Thursday, 30 July 2020

Croatian Tourism Association Corona Tracker A Hit Among European Tourists

July 30, 2020 - The website, launched by the Croatian Tourism Association (HUT) to give updated and accurate information on the number of COVID-19 cases in Croatia and its regions daily, was visited by over 30,000 unique users in the first four days of launch.

HRTurizam reports that most visitors come from Germany (30.91%), Hungary (28.15%), Croatia (13.57%), Slovenia (10.82%), Austria (6.88%), the Netherlands (2.83%) ) and the UK (2.16%). A smaller number of users come from Switzerland (1%), Italy (0.65%) and Belgium (0.61%).

"Great interest, especially from foreign guests, in the COVID-19 tracker page is another indicator that safety is a key determinant of success this season, and Croatia has been recognized as a safe destination by many foreign guests this season," said HUT.

Since the beginning of the year, almost 3.9 million tourists have visited Croatia, with over 24 million overnight stays, and in July, more than 2.2 million tourist arrivals, which is 53.2 percent of arrivals in the same period last year.

Most foreign guests are from Germany, followed by Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Austria and Poland. The number of tourist arrivals from Germany is at 92 percent of last year's result, from Slovenia at 91 percent of last year's result, while the number of guest arrivals from Poland and the Czech Republic is at 82 percent of last year's result.

Importantly, in the almost five months since the first case of imported COVID-19 infection was recorded in Croatia, there is still no official information that any of the citizens of other countries became infected in commercial accommodation in Croatia.

Thanks to the quality epidemiological situation, Germany, Slovenia and Austria have confirmed that Croatia is safe and recommends it to their citizens for summer vacation.

"Croatia continues to be the safest, closest and most acceptable holiday destination in the Mediterranean for all guests from the central EU," emphasizes the HUT.

Currently, 817 hotels and 417 campsites have been opened in Croatia, and new tourist facilities and facilities are opening daily in destinations along the coast.

The capacity of the travel company Bluesun Hotels & Resorts is currently around 80 percent, and it is expected that this will improve in the first half of August, because booking has increased significantly since mid-July, Bluesun Hotels & Resort points out.

The camp in Starigrad Paklenica has extremely good results, both due to its attractive position at the entrance to Paklenica Nature Park, and because guests in these newly created conditions - choose this type of accommodation because they feel safe.

"As air traffic has significantly decreased compared to previous seasons, most of them are still car guests from countries close to us. The good news is that our biggest partner from the Scandinavian market, Ving, started with commercial flights from Sweden on Saturday, July 25, and Scandinavian guests are traditionally tied to our hotels on the Makarska Riviera. Now we expect, and this can be seen in reservations, the return of guests from that area in the second half of August and in September," said Stjepko Sosic, Director of Revenue Management Bluesun Hotels & Resorts.

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Monday, 27 July 2020

HUT: Croatian Coast Safest in Mediterranean Considering COVID-19

ZAGREB, July 27, 2020 - In the last 24 hours there have been five new cases of infection with COVID-19 along the Croatian Adriatic coast, and this is the safest destination for guests from the European Union in the Mediterranean region, the Croatian Association of Tourism (HUT) stated on Monday.

From the area from Istria to the southernmost Croatian city of Dubrovnik, there are about 1.4 million inhabitants, and statistics show that there are only 0.357 newly diagnosed cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the coastal region, HUT explains.

If one takes into consideration that there are also an estimated 700,000 guests vacationing in the Croatian coastal region, the situation can be depicted in more favourable figures: 0.238 new cases per 100,000 people.

HUT has recently launched the Corona Region Tracker which shows that COVID incidence along the whole coast is declining.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

Croatian Tourism Association Launches Corona Region Tracker

July 25, 2020 - The Croatian Tourism Association (HUT), has launched an epidemiological map where you can monitor the number of coronavirus cases in each Croatian county.

Namely, HRTurizam reports that the Croatian Tourism Association launched the website to timely and accurately inform the public about the number of COVID-19 cases in Croatian regions.

On the map, Croatia is divided into four regions: Northern Coast (Istria and Kvarner); Southern Coast (Dalmatia); Central Croatia (Zagreb and surroundings) and Eastern Croatia.

"We hope that this corona region tracker will help in planning a vacation for all guests coming to Croatia," said the Croatian Tourism Association. 

The main story is that the private sector could no longer wait; in this case, HUT. Thus, they reacted and created a platform, which should have been made by the state.

Unfortunately, if the public system, primarily the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian National Tourist Board, in cooperation with the Croatian Public Health Institute, epidemiologically mapped and set up the same platform for each county, especially because tourism is 20% of Croatia's GDP, we would have a much more positive image of Croatia as a safe tourist destination. And the situation we now have with the Netherlands would certainly be avoided, writes HRTurizam.

Interestingly, precisely through the diplomacy of the Croatian Government, Slovenia started to epidemiologically map and look at each Croatian county individually, which was great news for Croatian tourism. Because if it were the opposite due to the epidemiological situation, the whole of Croatia would already be on the red list.

Croatian experts had spoken about epidemiologically mapping regions for weeks, and in this crisis situation and "media and political war", we have to and had to react much faster and more efficiently for every guest. But unfortunately, again, the system was too slow and too late with reactions and communication.

As Nedo Pinezic recently pointed out: “Croatia is a 'thorn in the eye' due to its high attractiveness and accessibility to individual guests. Hence why the media is hunting Croatia. We are in a position to defend ourselves, but we are doing it quite clumsily.” We are simply lost in this crisis situation, and we have to admit it to ourselves so that we can react better tomorrow, HRTurizam adds.

Well done to HUT, but it is a pity that the system itself did not react much earlier, especially to the wave of diplomatic success in the context of Slovenia. Communication and proactivity are always, let alone in crisis situations, extremely important. And when looking at the example of the Netherlands, they are crucial.

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Wednesday, 22 July 2020

1.5 Mn Tourist Arrivals, 11 Mn Nights in First 20 Days of July

ZAGREB, July 22, 2020 - In the first 20 days of July Croatia recorded over 1.5 million tourist arrivals and over 11 million nights, which was half the arrivals and nights this year so far, the Croatian Tourism Association (HUT) said on Wednesday.

This year Croatia has logged over 3.2 million arrivals and over 18 million nights.

HUT says in its "Croatia Tourism & Travel Weekly" newsletter that last week saw nearly five million nights, with over 630,000 per day recorded over the past four days.

The Croatian coast has the best epidemiological situation this month, as evidenced by the rise in the number of tourists along the whole coast, including Dalmatia, according to the newsletter.

Of the coastal counties, Zadar is recording the best results, having reached 62% (200,000) of last July's arrivals and 67% of nights (2 million).

The most numerous foreigners come from Germany, followed by Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Austria and Poland.

Open at the moment are 802 hotels and 407 campsites.

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