Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Split-Dalmatia County Bookings Excellent for Height of Season

June the 1st, 2022 - We're on the very first day of June and the height of the Croatian summer tourist season is just around the corner. Split-Dalmatia County bookings are looking beyond excellent so far, with huge expectations for the summer.

As Morski writes, all tourism indicators at this moment in time show that from the beginning of the year to the end of May, we're managing to reach around 80 percent of the traffic, in terms of overnight stays, that we enjoyed back during the record, pre-pandemic year of 2019.

''If we look at 2021, we've got three times more nights than we had last year. There are absolutely excellent bookings for the peak season,'' said Josko Stella, the director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board for HTV recently.

Up north in beautiful Istria, the pre-season is traditionally good, Denis Ivosevic, director of the Tourist Board of Istria County, emphasised that even in the winter months, good work was done. Looking at the beginning of the year until yesterday, Istria realised an impressive 2.8 million overnight stays, which is 5 percent better when compared to the same period back in 2019.

When asked how much the reservations were influenced in some foreign media with reports that large numbers of jellyfish had invaded the waters around Istria, Ivosevic said that every now and then, information of the sort appears that tries to discredit the entire Adriatic coast. He says that they contacted experts from the approproate faculty who refuted the thesis that the entire Adriatic, especially the northern part of it, is full of jellyfish. He pointed out that this was something that had bothered the fishermen a little back during the winter, and someone misunderstood it and published that information falsely, but the reports have since been proven wrong and therefore we can believe that there will be a lot of Czechs and Slovaks visiting this summer.

As for guests heading much further south, Split-Dalmatia County bookings are currently accounted for in around 10 percent of domestic guests, and the ongoing increase in prices will affect these figures as we move forward, if the inflation wave doesn't stop.

When asked how much the war in Ukraine affected the clientele in Istria, Ivosevic said that tourism is a heterogeneous activity that changes from year to year.

''What we had in the previous couple of years definitely had an even more significant impact. Some new trends and criteria for choosing a destination to go to have changed. We, as the northernmost region, did very well during that pandemic-dominated period,'' he said. According to Ivosevic, it's now up to all tourism workers and stakeholders to follow all the trends unfolding across the world and being ready and prepared for new trends to which they'll need to adapt as quickly as possible.

''It's obvious that we're adapting very well because the situation is very good and promising,'' he added.

Josko Stella said that although Split-Dalmatia County bookings are promising, they've still got a master plan for further tourism development, and their main goal is sustainable tourism with the help of the local population. They have already taken some actions on that front.

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

Monday, 30 May 2022

Split-Dalmatia County Overnights at 80% of 2019, High Demand at Split Airport

May 30, 2022 - Split-Dalmatia County overnights and Split Airport flight traffic have hit 80% of the record 2019!

"We are only at the end of May and in the middle of an extended weekend. Nevertheless, all tourist indicators tell us that from the beginning of the year to the end of May, we are at around 80% of traffic in terms of overnight stays compared to 2019," said Joško Stella, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board for HRT.

"If we looked at 2021, we have three times more overnights than last year. So we have excellent bookings for the peak season," he pointed out.

As for guests, domestic tourists make up about 10% in Split-Dalmatia County, and the increase in prices will affect this.

"We hope that prices will not rise too much," Stella said.

Stella added that they had made a master plan for tourism development, and their main goal is sustainable tourism with the help of the local population. They have already taken some actions, and they know how much they can burden local tourism during July and August.

Stella concluded that he expects to get very close to the 2019 results, but it is more critical for them to take care of tourism sustainability.

The head of the Passenger Reception and Dispatch Service of Split Airport, Mate Melvan, was a guest on Dnevnik N1 on Sunday. 

He pointed out that they are delighted with the traffic this extended weekend, after which there are about 140 aircraft and approximately 34,000 passengers.

"Compared to previous years, we are now at about 80 percent compared to 2019, and the goal is to reach 2019. However, compared to last year, we are significantly in the black; it is best to forget," Mate Melvan told N1.

Commenting on the impact of inflation and the war in Ukraine on price growth, he added: “Airlines are under pressure due to the crisis, but it is not affecting high demand so far, and we are looking forward to it. Figures show that we could reach the 2019 figures in July and August. 45 to 50 airlines have announced flights. It turns out that the demand for Split is growing."

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

Saturday, 30 April 2022

Great Demand for Inland Dalmatia Tourism, Says Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board

April 30, 2022 - Inland Dalmatia tourism is a hit, says Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board director Joško Stella. 

Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board director, Joško Stella, is running for a new term at the helm of the tourist board. After presenting the Tourism 3.0 project, Dalmatinski Portal spoke to Stella about the results of his work, expectations from this season, and trends in tourism. 

Which parts of Split-Dalmatia County have made the biggest step since you became the head of the Tourist Board?

"Split Riviera and Makarska Riviera make the largest traffic as clusters in Split-Dalmatia County, and we also know that the city of Split has made a big step forward in tourism in the last five years. As for Inland Dalmatia, I would especially like to point out the area of Imotski where a large number of villas with swimming pools were built."

Many villas with swimming pools have been built in Inland Dalmatia in recent years. But is the demand still growing?

"There is a great demand for Inland Dalmatia and villas with swimming pools located in the hinterland, coast, and islands."

Did the pandemic affect the number of apartments in Split?

"The number of apartments in Split has decreased."

The world is changing fast, and so is tourism. What is the current trend that the general public may not be aware of?

"The current trend in the world is a return to nature, outdoor activities, exercise, walking, cycling, and general recreational sports. However, I would add that the growing trend is healthy food and quality nutrition where our Mediterranean cuisine has a great chance to grow as a brand."

The tourist board has been pushing cycling tourism in the county. What are the results?

"We have been systematically developing cycling tourism in the county since 2013. The result is over 3000 km of trails, over 200 'bed and bike' apartments, 50 bike hotels, and ten bike camps. In addition, the result is an increasing number of smaller and larger bicycle races and a growing number of organized groups of cyclists coming to our county."

Will this season break the 2019 record?

"From the beginning of the year to April 27, we have 2.8 times more overnight stays than last year, and if we compare with the same period in 2019, we are at 88 percent of overnight stays from pre-pandemic, record, 2019. So we are certainly expecting a better year than 2021, and we are expecting figures close to 2019, Of course, unless there are some unforeseen circumstances."

The City of Vienna recently launched a €2 million financial incentive program for film and television productions called 'Vienna Film Incentive.' The program should contribute to the growth of the economy and tourism and increase the attractiveness of Vienna as a tourist destination, and is expected to last until the end of 2023. The filming of Game of Thrones has contributed to popularizing Dalmatia. What can be done institutionally to make this industry more regularly choose our area?

"Split-Dalmatia County and the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board are actively working to establish a film office that would promote film tourism and locations in the destination for future filming. Back in 2015, we released a map of locations for Game of Thrones in several languages ​​and presented it at the Barcelona fair, where we co-financed a copy of the original throne from the film. In the following years, we actively brought in journalists related to the filming of Mama Mia and Game of Thrones."

The season is already visible and is slightly longer, lasting more than two months. So what else can be done?

"7-8 years ago, it started at the end of April, and now at the end of March. The flights ended in early October and now end later that month. With the development of particular forms of tourism such as enogastronomy, cultural and active tourism, we are already extending the tourist season. It is a process that has been going on for years, but progress is already visible."

The arrival of guests is related to the number of flights and the price. What can be done to increase the number of flights and make them more affordable?

"In 2022, in cooperation with the CNTB and the Split Tourist Board, we co-financed eight airlines. We agree with Croatia Airlines for additional routes in the winter flight schedule and are negotiating additional routes and flights."

The tourist board does a lot of education throughout the county. What are the reactions?

"In 2022 alone, we already had 15 trainings for private renters and four trainings for agencies where I would like to point out that we brought Rob Holmes from the USA and Victoria Smith from the UK. There are currently five trainings for EU funds in tourism. Attendance at most trainings is excellent. I would also like to point out that we have co-financed nine trainings for our local tourist boards.

Since 2012, we have been the first in Croatia with organized free trainings for private renters, and we are known to have the most free trainings of all county tourist boards in Croatia. The result of all this is that over 8,000 people and over a thousand more from the entire sector went directly through our trainings for private renters, thus raising the level of knowledge and competitiveness of tourism in our county."

What else makes the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board stand out?

"We, as the County Tourist Board, are leaders in the field of education and cooperation with private landlords (education, conferences, web pages, co-financing the Apartment Plus magazine, and cooperating with Landlord Counseling). In addition, we have exceptional cooperation with agencies in our area (DMK competition, cooperation with UHPA / education). We also highlight projects: 1. Marketing through social networks (Facebook and YouTube), 2. Development of cycling tourism (trail design, promotional materials, fairs, and races), 3. Development of themed hiking trails (the only tourist base in Croatia if not in Europe that has Google StreetView for all themed trails, special website, and printed materials), 4. Sustainable development and strategic planning, The only tourist board with a Capacity Study, 5. The first tourist board in Croatia to implement the Economic effects of tourism, 6. Cooperation with local tourist boards (joint advertising, special calls for tenders, co-financing trainings, and arranging destinations)."

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

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

DalmatiaNFT: Split-Dalmatia County Officially Steps into Metaverse

April 20, 2022 - The Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board has launched the Tourism 3.0 project, integrating the tourism sector into the Metaverse with DalmatiaNFT.

The Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board will hold a ceremonial presentation on the project Tourism 3.0 - a revolution in applying augmented reality technologies in presenting the tourist offer of the destination. The presentation is scheduled for April 21, 2022, at 10:00 am at the President Hotel in Solin, and at the event itself, guests will step into new ways of social interactions of the future.

In a world that is constantly evolving and changing for all individuals and structures of society, there are changes in the preferences and interests of tourists. Knowledge and innovation are becoming a key source of sustainable competitive advantage. It is essential to keep up with technology and use all the power of today's communication channels.


Only dynamic organizations which can assess the needs of their stakeholders and respond effectively to those needs will be able to outperform their competitors and maintain their long-term prosperity.

For this reason, the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board has launched the Tourism 3.0 project, whose name symbolically represents the integration of the tourism sector into the third phase of technology evolution and the virtual Metaverse world.

This project outcome will be achieved by implementing a hyper-relevant system for the distribution of NFTs (Non-fungible Tokens) in the tourist offer of Central Dalmatia within the concept of a virtual world called Metaverse.

Virtual reality is part of a new reality in tourism - an embodied internet in which you are the creators of experiences, not just observers.

As one of the answers to the crisis, digitalization in tourism means introducing new technologies such as virtual reality (VR). Virtual reality will be necessary as a promoter and in the preparation of travel, the conservation of resources, and the protection of cultural and natural assets.

"We recognize the portrait of the future traveler who seeks safety and untouchable access and feels a responsibility to destinations. However, we are all aware that a huge effort is still ahead of us, that tourism relies on trust and a reliable relationship between people. Therefore, we strive for a new tourism vision, responsible, transformative and sustainable, fully dedicated to our new tourists. Tourism 3.0 and the DalmatiaNFT system build a relationship between tourists and hosts at the destination based on the inclusion of guests and the creation of tourist facilities," said director Joško Stella.


"The project will be implemented through 4 phases. In the project's first phase, a media conference will be organized to acquaint the public with the project and demonstrate its capacity and scope. After that, we will launch a prize NFT fund, including all destinations and attractions in the county; we will also organize workshops for local tourist boards and tourism staff. Expanding the scope of the system is an imperative of the project. With this project, Split-Dalmatia County could, in a very short time, position itself as a leader in technological innovations in tourism, educating new experts, innovative interpretation of cultural heritage, and augmented reality technologies that allow guests a more intense experience of tangible and intangible heritage.

Our identity is becoming more and more online every day. So it was logical to think about how these trends are introduced into tourism, how tourists move into this digital identity, how we create a space around us that we take with us in this Metaverse," Joško Stella added.

In recent months, large technology companies have been buzzing about the possibilities that Metaverse and NFT technology can provide.

Everyone is talking about the Metaverse, there are many theories, and one thing everyone agrees on is that the Metaverse is coming and will revolutionize the internet.

Facebook founder Zuckerberg claims that this technology will rule the world in five years. Although we will use 2D applications in this world as they now dominate the market, significant efforts will be focused on developing ideas of augmented and virtual reality - everything from digital entertainment to virtual travel.

"With this project, we will show what is possible with this technology in tourism. NFTs are laying the groundwork for a real, verifiable, virtual world," Stella added.

Sustainable interest has shown that NFTs are not a phase or a whim. Just as crypto and blockchain are becoming the core technology shaping the unwritten future, so are NFTs. Users can use NFTs for art, travel, clothing, and even attend live events with friends online.

For more on travel to Croatia, check out our dedicated travel section.


Friday, 20 August 2021

Joško Stella: Split-Dalmatia County in August Only 11% Worse than Record 2019

August 20, 2021 - Split-Dalmatia County in August this year achieved 89% of 2019's record tourist traffic. But that's not all. 

In August, the heart of the tourist season, Split-Dalmatia County is pleased to host an increasing number of tourists who will spend warm summer holidays by the sea, in the green heart of Inland Dalmatia, or on our islands.

In the first half of August, 89% of tourist traffic was recorded compared to 2019. There are as many as 88% more nautical guests compared to the same period last year. Almost all destinations in the County have reached or surpassed last year's figures, which means that we are well organized, and the realization of such a great season in excellent business conditions is the result of excellent cooperation between the private and public sectors in preparation, organization, and implementation of this tourist year. On this occasion, Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board director Joško Stella revealed his impressions. 

What are the tourist results in Split-Dalmatia County?

The first half of August in Split-Dalmatia County is only 11% worse than the record 2019. On August 10, we reached the tourist figures corresponding to the total tourist traffic realized during 2020. With each new day, we are one step closer to the record year 2019, and it is necessary to remain organized and disciplined and adhere to the prescribed epidemiological measures.

In the first 15 days of August, there were 418 thousand arrivals and 2.7 million overnight stays. Since the beginning of 2021, there have been 1,459,233 arrivals and 8,565,826 overnight stays, 55% more arrivals last year, and 47% more overnight stays than last year.

Which markets record the largest number of arrivals?

Observing the share of guests according to the countries they come from in 2021, we record excellent results from the Polish, German, Czech, Hungarian, Slovak, and French markets.

The French market is up 265%, Slovaks up 200%, Hungarians 180%, and Germans by 110%. Thus, on August 12, we reached the tourist figures corresponding to the total tourist traffic realized during 2020.

How much did this year's tourism results surprise tourism workers?

This year's uncertain and extremely stressful season for Split-Dalmatia County tourist workers, with a significant increase in tourist traffic in July and reservations and excellent announcements of guests in August, instills new optimism and hope that significant arrivals and overnight stays will mark the tourist months ahead and especially postseason. The number of guests visiting us has been growing steadily since mid-June, to be visited in July by 710,000 tourists who made 4.3 million commercial overnight stays, an increase of 62 percent in arrivals and 48 percent in overnight stays compared to the same month last year. 

The current guests from Central Dalmatia left satisfied. That they passed on their impressions to others is confirmed by the growing number of airlines from Europe to Split, which means that airlines are following the growing interest of guests to come to our county.

How much has the favorable epidemiological situation affected our target markets?

Due to the favorable epidemiological situation, for which everyone in the tourism sector has been carefully preparing, Croatia is classified as a risk-free area according to the new rules introduced by Germany on August 1 for its citizens returning from other countries. Following the circumstances dictated by epidemiological measures, our hosts in tourist places have made an effort to organize and offer guests some new outdoor facilities that will not jeopardize their safe stay and will give them a pleasurable and experience-filled vacation.

How did Split-Dalmatia County prepare to receive such a large number of guests in complex circumstances?

In August, as the most generous tourist month in the business year, Central Dalmatia is ready to welcome its long-awaited guests and tourist companies, hosts in family accommodation, marinas, and camps, following strict epidemiological measures and safety standards. Like the whole of Croatia, which is currently the safest EU member in the Mediterranean due to the epidemiological situation, Split-Dalmatia County hosts world-famous people every day, who send the best marketing message of our tourism to the world.

In special circumstances, we communicate information about our safety and readiness for tourism to foreign partners, CNTB offices, and foreign media, which are our frequent guests. Despite the complex circumstances, tourism staff is ready to respond to all job requirements to ensure a safe stay to the satisfaction of all guests who arrive on holiday in our county.

We also have excellent results in July. Which markets achieved the largest number of arrivals and overnight stays?

According to data from the eVisitor system in Split-Dalmatia County, 710,671 guests stayed in commercial accommodation in July, 62 percent more arrivals than in July last year. They realized 4,318,121 overnight stays, an increase of 48 percent. In July, the largest number of arrivals and overnight stays from foreign markets were made by Poles (119,839 arrivals and 913,073 overnight stays). Tourists from the Czech Republic recorded 74,972 arrivals and 554,399 overnight stays, Germans 69,804 arrivals and 447,828 overnight stays, and tourists from Slovenia 42,209 arrivals 328,234 overnight stays.

In the first seven months of this year, there were 1,033,065 guests in commercial accommodation in Split-Dalmatia County, which grew 70 percent compared to the same period last year. In addition, 5,843,606 overnight stays were realized, which is an increase of 58 percent, compared to the first seven months of last year.

As much as 40% of all nautical nights were realized in Split-Dalmatia County. So what are the expectations for August and the post-season?

In July, boaters mostly visited the waters of Split-Dalmatia County. Thus, in July in Central Dalmatia, 41,202 boaters realized 257,492 overnight stays, almost 40 percent of all nautical overnight stays in Croatia.

In the first half of August, there were 19,212 arrivals and 152,467 overnight stays, 88% more arrivals, and 131% overnight stays. Since the beginning of the year, there have been 99,720 arrivals and 650,000 overnight stays, an increase of 155% in arrivals and 146% in overnight stays. We expect an equally good second part of August and a good post-season.

We are extremely proud that we have successfully realized a virtual display of sea routes in cooperation with colleagues from the county. Google Maps have the most users in the world, they number in the hundreds of millions, so it is imperative to be well-represented on them. These are the maps on which most navigation devices are based today. The vast majority of our guests use these maps when arriving at the destination. By bringing a virtual display of sea routes to almost every place in our county, guests can tour our entire coast before their arrival virtually. This service is a novelty globally and will make it much easier for boaters to find the desired destination. And when they actually arrive at the location, they will feel like they have already been there. So far, over 14 million views have been recorded. Also, this project has a significant social and communal purpose, achieving more transparent, accountable, and efficient management of maritime assets.

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

Saturday, 24 July 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 19 July 2021

Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board Director: Either Ban Everything or Respect Measures

July 19, 2021 - Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board director Joško Stella wants to make sure we save the season in Dalmatia, even if tougher measures need to be taken. 

The situation in Split-Dalmatia County is especially worrying, as Saturday counted more cases than Friday, atypical for the weekend. Namely, there were 51 new cases in the County on Saturday, which makes up half of the cases in Croatia on Saturday.

If the county turns red, Joško Stella, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, says one thing is simple - either ban everything or respect the measures, reports Dalmacija Danas.

We are in the midst of the tourist season. The first 17 days of July recorded better results than the first six months. The County recorded 1,942,000 overnight stays which is 54% more than last year, and at the 2019 level, it is 65%.

Those are great results. If there is an increase in the number of cases, he says, the plan is to activate the Headquarters and see how to resolve the situation. Both national and local must be involved, Stella pointed out.

"It’s summer, there are a lot of events on the coast. Should everything be banned, the answer is that the matter is simple - either everything should be banned or measures need to be taken. We also have experience with the Olympic qualifiers, where the measures were taken well and there were no infected people and we have other situations where the measures were not followed and there was an infection.

The most important thing is that everything is controlled and that people are responsible. I call on everyone to take personal responsibility because we will maintain our spot in the orange as long as possible and try to go back to the green," he added.

The Headquarters is the one who decides on the measures and is not easy for everyone to be satisfied. Someone will profit more, someone less, but we are going to try to extend the season as much as possible, he concluded.

Just to give insight into how well the season is going so far, last weekend, the Split Ferry Port counted 50,000 passengers and 12,500 cars. 

"Considering all the circumstances surrounding the current epidemiological situation, we must be satisfied because our turnover is 68 percent compared to 2019.

We don't like color changes, from green to orange, and maybe to red. We hope that the situation will return to normal if everyone adheres to epidemiological measures. Certainly, we are recording positive growth in traffic in the port of Split, so let it stay that way," said Jelena Ivulić from Jadrolinija. 

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

Saturday, 27 February 2021

Split-Dalmatia County Joins the 'Safe Stay in Croatia' Project

February 27, 2021 - Tourist Board Director Joško Stella confirms that Split-Dalmatia County joins the 'Safe Stay in Croatia' project. 

"The Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board supports and is involved in the 'Safe Stay in Croatia' project of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Croatian Tourist Board. It is in the interest of the entire tourism sector and all stakeholders in tourism in Split-Dalmatia County to respect high epidemiological standards, as in the previous tourist season, and thus acquire the Safe Stay in Croatia label. In this way, we will regain and justify the trust of travelers and guests in their safe stay, which is crucial in tourism in 2021," says Joško Stella, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, inviting all interested in joining the action and ensuring a safe stay in Croatia for their guests.

As is well known, the 'Safe Stay in Croatia' label comes with prescribed protocols that ensure that the national label is awarded to tourism stakeholders who are willing to comply with high standards of epidemiological safety in their business premises and facilities.

The Safe Stay in Croatia label is awarded free of charge to stakeholders from the Croatian tourism sector who can register via the website

The Croatian National Tourist Board announced the application procedure for receiving the Safe stay in Croatia safety label:

On the home page, click the "Login" button.
- A form will open in which it is necessary to fill in all the offered fields for the application to be valid

- From the drop-down menu, select the category and subcategory of business, and in the column entitled "Name of the service provider," enter the name of the entity / legal entity
• Then, in the column entitled "Name of the object of application," enter the name under which the subject wants to be displayed in the search engine, or the name by which the subject is recognizable to the public (name of the hotel, restaurant, camp, attractions, etc.)
- After completing the above, and before selecting the button entitled "Submit your application," it is mandatory to confirm consent to monitor the implementation of all protocols and that the entity is familiar with all elements of privacy
- If the subject has filled in all the fields correctly, a thank you message will be displayed on the screen. After that, the Safe Stay in Croatia team will review the application and inform the user about the application's success via the registered e-mail and will include them in the list of label holders. The name of the facility/service provider will be visible on the website.

For all other details and inquiries, the e-mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. has been created.

The Safe Stay in Croatia has been designed in addition to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) label Safe Travels, which should help the perception of Croatia as a safe and desirable destination. This label guarantees a high level of health safety for all guests. It can be obtained by everyone in the chain of service activities from gas stations to airports and ferries and hotels, marinas, private apartments, museums, galleries, and more.

"That is why we invite all those interested in obtaining such a label to contact us via the website You can search everyone who holds the Safe Stay in Croatia label, but also find information on health and safety protocols in seven basic categories, and find information on how to act in case COVID-19 is suspected," concludes Joško Stella to tourist and service employees of Split-Dalmatia County.

You can read more about the Stay Safe in Croatia label HERE.

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Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Split-Dalmatia County Tourism Numbers: County Tourist Board Director Reflects on 2020

January 12, 2021 - A look at the Split-Dalmatia County tourism numbers in 2020 as revealed by County Tourist Board Director Josko Stella.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that in Split-Dalmatia County last year, 1.2 million tourists stayed in commercial accommodation and realized more than eight million overnight stays. Thus, in 2020, Split-Dalmatia County recorded 34 percent of arrivals and 45 percent of overnight stays compared to the record 2019.

Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board Director Joško Stella estimates that after a significant decline in tourist arrivals and overnight stays in the first half of the year, marked by the COVID-19 pandemic which interrupted travel around the world, encouraging recovery was recorded in July and then continued growth in foreign guest arrivals in August.

“After the inclusion of Split-Dalmatia County on the red list at the end of August, there was a significant drop in the number of arrivals and overnight stays from the markets of Germany, Poland, Austria, Slovenia and Slovakia in September compared to September last year, which was extended until the end of the year, especially after the introduction of lockdown throughout Croatia which made it impossible to hold Advent events, while facilities were closed and hotel NYE events canceled,” says Stella.

Thus, despite numerous difficulties in commercial accommodation in 2020 in the area of Split-Dalmatia County, 1,238,260 tourists realized 8,073,385 overnight stays, so in the whole of 2020, there were 34 percent of arrivals and 45 percent of overnight stays compared to the record year 2019.

Most foreign guests came from Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia, and the largest number of overnight stays was realized in Split, Makarska, and Omis, and Baška Voda.

Stella adds that the data on tourist traffic in the county's commercial accommodation should also include those from nautical tourism in which 82,179 arrived in Split-Dalmatia County in 2020, who recorded 567,465 overnight stays, thus achieving 36 percent of the traffic from 2019. Most arrived from Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia.

In 2020, Split Airport recorded 20.4 percent of passengers compared to the record 2019, i.e., 674.3 thousand passengers. Split Airport should return to traffic from 2019 in 2024.

In March last year, almost all European airports were closed, including Split, where regular international traffic continued only on May 29 and gradually grew until August 20. At that time, Croatia was painted red on the epidemiological maps of Europe, so the arrival of passengers stopped due to the suspension of flights.

Therefore, in 2020, Split Airport had only 40 percent of flights compared to 2019, with an average aircraft occupancy of 50 to 60 percent. 

Given that rapid implementation of vaccination is expected worldwide in 2021, the airport and the County Tourist Board expect that a return to the 2019 results could be achieved in 2024.

They also believe that accepting the aviation industry's proposal to apply a single antigen test to all departing passengers at airports with fast test results, which would avoid quarantine in incoming countries, would be a significant incentive for passengers to use air transport and speed up their return to 2019 results.

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Saturday, 29 August 2020

Josko Stella on Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Season: It's Not Over Yet

August 29, 2020 - Split-Dalmatia County has recorded excellent tourist results so far this season - and far more than expected. However, the latest increase in coronavirus cases and Croatia's inclusion on the red list of some countries, some extremely important markets, is a cause for concern. Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board director Josko Stella believes that, despite everything, the situation can still be improved.

We still have time; the tourist season is not over yet.

"The situation is not good, it is very difficult now, but we still have time to fix it. It is a great pity because this end of August started very well and was better than we expected, but now it all depends on the period ahead, whether we will curb this situation and reduce the number of new infections. We need to take the situation seriously, discipline ourselves, listen to the Headquarters' recommendations, avoid gatherings and physical contacts," says Stella for

Austria, Slovenia, and Italy put Croatia on the red list, and Germany placed Split-Dalmatia County on theirs. August is currently at 68% compared to last year. The most numerous guests in central Dalmatia are Poles, Germans, Croats, and Czechs, so putting Split-Dalmatia County on the red list in Germany could be the strongest blow so far. And after a dry May in which there was no tourism anywhere and a timid June when about 20% of last year’s result was achieved, things went well. According to data from the eVisitor system, in Split-Dalmatia County, 433,820 guests stayed in commercial accommodation in July, 47 percent of the tourist traffic of last July.

They realized 2,898,993 overnight stays or 54 percent of tourist overnight stays realized in the same month in 2019. There were 22,511 arrivals and 160,649 overnight stays in July, representing 50 percent in arrivals and 49 percent in overnight stays compared to the same month last year. He was pleased with the fact that the same number of German guests stayed in Central Dalmatia in July as last year, who had the same number of overnight stays as last year, which is an exceptional success in this turbulent business year.

"In the first seven months, we realized 39% of overnight stays compared to 2019, but now our situation has become more complicated. After the dismissal from Great Britain, we will see what will happen to the Germans. Those blacklists are changeable, and I hope that we will be able to calm the situation and remove us from the lists. If this hadn't happened, we would have had a great September and October, bookings were great, but if it doesn't improve, I'm afraid of canceled reservations," says Stella.

The dismissals from Germany, however, have not yet begun. The County Tourist Board points out that tourist companies, hosts in family accommodation, marinas, and camps respect strict epidemiological measures and protection standards. The Croatian coast has so far proved to be the safest and most acceptable holiday destination in the Mediterranean this season. That this is the case is evidenced by the daily visits of world-famous people to Split-Dalmatia County and its attractive waters. This sent the best marketing message of our tourism to the world.

However, the deteriorating epidemiological situation has also raised concerns at Split Airport, which had 165 landings and take-offs of commercial aircraft on August's first weekend, carrying more than 30,000 passengers in both directions. Although this is a relatively large number, it was only 35 percent of passengers compared to the same weekend last year. In the first seven months of this year, Split airport, which is connected to 60 destinations worldwide, had a total turnover of 277,000 passengers, and in July alone, this airport had 171,815 passengers. The traffic of around 150,000 passengers was expected in August, which is now in question given the situation and the global pandemic.

In order to attract tourists to Central Dalmatia, the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board has proposed to the Civil Protection Headquarters to open a point where only tourists will be tested for coronavirus so that those who are obliged to take the test can do so faster and cheaper.

"We would finance part of the costs as the Tourist Board, hoteliers also expressed the will that they would also give a discount to guests who are being tested, and part of the guests would have to pay," says Stella. "In this way, we would meet guests' needs from countries looking for testing for COVID-19 on their return from Croatia. I fully support everything that is determined and implemented by the Headquarters. I call on the inspections and all other authorities to do everything they can so that we can put ourselves in order and save September," says Stella.

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