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 www.safestayincroatia.hr.

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 www.safestayincroatia.hr. 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 Lokalni.Vecernji.hrokalni.Vecernji.hr.

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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Thursday, 9 July 2020

First Week of July Sees Rapid Tourism Growth in Dalmatia

July 9, 2020 - In the first six months of 2020, 1.6 million tourists came to Croatia and achieved 7.6 million overnight stays - about 30% of last year's result for the same period. Most guests are in the northern Adriatic, and the least in Croatia's southern parts, or Dalmatia. However, things are starting to change. 

"In Split-Dalmatia County, the beginning of June was not promising, but now June is at around 20%, meaning 485,000 overnight stays. And if we look at the first six months - then we are at 19%, which would mean 785,000 overnight stays. In this situation, we are relatively satisfied with this data," said Josko Stella, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, for Studio 4 HTV. 

Dalmacija Danas reports that a reason for the unpopularity of Dalmatia for tourists this year, compared to, for example, Istria, is distance.

"Going to Dalmatia is a little different than going to Istria on a weekend or similar. The shorter the distance, the easier it is to get there," Stella said, adding that the situation has improved with the opening of more airlines at the Split Airport.

"Specifically, last weekend, we had 10,000 passengers, and the whole of June at the Split airport, there were 28,000 passengers. That tells you how big the jump is now," Stella said.

He added that more than 40 new direct airlines had been announced.

"Most importantly, we will have England, or Luton from London, a daily line, so we expect 200,000 passengers through July, which is not at the level of last year's 700,000 passengers, but it is a really big shift, because we expect even more passengers to come by land or car," Stella said.

That makes a big difference between this year’s first six months and the first five days of July.

"The first five days of July, we had 400,000 overnight stays. Compared to 785,000 overnight stays in the first six months. See what the difference is. That makes the figure for July 40%, so it can be seen that these few days are a significant jump in Dalmatia," said Stella.

There are problems with reservations and cancellations, because, as he says, European countries are urged not to travel, that is, to travel only within the borders of their countries.

"Until this situation is completely resolved, until Europe is united on this issue - there will always be problems with cancellations. But they are arriving and occupancy is rising," Stella said.

From July 17 to 19, he said, a group of 40 journalists and agents from Germany are coming to the Makarska Riviera.

"Also, we as the County Tourist Board, in cooperation with the Tourist Board of Sibenik-Knin, Zadar and the Croatian Tourist Board - are organizing the arrival of journalists by car from Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic - precisely so they can see how safe we are, how easy it is to get here, the condition of our tourism and how safe we actually are. That is why we are organizing this study trip for journalists and agents," Stella said, adding:

"All these actions are aimed at as many tourists as possible, but let's not forget: everything I say, this big plus, it can all change in one day. We must all be responsible: both tourists and hosts and citizens - and do everything to minimize the risk, to follow all instructions, to be careful, to keep our distance, masks and everything else that is needed."

Many believe that lower prices would attract more guests, but of course, some do not agree and are keeping higher prices.

"We as a tourist board do not go with these recommendations, because we believe that the market makes its own and it can be seen that the entire Mediterranean is moving in the direction of putting pressure on lower prices - of course, not in every type of accommodation and not in every destination," Stella said.

As an example, he mentioned the Makarska Riviera, where the prices of private accommodation are reduced by 20 to 30%, and everyone is more or less satisfied and capacity is filled with these prices. In contrast, some luxury accommodation is reduced minimally or not at all.

"But in general, yes, there is a reduction in prices throughout the Mediterranean," Stella told HTV.

He also said that all the big hotels that have been closed so far are slowly starting to open.

"Because they see that an increasing number of guests are coming and they see that they could still have more than we expected from this season. Of course, it’s far from those numbers, from the records that were in 2019 and the like," Stella concluded.

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Monday, 20 April 2020

Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board Director: The Real Hit is Yet to Come

April 20, 2020 - Josko Stella, the director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, was a guest of N1 television, where he spoke about how tourism is affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and whether prices would be reduced for domestic tourists on the coast this year.

Stella said that they've already been hit hard, but not so much considering it is still the preseason. "That real hit is yet to come," he reckons.

He points out that they expect that a bigger tourist influx could occur in August.

"Of course, there may or may not be a tourist season. Our Government and our Headquarters have made every effort to stop the spread of this virus. I ask everyone to stay home and stay on track and in this situation, our tourism will take precedence over others," said Stella.

"There is really a need to consult epidemiologists who need to define the rules of the game, or how the hoteliers and caterers will have to behave. We have 600 to 700 thousand beds in private accommodation, and almost 200 thousand of those in Split-Dalmatia County, which do not need too much preparation. I think we will be ready the moment things can open. It will be known long before and there will be time to prepare."

Asked about Croatia's advantage as an auto-destination, Stella replied: "It helps us because a lot of countries that are our traditional markets are auto-destinations, although I think airlines will work as well."

"To be clear to all, we now expect between 10 and 25 percent of the tourism we have had in recent years. Surely our tourism is structured primarily for foreign tourists, but it can also be adapted for domestic tourists. From the field, we have a situation that even peak season bookings are coming and there are no cancellations for the peak season. There is no change in prices, though everyone expects it to happen when things open," Stella told N1.

He thinks we must have a part of the season, no matter how small it is because of all the people in the tourism sector.

"It's clear to everyone that we want next season to be a lot better than this one," he points out.

"I think those in private accommodation will adjust the fastest, unlike caterers, hoteliers and others. The sooner we stick to the rules, the sooner this will end," Stella concluded.

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

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Local Politicians Talk Tourism and What Needs to Change in Split-Dalmatia County

The local politicians (county councilors) of Split-Dalmatia County have analyzed the past tourist season and discussed preparations for the season ahead. All in all, they are happy with the number of arrivals and overnight stays, but warn against the negative side of sudden tourist development, reports Dalmacija Danas on March 26, 2019. 

“In Dalmatia, we have a growth in tourism, increasing demand for local food, and people are leaving us from Zagora, Slavonia. Sinj is the center of Dalmatia, connecting it to the highway would be important, and therefore Split-Dalmatia County must insist on traffic verticals. We have to make sure that at our restaurants, ethnic cuisine is not ordered, but local cuisine. Fields have to be irrigated. We no longer have lambs; now we only have them in the elections. We have to encourage livestock farming and be cautious, as my colleague Bačić said. We import frozen lamb from Romania and New Zealand. Let's not fool around with the shepherds. The meadows are empty. Weeds are growing in the Sinj field. We will applaud it when it is resolved. It is good to grow tourism, but we produce very little. To produce only for tourism purposes, Zagora would be full of flocks and cultivated fields. We produce food, encourage shepherds and cattle. At that point, the cry will be heard in the birthplaces in Zagora, not at the bus stations,” said MOST’s Miro Bulj.

Danica Baričević from HDZ said that there are more and more flights in Dalmatia every year. 

“At the fair, the county presented the coast, the islands, and Zagora. They presented Dalmatian flavors, from cheese to prosciutto. We are the only county in the Republic of Croatia that recognizes all the efforts of private renters and co-finances it, especially in Zagora. It is my pleasure to return to the roots in this tourist story. The maritime department and tourism department is planning well, and we are doing projects like Hidden Habits which recognizes our natural heritage in Dugopolje, Split, Mosor and Kaštela. We need sustainable tourism. It is located in the tourist infrastructure, especially Zagora. More and more guests are returning from Western countries. In 2019, our Zagora became a place for pleasant and safe living. The analysis is excellent and the results are to be praised. We want this season to be even more successful.” 

SDP’s Damir Krstinić said that tourism is holding up the state, but there are also negatives.

“It's aggressive towards resources, especially nature. It burdens the infrastructure. Almost all our places along the coast and on the islands have an unresolved issue of fecal water. Tourism changes the structure of society; in particular, it means that somebody may be chasing you off of your "own" beach because you will not rent a lounger. Due to all this, the price of subsistence is very high and the students are begging to leave their apartments by June 1. Short-term rent is promoted which brings much less revenue. Tourism is a good servant, but it can become a bad master. We have to be careful not to lose control over tourism.”

Milija Baldić-Lukšić (MOST) emphasized that Kaštela celebrated 110 years of tourism.

“The first hotel in Kaštela, the Palace, is still fresh. It is photographed by tourists who send photos on their mobile phones. How to improve our county's offer and turn it into the best destination? I want the consumption of tourists in the county to be bigger than it is now. It is imperative that we use our own products, cultural and historical goods more. As for the number of tourist overnights - in Seget, the number is growing, in Solin this number is low. We have the offer, but it should be coupled with the preservation of the environment so that tourists can recognize us by ecology, sea, and gastronomy. It's not good that everything goes by figures, it should also be about quality. The number of apartments is increasing, and the prices are falling.”

Natalija Rajčić from the Pametno party spoke about the issue of waste generated during the season.

“Marketing is good, but there are no words about problems like semi-permeable septic tanks, etc. Let's take more account of what the guests are not content with.”

Mate Rebić (MOST) said that tourism is the strongest branch of the county. 

“I think tourism is the most important in economic terms. While it increases, there is an increasing pressure on space and the problem of sustainable tourism development comes to the fore and it is increasingly in the public's focus. Last year, the Institute of Tourism developed a Study of Capacity. Recall, there are several major constraints on tourism development. There is the problem of waste disposal, drainage, roads, parking places, and overburdening the electrical network. If we want the growth rates of tourism to be bigger, we will need to be serious about it. In parts of the county where there is a higher pressure of tourism, there is a greater degree of irritation on the local population.”

The director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, Joško Stella, said that the capacity study is significant because the county has received this analysis, whereas, for example, Dubrovnik or Barcelona do not have it. 

“It is not a goal to raise capacities so that we have no one to work. This is an analysis of the tourist season, not tourism. As far as measures are the same every year, the result is that the season is constantly extended. Flights are now operating until November. I am not saying that we have to have an entire tourist year, but that the season is sustainable. The beauties must be preserved for the generations to come.”

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Sunday, 28 October 2018

Split-Dalmatia County Director Joško Stella: "We Have Best Postseason in All of Croatia"

The Days of Croatian Tourism event was held this week in Hvar, as well as a session of the Government of the Republic of Croatia. On this occasion, Joško Stella, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, answered several questions about the region, reports Dalmacija Danas on October 28, 2018. 

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