Friday, 4 June 2021

Croatia Elected UNWTO Executive Council Member for 2021-2025

ZAGREB, 4 June 2021 - Croatia has been elected Member of the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) for 2021-2025 at a meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Europe, and Tourism and Sports Minister Nikola Brnjac said that confirmed Croatia's value as a destination and leader in tourism development.

The meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Europe was held this week in Athens, with Minister Brnjac attending, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports said on Friday, adding that the minister expressed pride that Croatia had been elected Member of the UNWTO Executive Council.

"Through the work in the UNWTO Executive Council we will continue to promote sustainable tourism development, protection and valorisation of cultural and natural heritage, digital transformation and, above all, greater added value of tourism for local communities," Brnjac said.

In Athens, the UNWTO Commission for Europe discussed topics important for the recovery and relaunch of tourism during and after the pandemic, with emphasis on sustainable development and the fact that tourism is important for the economic recovery of many countries.

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

Friday, 12 March 2021

Tourism Minister And Public Health Director Tell Tourist Board Directors Preparation Important For Season

ZAGREB, 12 March, 2021 - The tourism season requires good preparation by the sector and destinations, including setting up VOVID testing stations, inoculating workers in tourism and ensuring safety protocols at border crossings, Minister of Tourism Nikolina Brnjac said on Friday, meeting with directors of regional tourist boards.

During the video conference, which was also attended by the head of the Croatian Institute for Public Health, Krunoslav Capak, he spoke of the current situation with the pandemic and touched on so-called green passports which should represent a health document facilitating crossing borders.

He explained that the certificate would contain information on inoculation against, recovering from and being tested for COVID-19, which should ensure a balanced procedure in EU member states regarding conditions to cross borders.

Capak underscored that an agreement had been reached at the EU level on acceptable fast antigen tests, however most member states, including Croatia, still require a PCR test in order to cross the border.

He said that tourist boards would be issued with information on how to obtain a licence to conduct tests and on issuing credible certificates of testing, the ministry said in a press release.

The ministry underscored that it expects tourist boards to submit their proposals for testing stations for tourists in individual counties in coordination with regional public health institutes.

A list of testing stations will then be advertised on the www.safestayincroatia.hr web site.

Both Capak and Brnjac underlined the importance of inoculation in the tourism sector because workers in the sector generate a lot of contacts and are the first contact point with tourists.

"Inoculation in the tourism sector is an important message of additional safety and responsibility in that sector, which contributes to better positioning Croatia as a safe destination," underscored Brnjac.

"We hope that we will reach an agreement soon on how to facilitate travel for tourists," said Brnjac, referring to tourists from countries outside the EU.

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

Monday, 1 February 2021

Tourism Ministry Announces Campaign for 'Safe Stay in Croatia' Label

February 1, 2021 – The Ministry of Tourism and Sport will launch a campaign for the "Safe Stay in Croatia" label in mid-February, which will show tourists that Croatia applies health and safety protocols during the coronavirus pandemic.

After announcing that the Ministry was preparing a "Safe travel" label for the upcoming tourist season, Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac confirmed today that they would start the campaign in mid-February.

Tourism must show adaptability and responsibility

As Hina reports, apart from tourist entities for which this label is intended, airlines, gas stations, various tourist facilities, cultural and natural attractions will also use it. The protocols will be harmonized with the recommendations of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ). It will also include a sticker with a QR code that can be displayed in a visible place. As part of the promotion, a special website will also be launched.

The Ministry will assign and keep the labels free of charge and monitor their application with associations.

"In addition to the application of these protocols, important preconditions for achieving tourist results are a favorable epidemiological situation, a sufficient level of vaccination, and the perception of destination security. Croatia was recognized for that last year. We will continue to work on it in 2021. Due to the pandemic, the tourism sector will again have to show creativity, adaptability, responsibility, and cooperation," said the Minister.

Adherence to global standardized health protocols

Noting that the introduction of these labels is an important wheel in branding Croatia as a safe destination, the Minister expects that by Easter, it will contribute to the promotion, recalling that it is essential to continue to adhere to epidemiological recommendations and measures.

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Source: Pixabay

The labels are a national upgrade of last year's "Safe Travel" labels of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to make it easier to identify destinations and companies that adhere to global standardized health and hygiene protocols. The Croatian Ministry of Tourism and Sport immediately got involved. Harmonization of safety protocols for restaurants, hotels, family farms, holiday homes, beaches, marinas, boats, travel agencies, rent-a-car, tourist guides was one of the first tasks of the Council for the Repair and Development of Tourism.

Slow vaccine distribution not in favor of tourism trends

Minister Brnjac said that the vaccine is excellent news for tourism. Vaccination of tourism workers, for which about 70 percent of them are interested in Croatia, will play an important role in tourism promotion and results.

She says the slow distribution of vaccines and vaccinations, the new strain of the virus, and the growing number of infections in Europe and the world, are not in favor of tourism trends. It is necessary to open borders and overcome the psychological barrier of fear to travel again. It is encouraging that the EU insists on an agreement on the quantity and dynamics of vaccine delivery.

"We hope that in Croatia, as in other EU member states, a good initial vaccination rate will continue. Given the current situation with the vaccine at the EU level, Croatia's position is to insist on talks with pharmaceutical companies on the agreed quantity and dynamics of vaccine delivery," adds Brnjac.

Among other things, Croatia is in contact with representatives of other EU member states. At the moment, all EU member states want to speed up vaccination.

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Source: Pixabay

Regarding the introduction of measures for tourist arrivals and border crossings, the Minister recalls that EU leaders agreed to work on a standardized form of evidence of vaccination in compliance with EU data protection regulations. This certificate would, for the time being, be used exclusively for medical purposes.

"For crossing Croatia's border, a negative PCR test result not older than 48 hours should be presented, or PCR testing should be performed immediately upon arrival (at one's own expense), with the obligation of self-isolation until a negative result. If it is impossible to test, a self-isolation measure will last for ten days. Further measures will be subject to the course of the epidemiological situation in Croatia, but also specific markets," said the Minister.

Croatia recommended destination for 2021

In the current situation, the Minister considers it's good that the people from foreign markets are eager to travel. It's even better that Croatia is mentioned as a desirable destination, thanks to the proximity to many markets and good transport links, especially road.

"This year, we expect a distinct 'last-minute' demand and demand for safe, fast, and easily accessible destinations, as well as accommodation that provides additional security such as holiday homes, on boats, in camps, and staying outdoors in nature. There are expectations from domestic tourists, who can be a driver of tourism, as well as from the cooperation with the European Association of Travel Agencies and Tour Operators (ECTAA), according to which Croatia in 2021 has the status of a selected and recommended destination," says the Minister.

She believes that a favorable epidemiological situation will be maintained in Croatia with the adherence to the measures. The tourism sector is ready to prove its responsibility and provide a safe stay this year as well. Through cooperation, knowledge, and experience, Croatia will continue to position itself as a desirable destination for foreign and domestic tourists.

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Monday, 7 December 2020

Tourism Minister, National Hospitality Industry Association Chief Hold Talks

ZAGREB, Dec 7, 2020 - Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac and the chairman of the national hospitality industry association, Marin Medak on Monday held talks on the challenges facing that sector, the consequences of the pandemic, legal solutions, digitisation and other topics, the ministry said in a press release.

"Until now too, through dialogue we have arrived at a series of solutions with which we are trying to save jobs in the tourism sector and related activities and today's meeting was constructive," Minister Brnjac said briefly after the meeting.

She added that last week she had met with representatives in hospitality from various parts of Croatia including the president of the hospitality association from Istria and Kvarner islands, Vedran Jakominic who is also the vice president of the national association.

Medak assessed the talks as good with the remark that they spoke about the future and less about "stopgap measures" and the current situation which "is as it is."

"Apart from the problems that we could have in the future we immediately presented the minister with solutions to some of these problems, such as urgent digitisation in hospitality and that we should be included in preparing and adopting some documents like the future sustainable tourism strategy," he said.

Medak is convinced that together they will succeed in establishing a digital platform in hospitality that will integrate all hospitality providers and their needs - supplies, sales, legal solutions, institutions and other tools that will facilitate doing business and in communication.

The delegation informed the minister of the association's initiative for a model of categorising restaurants and other hospitality premises and to call it the "kravata" (cravat).

They consider it to be essential to define the strategy in the next few months and to adopt certain amendments to the law on providing hospitality services and to update those services that they can withstands crises situation in the 21st century.

Asked whether he believed that hospitality businesses would reopen after December 21 and before Christmas, Medak said that he doesn't believe that will be possible and that the lockdown could last until the end of January.

"The thing we are still trying to negotiate with the national response team is to allow anyone who wishes to, particularly cafes, to prepare coffee to go because at the moment they aren't allowed to do even that unlike stores, petrol stations and other outlets that have that option. We'll see if we manage to succeed in that," said Medak.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Gari Cappelli Assures 'Everything is Under Control' for Tourist Season

Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli was a guest on the HRT show 'Now the Government'. As expected, before the beginning of spring, there is a lot of talk about the upcoming tourist season, reports T.portal on March 20, 2019. 

Last week, reduced bookings for Croatia were announced, and those that panicked declared that the season would fail.

“Tourists reserve accommodation later, and we have to get used to it. There will be bookings in April and May. As for the preseason, we have about 13 percent more tourists and about 9 percent more overnight stays. Current predictions speak of a small minus in the peak season, but in the end, it should be at the level of last year's results,” says Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli, adding that new markets are opening up.

The US and China have double-digit growth in the number of tourists in Croatia. The British market began to grow, though it undoubtedly slowed down after Brexit announcements. Minuses can be seen in countries such as Spain, France or Portugal, which are essential destinations for British tourists. At the same time, the minister of tourism claims that the growth of British bookings in Croatia is 3 to 5 percent.

As for other traditional markets, everything is under control.

"Italy and Austria are somewhere in the middle, Slovenia has a slight growth, Germany was a bit in the minus, but we expect things to straighten out. Russia again has made a huge step forward, and has grown about 20 percent."

Easter this year falls on April 21, which is often an indicator of how the season will continue. Cappelli says a 10 percent increase is expected as many will enjoy Easter until May 1, which could be an “outstanding two weeks”. 

Some legal changes related to tourism have also been announced, and membership fees, sojourn tax and the system of tourist boards will be discussed. The counties will discuss the increase in the sojourn tax in the future, and the minister believes that they will have some significant breakthroughs. 

"We will determine the minimum and maximum sojourn tax in the rulebook, but the final decision will be made by the counties. We also want to set up the Croatian Tourist Board as a promotion agency, for example, like Italy, Austria or Portugal did a few years ago.”

In Dubrovnik, a sojourn tax for cruisers will be introduced by a new law. Similarly, it could happen in Zadar, Split, and other major cities. 

Cappelli added that private renters have flooded the market and account for 60% of the total accommodation capacities in Croatia.

“The problem is that more than 70 percent are apartments and rooms with three stars. We intended to equate quality. The market will regulate the surplus of apartments, and the loans offered are to give renters an opportunity to raise their quality. Already last season showed that there was a surplus and it is a warning that we should not continue to register new apartments and private facilities, but to upgrade them."

Investments in tourism in recent years grew by 40 percent. There are several large facilities, and there are significant investments in camping tourism. Croatia lacks large hotel chains and larger hotel capacities. We have ten percent less than what we should, Cappelli added.

"We will continue having this problem because the tourist season has been extended. We also have the first direct line between Philadelphia - Dubrovnik, three times a week. We have realized the possibility that objects can be opened a month to a month and a half earlier, and that some work until the New Year. We must send a message that we are no longer a seasonal destination.” 

Cappelli added that funds had been invested in additional medical teams on the coast.

“Next year, we should introduce a helicopter service, and build six new ships for transporting patients. There's a lot of work here, but a lot of progress has been made. They all understood that they must be in the service of tourism,” the minister concluded.

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

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Gari Cappelli: ''Croatia, full of life'' is heading for the history books, we need a new, more ''Croatian'' slogan!

''Croatia, full of life'' is soon to be chucked, in favour of a new, more ''Croatian'' slogan, says Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Ministry of Tourism Proposes Expanding Robinson Crusoe Tourism Offer

Perhaps a new way to extend the season?

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Minister of Tourism in Dubai: Connecting Croatia and UAE Benefits Croatian Economy

Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli is currently on an official visit to the United Arab Emirates.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Croatia Moves to Reform Tourism, Brand Country Instead of Region

Croatia is an ideal vacation destination for British tourists, but the promotion of the destination to this market has not been done in the most effective way.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Cappelli: Guests from Germany Recognize Friendship and Security with Croatia

On the last day of his official visit to Germany, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli met with Secretary of State in the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology, Franz Josef Pschierer.

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