Sunday, 12 July 2020

Cro Card Requested by 1675 Citizens So Far, Number of Discounts Growing

July 12, 2020 - 1,675 citizens have requested the Cro Card, and by July 10, 1,325 were issued. More are expected in the coming days, as the number of discount service providers is expected to increase, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

T.portal reports that Hrvatska poštanska banka (HPB) is taking care of previous requests and issuing the Cro Cards. They are the only ones actively involved out of the three banks that have signed the agreement so far (HPB, Agram banka and POBA), out of seven that applied to MINT's public call.

Other banks will join per their capabilities and business decisions, while employers, craftspeople, the self-employed, freelancers and farmers can join by paying up to HRK 2,500 on this card for their workers, but also to themselves, which is also tax-free for them.

Any natural person can request a card and use it everywhere, all year round.

Since the cards are not issued to companies but citizens, whether they submit the application in agreement with employers who have decided to pay this non-taxable part of the receipt, or independently, MINT cannot say. They state that 'almost all cards issued so far are paid by employers'.

They also state that most cards have been requested and issued in Zagreb so far, noting that citizens are free to open a bank account and request a Cro Card, which they can use throughout Croatia and throughout the year.

Payment with the Cro Card is possible in all catering facilities that provide food preparation and beverage services (restaurants, cafes, fast food, etc.), in all types of accommodation (hotels, camps, boarding houses, private renters, etc.) that accept payment via bank cards (pos devices), for charter services (boat rental) and payment of other services in Croatia through travel agencies (package arrangements, excursions, etc.), emphasizes MINT.

Unlike others, the Cro Card can provide discounts in catering and tourism, which are expected from service providers, whose number is slowly increasing. In the last day or two, the total number of service providers with discounts from 10 to 20 percent increased to eight.

While it started with one restaurant in Zadar, the seven additions are located mostly in the Dalmatia region. By July 12, they are two restaurants and a stone house for accommodation in Zadar and four hotels in Podstrana, Makarska, Dubrovnik and Vrana / Pakostane. A novelty is an offer in continental Croatia, a hotel in Orahovica.

Service providers do not have to sign any special contract for the Cro Card, nor apply to accept it. They decide for themselves how much discount they will give, and if they want, they can show their offer with discounts on the promotional website.

Expectations from the Cro Card for this year are not high due to the corona crisis.

"It started despite everything, we will highlight all service providers who sign up on the web so that users can see where they can achieve the best conditions for consumption, and we believe that there will be more of them, as well as more cards, in the coming days," concluded MINT. 

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

Monday, 11 May 2020

Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli: As of Today, Croatia Breathes Tourism

May 11, 2020 - Croatian Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli said that a message had been sent to the surrounding countries that Croatia began functioning in tourism again, regardless of all the existing measures.

"It is very clear  - you can come to a hotel, camp, private accommodation, you can eat in restaurants, inside and outside. You can rent a boat and go sailing; marinas are open. Croatia from today breathes tourism," said the minister as a guest on HRT's show Together for Health, as reported by

He added that this week is a trial, which will determine how everything works.

The HGK hoteliers' association predicts that larger hotel companies will open approximately one to two of the possible ten hotels, while the rest are waiting for a complete suspension of operations.

Agencies and hotels took reservations before the coronavirus pandemic - and the money that comes with them. That money was partly spent to prepare for the season and should now be returned. It is about 200-220 million euro.

Minister Cappelli says that we always like to compare ourselves with others, and cites the example of Germany, which rejected the voucher system. They said, "You have to return the money."

In Croatia, amendments to the Law on the Provision of Tourism Services enabled travel agencies to issue value vouchers instead of refunds to passengers for package deals, for 180 days.

"We practically reacted immediately after 15 days. On the one hand, we protected consumers, but also agencies, that in 180 days, they can agree. Now we are talking about vouchers for hoteliers," he said.

When asked who will guarantee this refund and what if the companies themselves will not be able to return it, he answered:

"We did not go to the stage of responsibility as a state and guarantee the return of these funds. These are agencies that have their share of insurance, so I hope that they are covered," the minister replied.

Speaking about the cancellation of reservations, the minister says that May is "completely lost", and for the most part, so is June.

"We calculate revenues between 25 and 30 percent. Last year, with the domestic market, we made somewhere around 20 billion euro. We did all the surveys, i.e., estimates. We did an estimate of 60-90 percent of losses. I think we could do somewhere between 25 and 30 percent. The first three months are not all lost, but a larger part is lost. Although it is only 5 percent of the turnover, it is somewhere around 480 million euro in the first three months. Somewhere around 2.25 billion euros in April, May and June. That part will be practically completely lost. We estimate that in the first six months we lost about 2.2 to 2.4 billion euro. The most important for us are July, August, and September, where 63 percent of the turnover is realized," the minister said.

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

Monday, 6 April 2020

Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli on What Awaits Croatia in 2020

April 6, 2020 - Croatian Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli talks about what awaits Croatian tourism in 2020. 

In the past few days, the eyes of hundreds of thousands of people in the country have been hooked on the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian Government in anticipation of financial assistance and relief that will make it easier for them to survive the (non) tourist business year.

Because, apart from the fact that, in Croatia, every fifth kuna comes from tourism spending, the country has about one hundred thousand employees in the sector, and another 108 thousand families engaged in family rentals. There are also some fifty thousand who earn their salaries in the hospitality industry, and who knows how many other services that are directly or indirectly related to the profits from tourism.

All of them are on the same side in the tourist supply and demand chain in Croatia. Because not only is the season a success for tourist workers, but every hairdresser is hoping for a good season, because if their clients do not make money, they will not get their hair done. The same goes for the butcher, the furniture dealer, the pedicurist, the friend who pays the mobile operator, the carpenters, the souvenir and car salespeople, and the colleague who works at the bank.

With this thinking in mind, and while preparing for another fruitful tourist year, which began well with bookings, the news of the coronavirus pandemic threatened tourism for the first time since the war.

There is still no answer to the uncertainty that hit us one month ago, and we can’t say what this year's tourist season holds - or if it will be held at all. 

Thus, Slobodna Dalmacija interviewed Croatian Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli to find out more.

The international travel market is completely dead. What information and estimates on the duration of the crisis do you receive from our representatives and partners abroad, how long could it last?

“We are in contact with our seventeen representative offices of the Croatian National Tourist Board all the time, and we receive reports daily. We are also involved in international tourism organizations, with several videoconferences. As the World Tourism Organization has announced, the expected decline globally is 30 percent.

We know how important tourism is for many national economies, and the coronavirus pandemic has directly impacted the tourism sector. Travels from China dropped sharply in January and February, expanding to the rest of the world in February and March. The tourism economy is now stalled in many countries around the world and is likely to remain so until at least the middle of this year.

Restrictive measures are in place, and even when tourism supply chains start functioning again, the recovery will take some time, given the interconnected effects of the economic and health crisis and the gradual lifting of travel restrictions. This will have great consequences for many national economies."

There is an ongoing cancellation of arrivals even for the main season or bookings postponed to 2021. Do you think that the Croatian Government's measures will enable the tourism sector to survive this business year?

“It is currently understood that bookings have stopped and bookings for the following period are canceled. We must also look at it from the point of view of safety and health protection, and not primarily through the loss of tourist traffic. At this point, long-term assessments are difficult to determine, given the unanticipated course of the coronavirus pandemic development.

The package of measures of the Croatian Government for the economy is worth tens of billions of kuna, and the measures apply to all departments that need intervention in this situation. A large part of the measures relates to the preservation of liquidity and the preservation of jobs.

We are aware of the fact that the tourism sector has been significantly affected by this pandemic and, therefore, we have hastened to devise and adopt measures that we believe will help overcome this challenging period. It is important to note that the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian Government will continue to take short, medium and long-term measures to minimize the effects and impact of the current situation on tourism and other economic segments."

What are the specific measures of the Croatian Government intended explicitly for tourism and how much will it help the sector?

“Measures include, among other things, securing loans for liquidity and working capital, introducing a moratorium on credit obligations, and establishing a new financial instrument, COVID-19 Loans, for working capital for small and medium-sized enterprises. The Ministry of Tourism introduced a deferral of payment of the tourist tax as part of the Government's measures, while the Ministry of Finance made it possible to defer the payment of a flat-rate income tax through amendments to the General Tax Law.

In addition, the payment of the concession fee on tourist land co-owned by the Republic of Croatia is postponed to mitigate the first financial impact on the tourism sector."

What is the overall financial burden on the sector through the most important measures?

“The relief from the tourist tax is estimated at HRK 164 million, while the exemption from paying the variable part of the concession fee will relieve the tourism sector by about HRK 15 million. Furthermore, within the measures of the Ministry of Labor and the Pension System, the duration of the “permanent season” measure is extended so that seasonal workers receiving off-season benefits do not lose their jobs.

To extend this measure, the state will provide HRK 11.5 million, and the measure includes about five thousand permanent seasonal workers in tourism and agriculture."

At this time of crisis, a public pandemic sometimes gives the impression that tourism is being marginalized over some other industries that are being touted as more important. Is that correct?

“Tourism is a sector that accounts for almost 20 percent of Croatia's GDP and, in addition, is a horizontal industry that provides revenue and jobs to a number of related industries. Therefore, together with other sectors in the Croatian Government, we will find the right balance of measures for all sectors affected by the current crisis, and tourism will certainly receive the deserved place and the help it needs to overcome the current state and the period that follows after the crisis."

Are you satisfied with the cooperation of professional tourism associations with the Ministry and how do you communicate during this crisis?

“In such crises, frequent interaction between the public and private sectors is needed to act promptly. I believe that the entire tourism sector supports the efforts made so far to overcome the economic and other challenges as effectively as possible.

We are continually receiving valuable suggestions for overcoming this situation by various professional associations active in the tourism sector, and we are constantly reviewing and trying to incorporate the legislative changes and economic measures of the Croatian Government, which will be adopted in several circles."

What would you say to family renters who have already mentioned in a survey that they lost about 50k in this year and fear the losses will be much higher?

“Household accommodation accounts for the largest share of the Croatian tourism accommodation offer and, therefore, private renters are essential stakeholders in our sector. I believe that a lot of them have lately lent themselves to invest in increasing quality and expanding their supply. With the turnover and revenues we have generated in recent years, such an investment has been logical and sustainable

However, in times of financial crises such as this one certainly is, the tourism sector is always one of the first to suffer, but experience has also shown that it is among the first to recover. Moreover, tourism is said to be the driver of economic development after the crisis. Therefore, we have abolished the payment of half the amount of the annual lump sum of tourist tax for basic beds and the whole amount of lump sum for extra beds to the persons providing catering services in households and on farms.

In addition, the Croatian Government will do everything possible to free the sector of all benefits, to provide a moratorium on loan repayments, etc., so that private accommodation will be that generator of growth after these troubles."

In the current situation, many think about the time after the pandemic, and the solution is seen in domestic tourism. How realistic is this in a position where half a million employees in the country are at minimum wage?

"Croatia, headed by the Civil Protection Headquarters, manages the emerging health situation well and, despite a further increase in the number of patients, the spread of the infection is under control, which means that we have prepared better than many European countries.

I believe that Croatia is still a safe country, and I believe that, after the health crisis and the gradual loosening of restrictions on work and movement, Croats will be able to spend at least part of their holidays at sea or in the continental part of our country.

As for their consumption, it is difficult to predict how much it will be. This will depend on the scale of the latest economic crisis we are currently in, and it is very difficult to estimate how long it will take."

Will the government encourage vouchers or otherwise promote domestic travel and the recovery of the sector after the pandemic?

“We have prepared projects such as the already widely known Croatian Tourist Card (CRO card) and the action "A Week Off is Worth It", which, unfortunately, was put to rest due to the coronavirus pandemic. All the necessary remodeling for both projects aimed at stimulating domestic tourist consumption has been completed, and I believe we will be able to use them to encourage domestic travel after the normal tourist flows are restored.

In addition, the amendments to the Law on the Provision of Tourism Services gave the Minister the power to regulate in the circumstances of special circumstances. Thus, this means terminating travel contracts in a package arrangement in such a way that tourist agencies may offer vouchers to be secured insurance policy, instead of refunding for unrealized travel."

Do you think that the position of Croatia and the fact that we are an easy-to-reach destination by car will be our trump card in the recovery of tourism?

“I still sincerely hope that we can make up at least part of the tourist season. If so, if the situation calms down, the rest of the tourist year will be marked by "last-minute" trips. In such a scenario, it will certainly help us to be close to our most significant markets. But in addition, our reputation and recognition that we have built in recent years will also help us, and it is primarily about hospitality, safety, quality and nature conservation."

The Croatian National Tourist Board system is financed almost exclusively by membership fees and tourist tax, which will not be paid in the next 3 + 3 months. Many tourist boards are already empty accounts. How will they be helped to survive without a basic income?

“Given the measures adopted by the Croatian Government to assist the economy, which partly relate to the delays in paying tourist membership fees and tourist fees, we have taken certain steps and arrangements with the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development regarding securing funds for the liquidity of the tourist boards system.

HBOR will enable the monitoring of legal entities under the program Sustainable Current Assets through commercial banks. In preparing the new measures, HBOR will take care of the tourist boards and include them in the eligible legal entities for financing under the Risk Sharing Model together with commercial banks, as well as for potential direct funding."

The responsibility to lend to the tourist boards will lie with the presidents of the tourist boards, i.e., the prefects, mayors, counties?

“Amendments to the Law on Tourist Boards and Promotion of Croatian Tourism, adopted at a cabinet session Thursday, enabled higher financial borrowing by tourist boards in times of special circumstances, and Tourist Board presidents will decide on the amount they need to borrow to maintain work.

Amendments to the same Act also gave the Minister the power to determine by an ordinance an amount that could be used for the salary costs of employees in the tourist board, which had hitherto been limited to 40 percent of income."

If you were a casual tourist worker currently without traffic and income, what would you say to Minister Cappelli at this point, what is the most important thing to do?

“The most important thing is to ensure the retention of jobs and the liquidity of companies and trades in the tourism sector so that they can resume work as soon as possible after the crisis. In addition, it takes a lot of patience, concern for the health of everyone in the sector, and the conviction that we will emerge even stronger from this situation, with new experiences to overcome difficulties."

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

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Croatian Tourism Ministry and Tourism Representatives Meet to Discuss Coronavirus Impact

March 4, 2020 - At the Croatian Tourism Ministry, Minister Gari Cappelli and his associates received representatives of the tourism sector (representatives of hoteliers, travel agencies, small family hotels, Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts and Tourism) to coordinate and transmit the most important information related to coronavirus and its impact on the tourism sector in Croatia.

HRTurizam reports that sector representatives reported on the situation in their fields of activity, while the Ministry of Tourism provided relevant information on procedures within its scope and at the level of state institutions.

At the meeting, it was emphasized that the situation in the tourism sector, with precautions taken and the current stagnation, which in these situations is normal and worrying, is optimistic and there is a high level of confidence on both sides. Equally, it was emphasized that the work of the Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters in Europe was praised as an example of good organization and action and will be taken over by other countries.

Also, it was concluded that in this situation, the most important is the coordinated action of the public and private sector in order to transfer information in a timely and accurate manner, the Croatian Tourism Ministry points out.

“The Government of the Republic of Croatia is aware of the importance of the tourism sector for the overall economy, which is why it is important for the Ministry of Tourism to receive information from the private tourism sector in accordance with which we will be able to take appropriate measures at the Government level and find solutions for possible assistance measures. We are keeping the coronavirus situation under control, and we are pleased to hear that the entire tourism sector is supporting the efforts made so far to overcome current challenges as effectively as possible,” said Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli.

The meeting also emphasized the application of sanitary standards in hotels and other catering establishments, which are generally important to adhere to, especially in situations where the spread of infectious diseases is possible.

Otherwise, the Croatian Tourism Ministry has placed a section on its website where visitors can find procedures and safeguards for tourism stakeholders, as well as other useful information related to the coronavirus situation.

Furthermore, Ex-Yu Aviation announced that Croatia Airlines is currently experiencing a 17% decline in booking numbers over fears associated with the coronavirus, for both international and domestic flights.

“During February we saw a modest decrease in bookings being made for March and April, as well as the coming months. This shows that our passengers are hopeful the situation with the coronavirus will improve as time passes by," the airline said.

“The situation can change for the better or worse, depending on whether the virus will further spread," Croatia Airlines concluded. 

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

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Cro Card Introduced to Encourage Domestic Travel in Croatia

December 19, 2019 - The Ministry of Tourism has officially introduced the Cro Card as a way to encourage domestic travel. 

HRTurizam writes that in the last 15 years, the number of domestic overnights in Croatia has remained almost unchanged, but due to the steady growth of foreign overnights, the share made by Croatians has dropped to only 7 percent.

By this indicator, Croatia is far below the average of comparable Mediterranean and Central European countries. The total tourist activity of the local population is decreasing, while Croatian destinations show a negative trend of domestic traffic growth.

For these reasons, the Ministry of Tourism wants to encourage domestic travel. One solution is the long-announced Cro Card.

Namely, at Wednesday’s 198th session of the Croatian Government, a measure was introduced to stimulate consumption in the hospitality and tourism sector in Croatia, that is, the Cro Card.

Thus, this measure aims to stabilize the mentioned relative decline in the share of domestic tourist traffic and reverse the trend in the full implementation period.

With this decision, a measure is introduced to stimulate consumption in catering and tourism for Croatian employees in a way that will allow them a more affordable vacation by increasing their remuneration based on work. This regulation introduced the novelty that income tax was not paid on fees for catering, tourist and other services intended for employee vacations up to the amount of HRK 2,500 per year.

So far, the employer has been able to pay HRK 7,500 annually to its workers (for Christmas, recourse, awards, etc.). Now, there is the option of an additional HRK 2,000 through Cro Cards.

This will be paid by a “Croatian Tourist Card", which will be issued by commercial banks, while the commercial bank and the end-user will bear the cost of the card itself. It is also important to emphasize that cash from a Cro Card cannot be withdrawn. 

Cro Cards will be earned through compensation to cover the cost of holiday and catering services that the employer may pay to its employees following income tax regulations. It can be used solely for paying for catering and tourist services provided by legal and natural persons who are eligible for the provision of these services under the special regulations governing the hospitality industry and the provision of tourist services.

The implementation of this measure is expected to have a positive impact on the tourism activity of small and medium-sized enterprises, stimulate growth in supply, and strengthen the potential for tourism and rural development of continental Croatia.

“In the mandate of our Government, we have placed particular emphasis on the development of responsible and sustainable tourism, with particular emphasis on balanced development and the development of the continent. Today, we have adopted the Government Decision on introducing a measure to stimulate spending, which, with the reduction of VAT and regulating the entire legislative framework, makes us extremely pleased because we have made the most important decisions that no one dared to make earlier,” Minister Cappelli said.

The Ministry of Tourism, in cooperation with the Croatian Employers 'Association, surveyed employers to determine their interest in applying in some form of a tourist voucher.

The survey aimed to explore the interest in participating in a potential tourism program under the working name "tourist voucher" without specifying specific tax benefits, investigated the intention to participate in the program for each of the five potential tax benefits individually, and examined the maximum financial value of the voucher employers are willing to pay. The survey results are based on a representative sample of 400 employers.

According to the survey, every other employer expressed a principled interest in the concept presented, while 63% of employers preferred values from HRK 1,000.00 to HRK 3,000.00 per employee per year, and as the most important advantage, most employers spoke positively about a tourist voucher as an employee reward model.

The introduction of this measure is based on examples of good practice in EU countries. For example, Hungary, Italy and France, which by implementing a similar measure, have produced respectable results in increasing domestic tourist traffic.

The Cro Card is based on the Hungarian model, the "Szep Card". By implementing the Szep Card from 2010-2015, the number of overnight stays of domestic tourists increased in Hungary by 29 percent, while the total revenue of domestic tourism increased by 64 percent, with the Szep Card having a decisive role. So far, 26,500 companies have used the Szep Card for nearly 1.3 million employed citizens.

Furthermore, for two years (2010-2012), Italy had measures in place to subsidize domestic traffic. The measures were based on the family income bracket and issuing vouchers that could have been used for local vacations. France, on the other hand, subsidizes French tourism by employers through the Comite d'entreprise (CE). Up to 3 domestic trips are subsidized annually (and only one foreign trip).

The critical effects of introducing the measure are reflected, among other things, by the estimated potential of generating direct net income of approximately HRK 1 billion annually in the stabilized year of project implementation, estimated impact on new investments in the sector amounting to HRK 4 billion in the entire implementation period, and total tourism consumption of about 14.3 billion euro in 2020, of which about 1.8 billion euro domestic, the Ministry of Tourism expects.

This Decision shall come into force on the first day following its publication in the Narodne novine. For now, there are still some open questions regarding its implementation, which we will find out in the coming days.

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

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Tourism Ministry, Croatian Tourist Board, UNICEF to Promote Children's Rights in Tourism

December 4, 2019 - The Ministry of Tourism, the Croatian Tourist Board, and UNICEF are cooperating on promoting children's rights in the Croatian tourism sector.

HRTurizam writes that the main objective of this cooperation is to promote good tourism practices in the context of young guests, the children of families employed in tourism, and young students and workers.

As part of the cooperation, the Ministry of Tourism, the Croatian Tourist Board and UNICEF will promote the importance of caring for children's rights in the tourism sector, through conferences, congresses, and other events, and organize training on children's rights for tourism professionals. The Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian Tourist Board will also support UNICEF's programs to help the most vulnerable children in Croatia and their families.

"Tourism is an industry of experience and emotions, and we desire that all children who visit Croatia have the opportunity to see all the best that Croatia has to offer so they can remember it forever. Likewise, tourism can be an opportunity for everyone to create together. That is why the Ministry of Tourism always encourages children and students to be creative and innovative through part of its youth programs. We want young people to be involved in creating competitive and responsible tourism, which is why working with UNICEF is another step towards building the foundations for the future of Croatian tourism, because ultimately, people are always the key to success,” said Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli.

"We are extremely proud of our cooperation with UNICEF in promoting children's rights in the tourism sector in Croatia, especially considering that children up to the age of 14 make up 18% of the total Croatian tourist traffic and form a significant segment in tourism. Accordingly, a large number of our promotional campaigns around the world, but also our total tourist offer, is directed precisely at families with children,” said Croatian Tourist Board Director Kristjan Stanicic.

Globally, UNICEF works with the travel and tourism sectors, governments and civil society organizations to promote the perspective of children's rights and to support companies in the sector in identifying and managing their impacts on children.

Cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian Tourist Board is an important step in the realization of children's rights in Croatian tourism and contributes to the sustainable development of tourism and society as a whole, points out Regina M. Castillo, Head of the UNICEF Office in Croatia, and adds:

“Tourism, as an important industry, has a great impact on children. The safety of children traveling with their parents, decent wages and working conditions for parents or guardians, working conditions for young employees, care for the environment in which children grow and develop are just some of the areas of interaction of the tourism sector with children. The Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian Tourist Board are strong partners who, together with UNICEF, will work to raise awareness of these impacts and promote good practices that will positively impact the lives of children and their families. We are happy that one of the leading tourist groups in Croatia - Arena Hospitality Group - will join us in this important work,” said Regina M. Castillo, Head of UNICEF Office in Croatia.

Arena Hospitality Group is the first tourism group in Croatia to support families with children from the welfare system in Istria County in cooperation with UNICEF.

On this occasion, a partnership between Arena Hospitality Group and UNICEF was announced to support UNICEF's Stronger Family Program initiative, which improves the quality of social support for families with disabilities.

Arena Hospitality Group will launch a series of activities focused on guests and employees in its selected hotels, resorts, and camps in collaboration with UNICEF to promote children's rights and solidarity with the most vulnerable members of our society. The funds raised through the cooperation will be used to support families with children from the social care system in the County of Istria.

“Arena Hospitality Group, as the first Croatian hotel company to expand its portfolio beyond the borders of Croatia, is continuously investing in the development of social responsibility towards its guests, employees, partners, shareholders and the community in which it operates. In our work, we are especially focused on families with children who strive to provide a variety of quality facilities and the highest level of service. But we also take into account the needs of families with children in our community who are facing various life difficulties. By joining forces with UNICEF, we will support the implementation of the "For a Stronger Family" program initiative, which will help strengthen systemic support for the most vulnerable families with children in Istria County. We are particularly proud to include our employees in the project, who, through activities with families and children, will draw attention to the importance of solidarity with our guests,” said Reuel Slonim, CEO of Arena Hospitality Group d.d.

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

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Croatian Tourism, Foreign Ministries on Thomas Cook Collapse, Effect on Croatia

September 25, 2019 -  The Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Tourism released a joint statement on Wednesday about the collapse of Thomas Cook and its effect on Croatia.

This week opened with the news that Thomas Cook, one of the world's oldest and most renowned travel agencies, declared bankruptcy and ceased all operations. 

"Despite significant efforts, discussions did not result in an agreement between the company's stakeholders and new investors," the company said in a statement. "The company board, therefore, concluded that they had no choice but to take steps to introduce mandatory liquidation with immediate effect."

The company filed for liquidation with the United Kingdom Supreme Court on Monday.

"Despite great efforts over the course of several months and intense negotiations in recent days, we have not been able to reach an agreement to save our business. I know this outcome is devastating and will cause a lot of people anxiety and stress,” CEO Peter Fankhauser said Monday morning.

Executives tried raising the additional $250 million needed to save the company over the weekend, but failed due to many complications and the amount of money invested.

The collapse of the UK-based company, which was founded in 1841, left thousands of people abroad unable to return to their homes. The U.K. government is currently working on a plan to rescue all tourists who have been stranded abroad in what they are calling "Operation Matterhorn”. This included 190 Thomas Cook passengers in Dubrovnik on Monday, who arrived Sunday by plane from Manchester.

Thus, HRTurizam reports that the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Tourism released a joint statement on Wednesday about the collapse of Thomas Cook and its effect on Croatia

“We are extremely sorry to hear the news of the Thomas Cook closure, which has a long tradition and experience in tourism. What is extremely important is that none of their guests currently in Croatia will be harmed or neglected. The UK government will take care of the flights to bring all tourists back home, while the UK government's insurance agency will cover the cost of accommodating tourists,” reads their statement regarding the demise of Thomas Cook.

Although there were indications that the worst-case scenario could occur, it was still expected that Thomas Cook would be able to stabilize itself, i.e., raise enough capital to continue. However, one of the oldest and most famous travel agencies in the world was unable to adapt to new circumstances and market trends. The competition will certainly fill the hole left by Thomas Cook, but this sobering news is a sharp warning sign for all airlines.

“When it comes to the current and future impact of Thomas Cook's shutdown on the arrival of British tourists to Croatia, we want to emphasize that there are a number of quality British tour operators with tours to Croatia, that is, we believe that this situation will not significantly change the situation with the UK as a major market,” the statement continued.

The Ministry of Tourism added that they are in communication with the hotels so that all guests are informed promptly about the current situation to ensure they can continue their stay in Croatia smoothly. 

“The Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian National Tourist Board, as before, will continue to promote Croatia intensively on the UK market, which is one of our most important markets, and carry out activities related to strengthening air connectivity. That is why we believe that in the coming years, Croatia will be one of the most popular destinations for guests from the United Kingdom,” the joint statement concluded. 

About 800,000 tourists from the United Kingdom have visited Croatia so far this year, generating about 4.1 million overnight stays, which is up 4% and 3% respectively from last year.

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

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Early July: Number of Arrivals Increased by 8%, Overnights by 15%

One week into July and the numbers are on the rise. 

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Croatia Records 4.5 Million Arrivals, 16 Million Overnight Stays in 2017 (So Far)

Croatia keeps crushing records this year!

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Ministry of Tourism Proposes Expanding Robinson Crusoe Tourism Offer

Perhaps a new way to extend the season?