Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac Says Preparation for 2022 Season Has Begun

September the 29th, 2021 - Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac has stated that the preparations for the 2022 tourist season in Croatia are already underway following a remarkably good summer this year, which brought relief and deeper pockets to many working in Croatia's strongest economic branch.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, on the occasion of the World Tourism Day, Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac met with members of the Council for Recovery and Development of Tourism, and in addition to good results this summer season, they also discussed preparations for the next tourist year, which will hopefully be even more normal than the one we've just enjoyed.

"We expect the continuation of investments in tourism, and we're currently working on 'mapping' counties and all of the projects that are being done in them, what they're planning and so on. The sector is already preparing for the 2022's summer season and we have a good feeling about it,'' said Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac.

She also stated that Croatian tourism exceeded 70 percent of the total turnover from the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019 in September, and the data, ie the highly positive trends from the fiscalisation system in September, were also very encouraging indeed.

She announced that October will be the month of Croatian tourism, which we've written about before, for which various tourism service providers are now applying, with the condition that they give a minimum of a 35 percent discount, which she hopes will be an additional motive for further autumn travel for both Croatian and foreign tourists.

The director of the Croatian Tourist Board (CNTB), Kristjan Stanicic, said similar things, congratulating everyone in the sector on the Day of Tourism and saying that communication in the sector was very good, which also contributed to a good summer season this year.

"All stakeholders [in tourism] are ready to better prepare for 2022, in order to maintain Croatia's position as the safest and highest quality tourist destination in the Mediterranean, which will be emphasised in this promotion," concluded Stanicic.

For more, make sure to check our our dedicated travel section. Fancy visiting during the cooler post-season? Here's why September and October could be right up your alley.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Croatian Tourism Ministry Praises 2021's Summer Tourist Season

September the 16th, 2021 - The Croatian Tourism Ministry, headed by Nikolina Brnjac, has praised the truly remarkable height of the summer tourist season which is now behind us. Despite the global pandemic, the sector has done incredibly well compared to last year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to data from the Croatian eVisitor system, 55.3 million overnight stays have been realised in Croatia since the beginning of the year, which exceeds the number of overnight stays from the entire pandemic-dominated year of 2020, when 54.4 million overnight stays were realised in twelve whole months.

The Croatian Tourism Ministry has, in that case, every right to beat its chest, especially given the fact that most of Croatia's traditional Mediterranean competition hasn't fared anywhere near as well due to their generally less epidemiological pictures.

Of the total number of overnight stays realised throughout 2021 so far, 46.6 million were realised by foreign tourists, while 8.7 million were realised by domestic tourists. Since the beginning of this year, nine million tourist arrivals have been realised, meaning a massive 1.2 million more tourists have visited Croatia this year than last year, the Ministry of Tourism and Sport announced.

"Given the trends in the travel industry, our goal was to maintain the stability of the tourist system, preserve jobs and the recognition of Croatia as a safe tourist destination. We want to continue with these results and that's why it is important that we all continue to adhere to the epidemiological measures which remain in place. This creates the foundations for next year and the continued development of Croatian tourism.

This year has first of all shown that safety and quality are crucial for people when choosing a holiday destination, and that guests are willing to pay even more if that can be ensured. Ultimately, our desire is to create sustainable tourism in which the focus is not on the number of tourists, but on the level of quality, on tourists who will spend money on as many offers in their destinations and generate more consumption, which will further encourage new investments in tourism,'' said the Minister of Tourism and Sport, Nikolina Brnjac.

So far in 2021, there have been 46 percent more arrivals and 37 percent more overnight stays realised than in the same period last year. Compared to the same period in pre-pandemic, record 2019, 61 percent of arrivals and 72 percent of overnight stays were realised compared to the same period in that year.

More than a million tourists are currently staying in Croatia, most of the foreign tourists are Germans (297,000), Poles (81,000), Slovenes (74,000) and Italians (61,000). Most tourists are currently in Istria County (283,000), Primorje-Gorski kotar County (187,000) and Split-Dalmatia County (184,000).

For more, check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Croatian Tourism Month Launches in October to Extend Tourist Season

September 8, 2021 - Croatian Tourism Month will be held this October to replace last year's first-ever Vacation-Worthy Week campaign.

On the Croatian Radio 1 - Business Week show, the Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac announced that to extend this tourist year, in which Croatia reached 60% of tourist traffic realized in 2019 on August 28, last year's Vacation-Worthy Week campaign will now to be carried out throughout the month of October, under the name Croatian Tourism Month, reports HRTurizam.

"On this occasion, I invite all stakeholders in the tourism system to get involved in this action to achieve the best possible postseason. Good results this season are the result of systematic work and planning of all departments of the Croatian Government since the beginning of the year. Thanks to the synergy of the tourism sector, Croatia has been recognized this year as a destination that has taken all measures to create the preconditions for a safe environment," said Brnjac.

The first "Vacation-Worthy Week," a joint project of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Croatian National Tourist Board, took place from October 16 to 25 last year.

In the promotional week, citizens were able to take advantage of a total of 424 offers and services from all parts of Croatia at 50 percent better prices.

Although due to the specific situation in which the action was carried out, following the coronavirus pandemic, it was difficult to assess how successful the campaign was. 

Among the numerous tourist entities, national parks and nature parks took part in the action, which was in the special focus of visitors. Thus, Plitvice Lakes National Park, which offered tickets to all visitors at an affordable price of 50 kuna, was visited by almost 30,000 guests in ten days.

Krka National Park, which 2,700 tourists visited in the promotional week, also recorded good results, while the Northern Velebit National Park sold more than 500 tickets in the same period. 

The Croatian National Tourist Board pointed out that the Vacation-Worthy Week website attracted more than 150,000 unique visitors, who spent an average of three minutes researching the offers. At the same time, they mostly reviewed offers from the city of Zagreb and Split-Dalmatia, Primorje-Gorski Kotar, and Istria counties.

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

Friday, 3 September 2021

Digital Nomads Promote Croatian Tourism Best, Says Minister Nikolina Brnjac

September 3, 2021 - Minister of Tourism and Sports said that digital nomads promote Croatian tourism best, on the same level as social media influencers. 

According to the tourist traffic data for July and August compared to pre-pandemic figures, Croatia is the tourism star of the Mediterranean this year.

In August, 86 percent of arrivals and 93 percent of overnight stays compared to 2019 were realized. Specifically, about 4.3 million guests visited Croatia last month, and over 30 million overnight stays were realized. Thus, after the lost pre-season, the main season has restored optimism among tourism workers who will have a good post-season if the epidemiological situation allows. However, in addition to all other factors and the situation in the Mediterranean, Croatia has really prepared well for the season, primarily by ensuring the safety of guests, with a great response from foreign partners and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports' Safe Stay in Croatia campaign. Furthermore, the framework for digital nomads was defined at the beginning of the year. In addition, several other activities contributed to the season, which really surprised even the most optimistic.

Before today's press conference, Novi List spoke with Minister Nikolina Brnjac about what August was like, what was crucial in preparing for the season, how staff shortages will be solved, and the prospect of digital nomads in Croatia. 

August is behind us; many say that even the most optimistic could not expect such results in July and August. Was it more than expected?

"I think we have prepared well for this season, in cooperation with the entire tourism sector, in coordination with the Civil Protection Headquarters and all other closely related stakeholders. The fruit of all this synergy is this season's tourist results. Already on August 29, we achieved our minimum goal for traffic for this tourist year, which is 60 percent of tourist traffic compared to the whole of 2019. Still, we believe that the continuation of current favorable trends will be much closer to that record year by the end of the year. In the last days of August, we recorded traffic above 90 percent of what we had in 2019, which is a great announcement for September and for the postseason in general, which is our next goal. Compared to 2019, the biggest difference is in arrivals, but the number of overnight stays shows that tourists stayed longer and spent more.

I believe that we can all be satisfied with the results achieved when we talk about tourist traffic and when we talk about revenue, but now we want to extend the season as much as possible. With all our activities, the epidemiological situation was critical throughout the summer. It will continue to be so, and I believe that we will continue to behave responsibly, get vaccinated in as many numbers as possible because only in this way can we maintain continuity of good results, and ensure normal social and economic trends."

What was crucial in the preparation of the season and ultimately its realization?

"I think that the key thing was that with the preparations for this year's summer tourist season, we started on time with the synergy of the entire tourism sector and all departments in the Government. In each step we took, we involved the sector, listened to their needs and the market's needs, and thus made decisions about each step.

Starting with the Safe Stay in Croatia project, which was well-received in our biggest markets and which provided tourists with access to all relevant information in one place, and at the same time was a tool for educating our tourism sector on procedures for compliance with epidemiological protocols, then facilitating travel procedures and returning tourists to their home destinations by providing additional testing points, to enabling tourists to be vaccinated in Croatia. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been paying great attention to good communication and education of everyone in the system to have timely information and better adapt to today's trends and business conditions. Before and during the summer, we continuously held meetings with tourism stakeholders, leaders of local and regional governments, epidemiologists, and civil protection headquarters in their area so that everyone could be better prepared. As a result, tourism workers were also among the first to be vaccinated in a high percentage. All this shows how much we were all aware of the safety aspect and preparedness as an important factor in the choice of destinations by tourists. As a result, Croatian tourism has once again shown exceptional readiness and all the diversity of the offer that can satisfy the demand of different guest structures. I sincerely thank everyone for the cooperation, effort, and knowledge they have invested so that we can have such good results in another challenging year for tourism."

Which markets were the best in August and the first eight months of 2021? What has changed compared to last year and the years before the pandemic, and what does that tell us?

"The pandemic has definitely affected the travel paradigm, i.e., the habits of tourists for whom safety is one of the most important factors when choosing a destination. We are all aware of that, and that is why we have been working from the beginning to improve all security measures to create the most favorable preconditions for tourism. In addition to the demand for high-class accommodation facilities and those in nature, we also record excellent results in the charter segment. We achieved an even higher turnover in August compared to August 2019. When we talk about changing the structure of guests, the share of guests from nearby markets has further increased. In contrast, for more distant markets, stabilization will occur subsequently, depending on the normalization of travel and the favorable epidemiological situation in the world."

Which segments of the offer proved to be the most sought after? Namely, there is a lot of talk about the fact that 5-star, therefore the highest quality offer was the most sought after?

"Through this year's financial results and the fact that we have the highest occupancy in high-end accommodation facilities, i.e., four and five stars where we record occupancy above 95 percent, it is clear that this year we have a larger number of tourists with higher purchasing power. Quality products and an offer that gives them an extra sense of security were among the most sought after."

In that sense, can it be said that there has been a kind of transformation towards better quality tourism and moving away from the masses?

"Our strategic goal is to move away from the masses and turn towards sustainable and innovative tourism, and the demand for high-quality products and a longer stay in the destination certainly goes in favor of that. In the long run, our goal is to increase the number of tourists compared to previous records, especially in already congested destinations, and distribute tourist results more evenly throughout the year and throughout Croatia while achieving equal or higher total revenues. By the way, even before the pandemic, we started to reform the legal framework aimed at the sustainability and professionalization of tourist boards, recategorize private accommodation, regulate the status of health tourism, tourist land, and the like. We will continue with reforms that will follow our strategic goals."

The Ministry has also initiated the Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy. Will this document also be the basis for further profiling towards high-quality tourism?

"With the new Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy until 2030, we will focus on sustainability, value-added products, and special forms of tourism. The strategy should respond to the challenges of extending the season and expanding the tourist offer outside the summer months and in spatial terms to less-developed tourist areas, especially continental destinations. The project of drafting a new strategy is in line with the Program of the Croatian Government from 2020-2024 and the National Development Strategy until 2030. For the first time since Croatia's independence, the Sustainable Tourism Strategy, a Strategic Environmental Assessment, is being prepared. The fact that we have been provided European funds with which we can strategically direct tourism development should be emphasized. Simply put, we have provided the opportunity to invest in the tourism we want, and that is sustainable, year-round, with greater added value. Funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan will focus on solving the challenges we face in the coastal zone in the summer and encourage the development of year-round forms of tourism with high added value throughout Croatia. The fact that in the next financial period of the EU, both in the National Plan and in certain operational programs, we will be responsible for allocating funds is a great obligation, but also an opportunity to define priorities together with the sector and try to solve long-standing challenges."

In preparation for the season, a big step forward was made towards attracting digital nomads at the beginning of the year. So what specifically has changed legally?

"Croatia is one of the first members of the European Union to legally regulate a one-year temporary stay for digital nomads from third countries. This is an interesting niche for Croatian tourism because nomads are not seasonal but year-round guests, and their interests are diverse and unrelated to the sea and the sun. The idea was realized with excellent inter-ministerial cooperation with other ministries, primarily with the Ministry of the Interior, which carried out the most important legislative processes and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. The Ministry of the Interior amended the Law on Foreigners, and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs announced the procedure for obtaining temporary residence for digital nomads. At the same time, the Ministry of Finance changed its laws through its Income Tax Act and the Ministry of Health through the Law on Amendments to the Law on Income compulsory health insurance and health care of foreigners in Croatia, all to enable the stay of digital nomads in Croatia. Furthermore, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has initiated an e-platform for digital nomads, with the help of the Croatian National Tourist Board, and we have included 21 regional tourist boards in all processes so that digital nomads have the opportunity to discover the whole of Croatia."

What are the conditions for the arrival of digital nomads, and do you have information on how many have taken advantage of this opportunity?

"Digital nomads must first meet all the prescribed conditions to obtain a temporary one-year stay in Croatia. All steps are described in detail on the Ministry of Interior website. By August 20, more than 200 people had applied, while about 80 had been approved, with the most applications coming from the US, UK, and Russia. However, persons working in Croatia as digital nomads, i.e., for companies not registered in Croatia and citizens of EU member states, do not regulate their stay on the same legal basis and are not recorded based on the relevant new provision of the Law on Foreigners. It should also be noted that our legislative framework has been in force since the beginning of this year, when strict measures to restrict movement were applied. Nevertheless, we expect that the improvement of the epidemiological situation and further activities that the tourist boards and private sector plan to initiate will have a positive impact on the interest of digital nomads in Croatia."

Have accommodation providers prepared and generally realized the benefits of longer leases, which we specifically offer to digital nomads?

"Digital nomads, with the conditions and steps they must meet to obtain a visa for "digital nomads," mostly search for the content available in certain destinations. The data from our research thus show that tourist products such as active holidays, nature, culture, and eno-gastronomy arouse the most interest, which Croatia offers them. Moreover, many hotel chains have already adapted their tourist offer to the longer stay of digital nomads with the possibility of work."

What do digital nomads, influencers, and world stars really mean for the promotion of Croatian tourism?

"People who want to make Croatia their temporary office, who fall in love with our natural and cultural beauties, food, people, but also the way of life, can be our best promoters, just like many influencers. Any positive reaction to Croatia as a tourist destination, especially in the world that is mostly informed through social networks, is a great advertisement for our country and an additional invitation to stay."

What are the announcements for the offseason?

"The announcements for September and October are excellent, judging by the bookings of our hoteliers and camps. As I mentioned at the beginning, in recent days, we have recorded traffic above 90 percent of what we had in 2019, and this is a good announcement for September. If the current trends continue in the next month, in the second half of September, we could reach 70 percent of turnover when it comes to overnight stays and financial indicators."

One of the basic problems of Croatian tourism at the moment is staffing. How will efforts be made to address the shortage of tourism workers that has escalated this year, and what is the future?

"In the long run, we see solving the problem of labor shortage in the creation of preconditions for the engagement of domestic labor in the tourism sector. For several years now, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has been implementing measures to promote tourism occupations through the co-financing of innovative tourism projects designed and implemented by high schools to educate students in hospitality and tourism. We also have a program for co-financing the practice of high school students in the tourism sector. Through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, we have provided an additional 10 million kuna to develop educational programs that meet the needs of the labor market. We will also allocate funds for training with employers to support investments in the green and digital transition. We want to increase the attractiveness of tourism occupations for young people and improve conditions and general satisfaction of workers in the tourism sector. We are actively thinking about how to ensure a sufficient quality workforce, first from Croatia, and then through imports, because the quality of services is an indispensable part of the tourist product."

To learn more about digital nomads in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

YTD Financial Indicators Give Rise to Hope That Tourism Season Can Be Great

ZAGREB, 25 Aug, 2021 - Overnight stay numbers so far this year show that they have reached 74% of tourist nights in the corresponding period of 2019, whereas the value of the fiscalised receipts indicates even a better performance of the tourist sector, Minister Nikolina Brnjac has told Hina.

The year-to-date value of the fiscalised receipts in tourism-related economic activities has reached 79% of those receipts in 2019.

The minister admits that it is still too early to forecast the fiscal effects of this year's tourism season.

The comprehensive report on the revenues from the tourist trade can be expected upon the release of the relevant report by the Croatian National Bank on the spending of foreign holiday-makers in the third quarter of 2021, and the central bank provides the general public with those numbers at the end of the year.

The data collected by e-visitor system show that so far this year, there have been 9.8 million guests who have generated 61.3 million overnight stays, thus reaching 64% and 74% of the visitor numbers and tourist night numbers in 2019.

So far in August alone, there have been 3.4 million visitors and 24.1 million overnight stays, 87% and 92% of the results in the corresponding period in 2019.

Concerning the value of fiscalised receipts in the tourism-related activities, it stands at 14.9 billion kuna, or 79% of the value registered in the corresponding period of 2019 when Croatia's tourism sets new records.

In August, fiscalised receipts' value overtakes 2019

For instance, from 1 to 17 August  the value of fiscalised receipts reached nearly four billion kuna, or 20% more than in the same period of 2019, Brnjac said.

The value of the fiscalised receipts from 1 July to 17 August outperformed the corresponding period in 2019 by 9%, the minister said.

She said that the bookings for the remainder of the year also gave rise to optimism.

"We are striving for keeping Croatia's status of the Mediterranean country with the most favourable epidemiological situation," she said, among other things.

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

Saturday, 21 August 2021

Tourism Sector Faced With Labour Shortage, Says Minister

ZAGREB, 21 Aug, 2021 - Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac said in Poreč on Saturday the sector was faced with a labour shortage, notably workers with the required qualifications, as well as with declining interest among young people for tourism jobs.

She was visiting scholarship students whose scholarships are co-financed by the ministry as part of a programme encouraging the education of hospitality and tourism personnel. As part of the programme, almost 2,000 contracts have been signed to date and over HRK 14 million paid.

Brnjac said she wanted to hear the expectations and the problems faced by the generations who, she added, were the future of Croatia's tourism.

She said she wanted to hear their ideas in order to improve the scholarship programme as well as the whole system of education in tourism.

Brnjac said the ministry would organise an event as part of the Conference on the Future of Europe to discuss this topic in more detail and that "young people are our the most important interlocutors."

She said that in order to respond to some of the challenges of the tourism labout market, additional funds had been earmarked as part of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan to strengthen human resources for a resilient and sustainable tourism.

For more on lifestyle, follow our dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, 10 August 2021

Brnjac Confirms: Croatia Continues to be One of Mediterranean's Safest Destinations

August 10, 2021 - Croatia continues to be one of the Mediterranean's safest destinations, says Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac. 

According to the eVisitor system, there are currently around one million and 20,000 tourists in Croatia. Last year, at this time, 820 thousand tourists stayed in the country, and in the record 2019, one million and one hundred thousand.

Tourists are still mostly foreign guests, about 860 thousand. They come mostly from Germany, Slovenia, Poland, Austria, and the Czech Republic.

When it comes to the most popular destinations - they are still Rovinj, Vir, Medulin, Porec, Umag, and Mali Lošinj. 

Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac was a guest of RTL Danas on Monday.

"Certainly, we expected a good season, but we are delighted with the numbers so far," said Brnjac.

The record 2019 is everyone's goal.

"As for the indicators for both July and August, we are really approaching these values, but in terms of the value of fiscalized bills, we are even above 2019. The epidemiological picture is the Safe Stay project and education and responsibilities of our tourism sector, and we believe that we will continue to be one of the safest destinations in the Mediterranean," said Brnjac.

"At the initiative of the Prime Minister, a meeting will be held with the tourism sector, which will be attended by some members of the Government, presidents of the largest tourism companies and the National Association of Caterers, but unfortunately we cannot take everyone to the meeting, and I apologize to them, and they are included in our advice for the recovery and development of tourism and have been with us since the first day of the Safe Stay project. Therefore, we will show synergy," said Brnjac.

Bar owners are looking for longer working hours because they claim to live off the season.

"I understand their request, but we must be aware that these epidemiological measures have led to results and that we are the safest destination in the Mediterranean today, so if we are smart, I think we can have an excellent tourist year," Brnjac told RTL.

We are in the heart of the season.

"Bookings are outstanding, and we can expect a good year, but we have to be smart and calm and continue to go in that direction and start preparing for the new tourist year," said Brnjac.

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

 

Monday, 19 July 2021

Terme Sveti Martin First Hotel in Croatia Awarded EU Ecolabel

ZAGREB, 19 July 2021 - The Terme Sveti Martin hotel in Međimurje is the first hotel in Croatia to receive the EU Ecolabel after it met the relevant 22 criteria about general management, energy efficiency, the use of renewable resources, rational water consumption, reduced waste, and proper waste management.

Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac presented the EU Ecolabel to the hotel's director Igor Nekić at a ceremony held on Monday in the hotel located in the town of Sveti Martin na Muri, the ministry said on Monday.

The EU Ecolabel is approved by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development for products and services that motivate innovations and contribute to the aim of the EU's climate neutrality by 2050 and the circular economy.

Congratulating the hotel on that important step towards sustainable business and a sustainable destination, Minister Brnjac recalled that market surveys around the world have shown that guests no longer look for massive tourism but that they prefer sustainable and ecologically aware destinations that provide an authentic experience and an active vacation and services providing health tourism which comprehends spas and wellness treatments.

She said that the government encourages and invests in developing green and sustainable tourism through its National Recovery and Resilience Plan and the Multiannual Financial Framework.

The Terme Sveti Martin comprises the hotel, apartments, a wellness center, and other amenities. There are more than 200 people employed in this establishment.

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

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Minister Brnjac Asks Not to Neglect the Favorable Epidemiological Situation

July 10, 2021 - From the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Minister Brnjac joins other government authorities who ask the population to be responsible and careful in the current favorable epidemiological situation.

Večernji list reports that as announced on Saturday by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Minister Nikolina Brnjac held a meeting in Dubrovnik yesterday with representatives of regional and local self-government and representatives of the tourism sector on the county report on the implementation of measures in the tourism sector to make the tourist season more successful and safe.

The importance of vaccination was emphasized at the meeting in order to maintain a favorable epidemiological situation. Namely, in the city of Dubrovnik, about 75 percent of tourist workers have been vaccinated so far. Additional activities were also discussed, as well as current measures at the county level and restrictions on holding various events.

"We have before us the striking weekends of this summer season where the largest number of tourists awaits us and the period when we need to be even more careful and responsible in order to maintain a favorable epidemiological situation," said Minister Brnjac.

According to her, the measures implemented so far have contributed to additional interest and the establishment of numerous airlines in Dubrovnik and have enabled the Dubrovnik-Neretva County to have significantly better tourist results in this part of the year, ie almost 70 percent more overnight stays than at the same time last year.

''But we are just at the beginning, it is up to all of us to continue to maintain these trends to ensure a successful future for tourism'', added Brnjac.

Brnjac pointed out that the Government of the Republic of Croatia will continue with measures to help the affected sectors, including tourism, referring to the Public Call of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports for support to travel agencies and travel organizers, for which HRK 36 million has been provided.

According to data from the eVisitor system, Dubrovnik-Neretva County has been visited by 187,000 tourists since the beginning of the year, who realized 894,000 overnight stays, which is an increase of 47 percent in arrivals and 68 percent in overnight stays compared to the same period last year.

Guests from Poland (125,000) and Slovenia (87,000) spent the most nights. Tourism is of great importance for the Dubrovnik-Neretva County and when it comes to its impact on the entire economic county, and especially the city of Dubrovnik.

Namely, according to the data of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) from 2019, in the city of Dubrovnik, the direct contribution of tourism to GDP is 17.8 percent, with 95 percent of total consumption being foreign tourists.

In addition to Minister Brnjac, the meeting was attended by Dubrovnik-Neretva County Prefect Nikola Dobroslavić, Dubrovnik Deputy Mayor Jelka Tepšić, Dubrovnik-Neretva County Civil Protection Headquarters Director Joško Cebal, County Public Health Institute Director Mato Lakić, County Tourist Board Director Vladimir Bakić and director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board Ana Hrnić, director of Dubrovnik Airport Frano Luetić, member of the board of Adriatic Luxury Hotels Antun Jakobušić, director of Hotel Valamar Lacroma Vlaho Sabljić and director of Hotel Aminess Lume Žarko Pecotić.

During her stay in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Minister Brnjac will today participate in the fourteenth annual international conference Dubrovnik Forum entitled "(Post) -Pandemic Geopolitics - Together in a World Apart" and in the opening ceremony of the 72nd Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

Of 4,105 tests performed for coronavirus in Croatia in the last 24 hours, 110 or 2.7% have turned out to be positive, the national COVID-19 crisis management team stated on Thursday.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centers across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

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

Saturday, 3 July 2021

50% Croatian Tourism Growth Even Without "Covid Passports"

July the 3rd, 2021 - Even without the controversial ''covid passports'' which have only become available relatively recently, Croatian tourism growth is encouraging to say the least. With 50 percent better results for Croatian tourism growth in the first six months of 2021, things appear to be looking up.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, despite the announcements of the fourth wave of the pandemic potentially approaching, the interest of tourists for holidays in Croatia is failing to wane, and the results from the first half of this year confirm that the vaccination programme has increased optimism. During the first six months of 2021, there were 2.6 million arrivals and 11.8 million overnight stays realised in Croatia, which is 54 percent more arrivals and 53 percent more overnight stays than in the same period last year. At the same time, foreign tourists realised 9.1 million overnight stays, while domestic tourists realised 2.7 million overnight stays.

German tourists are the most numerous

The largest number of overnight stays was realised by foreign guests from Germany (2.4 million), Slovenia (1.5 million), Austria (987,000), Poland (866,000) and the Czech Republic (681,000).

According to the type of accommodation, most overnight stays were realised in household/private facilities, hotels and camps, the Ministry of Tourism reported yesterday.

"We're extremely satisfied with the results of the 2021 tourist year so far and the announcements for the months ahead. At the moment, 425,000 tourists are staying in Croatia, which is about 100,000 more than at the same time last year. In the coming weeks, the peak of the season awaits us, and we must all be aware that the precondition for the further continuation of such results is a favourable epidemiological situation in Croatia. The recognisability of Croatia as a safe destination for which tourists choose our country gives us the opportunity for better financial results and the continued development of tourism, and thus faster economic recovery,'' said Minister of Tourism and Sport, Nikolina Brnjac.

As it is known, Covid certificates came into force throughout the EU and in Croatia as of the 1st of July, combined with new measures that will be more relaxed for the holders of these certificates, and will enable people with EU digital certificates to participate in various events without limiting the number of participants or time spent.

Direct flights as a further Croatian tourism growth boost

As has previously been written, the situation with freedom of travel within the EU is likely not going to be quite as previously expected or hope due to the penetration of the Delta strain virus into some countries such as Portugal. At the same time, a lot is expected from direct flights from the USA to Croatia.

The two major US airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, are launching their routes from New York to Dubrovnik this week.

For more, follow our travel section.

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