Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac: Austria Could Change Mind Because of New Measures in Croatia

August 19, 2020 - After Austria rejected Croatia's request to introduce testing measures only for certain parts of Croatia, instead of placing the entire country on the epidemiological red list, Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac said that she expected Austria to change its mind.

Index.hr reports that on Tuesday night as a guest on Croatian Television (HTV), the Minister commented on Austria's decision that returnees from holidays in Croatia must show a current negative coronavirus test or undergo testing within 48 hours, as well as Slovenia's thoughts on introducing quarantine for all returnees from Croatia this weekend.

She pointed out that nothing is left to chance and that they regularly exchange information and contact Slovenian colleagues, give them transparent data on numbers by counties, so that they can see that not all Croatian counties are in the same situation, i.e., that only two have an increase in the number of patients.

"We expect them to take into account the situation in the counties because these are relevant data and they are familiar with it," said Brnjac. "I think that such a decision could be expected from them," she added.

As for Austria, she says, the list is revised and changed about every two weeks.

"Given the new measures of the Headquarters, we expect that Austria could also change its opinion regarding Croatia," Brnjac said.

Asked whether Croatia would retaliate with the same measures, the Minister of Tourism said that she would not talk about reciprocity. She also said that she had information that there was not a single patient registered in Croatian hotels because everyone adhered to strict epidemiological measures.

She added that the number of sick tourists in Croatia is negligible.

The minister said it helped that Croatia is a car-destination. She also pointed out that Dubrovnik-Neretva County was recording better tourist results in August, adding that the airlines' good announcements for September and October were especially pleasing.

As for sports competitions, Brnjac said they would certainly be held, but the Headquarters has adopted certain measures - a third of spectators may be in the stands, while respecting all epidemiological measures, and the HNL has decided not to have spectators.

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Thursday, 30 July 2020

Tourism and Sport Minister Nikolina Brnjac Comments on Current Season, What Awaits

July 30, 2020 - Minister of Tourism and Sport, Nikolina Brnjac, stated last night for HRT that a few months ago, no one could have imagined that the number of tourists would be as it is now.

Namely, HRT reports that 2.3 million tourist arrivals were recorded in July and nearly more than 16 million overnight stays were achieved. That is already a little more than 50% of the turnover compared to the same period last year. These are quite good results, and we have reason to be optimistic, said Brnjac.

It is unfair to say how much is expected from tourism, said Brnjac, referring to yesterday's statement when she said that Croatia could reach around 5 billion arrivals this year, which is half of last year's amount.

"We need to see the end of the tourist season. It is a good indicator that we have more than 760,000 guests today. The first Ministry of Tourism estimated that this year's result would be 30% compared to last year, but we already have about 40% to 45%, when looking at the overall level," adds Brnjac.

She confirmed that the tourist situation in the northern part of Croatia is better than in the south.

”Rovinj, Porec, Medulin, Crikvenica and Split are the destinations where guests are going to most. When we look at the southern destinations, we know that they are mostly related to air tourism. The Croatian National Tourist Board is working on promoting those countries from which guests come to Dubrovnik-Neretva County. It will also intensify its marketing activities. Precisely because of these marketing activities, we also see results. Croatia has recorded 92% of German tourists compared to last year, 91% of Slovenian tourists, followed by tourists from Austria, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic," said Brnjac.

Brnjac also pointed out that at yesterday's meeting with representatives of the tourism sector, she discussed future measures to maintain liquidity and recover the tourism system.

"In September, we will receive guidelines from the European Commission on how the development of an instrument for recovery and resilience will look. We want to be ready and that is why this meeting was organized. The next topic of the meeting was preparing financing from the new envelope of the multiannual financial framework and better positioning Croatian tourism."

Answering the question about who can count on this help, Minister Brnjac said that it refers to the entire tourism sector.

After four years, tourism in Croatia is seen as sustainable and green, as tourism that will work to extend the season, not only in the coastal area but also in the continental area. She also wants to develop nautical and health tourism. Brnjac's tourism development strategy will start in September, she said, stating that this should provide further guidance.

Brnjac also responded to criticisms related to her election to the position of Tourism Minister, considering she does not come from the tourism sector.

"I think that today, the tourism sector made clear how important it is for it to have an emphasis on the instrument of recovery and resilience and to position it as well as possible in the multi-year financial envelope, but also to position the entire tourism sector as well as possible."

Since Brnjac is also the Minister of Sport, she said that she "wants to give more importance to sports". She said that there was no need to explain to anyone the role sport and tourism play in the global promotion of Croatia.

"It is very important to emphasize that by investing in projects in sports and tourism, we get added value for a number of other departments - from transport to agriculture," concluded Brnjac.

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