Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Will Traveling During the Coronavirus Pandemic to Croatia be Problematic? Plan B in Place

April 14, 2021 - With the season approaching, the question on everyone's mind is will traveling during the coronavirus pandemic to Croatia bring problems for tourism in the country?' A light at the end of the tunnel still might be possible.

While many high-reputation magazines regularly praise Croatia as a top destination, this summer, the season will be only as strong as the health situation regarding coronavirus – both in Croatia and abroad, from where the country welcomes as many tourists as possible. Sadly, as Croatian National Radiotelevision (HRT) reports, due to the bad pandemic situation, many European countries, including Croatia, are canceling the travel season.

While, as we reported on TCN, many flights are returning and coming to Croatia, the measures are possibly demotivating travelers.

HRT says Croatia is declared as a highly-risked country in Germany, and returning citizens need to show a negative test that is no older than 48 hours which is a change to previous arrangments when Germans could test after returning home.

„The English planned to allow traveling from May 17 but tour operators and others don't have a big number of reservations to make it profitable so everything is postponed until June 24“, said hotelier  Domagoj Tomasović to HRT. 

British tourists were indeed expected mid-May, but as Darija Reić, director of the Croatian Tourist Board in London, said on the "Good Morning Croatia show" on HRT, there are still fines for non-essential travel.

„Travelling outside of UK is still illegal if you don't travel for essential reasons which include traveling for business, education or medicinal purposes. Otherwise, it's possible to be fined 5000 pounds“, explained Reić, as noted by Turizmoteka.

Tonči Glavina, state secretary for Tourism ministry, said for HRT that the UK is not alone in sending a message to its citizens to not travel anywhere and went on to say that may not be bad for Croatia.

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pixabay

While the UK stands better in the percentage of vaccinated people than Croatia, Croatians are focusing on reaching the green zone by the end of May. Seventy thousand vaccinated workers in the tourist sector are the goal for the country.

„If that doesn't happen until the start of the season, then we need tests and it would be good if tourist board make testing zones and if we co-finance the expenses of testing to our guests“, concluded Tomasović.

The Ministry of Tourism already secured 20 million kuna to co-finance testing for tourists if Croatia doesn't reach the green zone.

PCR tests currently cost 500 kuna; quick antigen test is 150 kuna, and the translations of the results to English is 125 kuna. Twenty tourists were already tested in Zagreb on Tuesday. 

Learn more about coronavirus: news and travel in Croatia on our TC page.

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

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Digitalisation of Nautical Fees, Payments in Person Suspended

April 8, 2021 - Nautical tourists will now be able to pay the fees related to their stay online thanks to the digitalisation of nautical fees as Croatia continues dragging itself into the modern era.

Tourist fees for nautical tourists in Croatia can now be paid online, reports Goran Rihelj for Hrturizam. The website Nautika E-visitor, available in English, Croatian, German and Italian, offers the ability to accept payments according to the size of the vessel, which can stretch from 7 to over 20 metres in length, as well as by the number of people. These options are aligned with the Tourist Tax Act.

The site was launched last year as a service of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport, and Infrastructure and allowed tourists to pay and download an electronic confirmation of payment of navigation safety fees online. The entire system has been updated in regard to the digitalisation of nautical fees, and there is no longer an option to pay the fee in person, which was the only way to do it previously.

''Croatia has a fleet of 4,300 vessels, more than 140 nautical tourism ports with over 17,000 berths and over a million cruise passengers. The average consumption of nautical tourists is 126 euros per day, and in the charter sector, 183 euros per day. More than 30 percent of that money is spent on other forms of tourism, from cultural content to wine and gastronomy,'' reads the article on HRturizam.

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port, pixabay

It goes on to remind readers that Croatia.hr, the main website for information on tourism owned and run by the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ), also has a subsite for nautical tourits. The subsite, just like the main site, is available to view in Croatian, English, German, Italian, Czech, French, Japanese, Hungarian, Dutch, Polish, Russian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Spanish, and the Swedish language.

An important step in digitalisation development of Croatia has proven and continues to prove especially useful during the ongoing global pandemic, which makes frequent physical contact with other people risky.

As such, nautical tourists generally have an edge when it comes to being able to self-isolate and enjoy their holidays safely with a chosen group of friends or family on their private vessel. This is yet another argument for them to visit Croatia, along with the breath-taking coastal landscape accompanying clear Adriatic sea.

Learn more about sailing in Croatia on our TC Page.  

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

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Croatia Resumes Issuing Tourist Visas to Russians

ZAGREB, 7 April, 2021 - The Croatian Embassy to the Russian Federation has received initial applications for tourist visas from Russian citizens and currently there is a good interest on the Russian market in vacationing in Croatia, the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) said on Wednesday.

Russian national airline Aeroflot will fly from Moscow to Pula, Dubrovnik and Split every day from the start of June to the end of September, the HTZ said in a statement.

Currently, Aeroflot flies between Moscow and Zagreb once a week and plans to introduce a second weekly flight as of May, while in the summer it will operate on this route three times a week.

S7 Airlines will fly from Moscow to Pula and Dubrovnik from late April to late October, while Nordwind will connect Moscow and Zagreb during the same period.

The head of the HTZ office in Russia, Rajko Ružička, said that there is a growing demand on the Russian market for safe summer destinations, and that Croatia is one of them.

Russians can enter Croatia with a negative PCR or antigen test, a certificate proving that they have recovered from COVID-19 or a certificate showing that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, Ružička said.

A great interest in Croatian destinations has also been shown at the recent MITT travel show, the HTZ said.  

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

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Party Tourism in Novalja No Longer the Focus, More Content for Locals Announced

April 7, 2021 - Renowned for Zrće Beach and the partying that goes on there, party tourism in Novalja is no longer in focus, as the mayor is shifting towards content for the local community.

Novalja on Pag island is one of Croatia's biggest hotspots to visit over summer. Zrće Beach is a world-renowned synonym for partying and all the crazy fun things that come with sipping cocktails on the beach next to the clear Adriatic Sea at any time of the day while some of the biggest names of the international DJ and music scene are in their finest element.

Still, as the Croatian tourist offer, in general, tries to break out of the perception that Croatia is great „only for summer“ and also tries to popularise other parts of the country that are a bit further from the coastline, Novalja is on a mission of its own - to break the stereotype that „it's just for partying“.

As Večernji List reports, Ante Dabo, the mayor of Novalja for two the past two terms, is more than aware that Zrće is vital to Novalja's tourism, but the town is heavily working to offer more content to visitors.

„From 2017 to 2019, we invested 48 million kuna in capital projects and despite the coronavirus pandemic, we invested 51 million kuna in 2020 alone“, said Dabo for Večernji List.

One of such projects is using the town's own funds for the Grozdenica culture centre. This new centre is imagined to be the core of cultural events in Novalja, and given it's a multifunctional hall with 210 seats and a stage with the most modern equipment, there is no doubt it will spot on for hosting cinema screenings, conferences, concerts, and theatre plays.

The new port and Marina are also part of the branding scheme to further position Novalja by attracting nautical tourism.

„We reduced taxes so new hotels could be easily opened, but we will allow building hotels that have less than four stars. We want quality hotels that will accept guests in the winter months to extend the season. We relied more on private accommodations but we also have hotel capacities of high standards and 600 more beds in comparison to 2019“, said Dabo commenting on changes in urban planning that forbids building hotels that have less than four stars.

The mayor also adds how Pag has rich cultural and archaeological findings along with heritage, natural wonders tracking, and bike tracks for recreational tourism.

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Ante Dabo screenshot / LIKA CLUB

Caring for locals and not just for visitors

Zrće brings money, Zrće is a party hotspot, and Zrće is also loud and a threat to the peace of locals who don't visit clubs and events themselves. As Večernji List reminds, Dabo became known to the broader public in Croatia for introducing rules of conduct for tourists and for reducing the noise from Zrće.

„Zrće is too big of a brand to say it's not needed for Novalja, but everyday activity on Zrće needs to be reduced. That's the solution to compromise for party people and for other guests who are interested in a more peaceful vacation“, said Dabo referring to Novalja's need to escape from the monoculture of partying.

Locals are happy too as Novalja has the biggest budget when counted by the number of residents in all of Croatia, according to the Institute of Public Finance. A lot is also done for young families. By further rebuilding the kindergarten, Novalja will have more significant capacities to take care of the kids while parents are working. A low-energy building was built with the partial help of the EU funds, and the firefighter station is being reconstructed (also by EU funds) to ensure every service for protection and rescue can be in one place. The EU project of developing an entrepreneur zone Čiponjac worth 10 million kuna is also done, an entrepreneur incubator Ragan worth 12.5 million kuna, and a design to boost local-level entrepreneurship recently started, too. Business spaces are offered to new and young entrepreneurs at affordable prices.

The biggest project for Novalja, however, is Aglomeracija Novalja, which enhances agglomeration and water infrastructure with a new biological purifier for wastewater. Fifty kilometers of pipes are incorporated in the new sewer system that stretches through Metajna, Barbat, and Stara Novalja to the new purifier in the Vrtić district. Aglomeracija Novalja, worth 72 million kuna, and financed by EU funds up to 72%, makes Novalja a small town that is revitalizing, despite the corona crisis.

Learn more about Novalja and the island of Pag on our TC Page.  

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

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

First Croatian Scientific Book on Excellence as a Standard in Hospitality Released!

April 6, 2021 - The first Croatian scientific book on hospitality (Excellence as a Standard in Hospitality Business) backed by the experiences of two respected authors in the business has been released! 

As Turizmoteka reports, the book published by the Aspira school (original title: Izvrsnost kao standard u ugostiteljskom poslovanju) has four chapters and 24 subchapters which will help further develop the business to the experience and allow unexperienced to set up the optimal business concept“.

The book covers specifics of the hospitality business, criteria for hiring new workers, explores questions of discipline and offers interesting findings on why some bars and restaurants fail and others remain successful. Scientific research of the book is accompanied by the experiences of the authors who are very experienced in the hospitality business.

The leading author Igor Pavel previously published a manual on managing in the field, which inspired the writing of the book. He is in the hospitality business for the past 16 years, where he gained experience in various aspects and from multiple positions and is currently hired as a manager in one of the largest American cruise ship companies. He closely worked with top managers and CEOs of various big international tourism and hospitality companies. He also trains management and workers with his educational material helping them to increase the quality of their standard.

The second author, Alen Jerkunica, is a dean and one of the founders of Aspira private school, which has international courses on hotel management and tourism as well as gastronomy in Split and Zagreb. Continuously cooperating with experts from hotel management, he also participates in research projects with scientists specialized in marketing and management in sport and tourism.

The book is so far available only in Croatian, and you can buy it here.

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

 

 

 

Friday, 2 April 2021

22,000 Tourists Staying in Croatia Ahead of Easter

ZAGREB, 2 April, 2021 - More than 22,000 tourists are staying in Croatia ahead of Easter, including 17,000 foreigners, and although the number is expected to increase over the holidays, turnover is not expected to reach the pre-pandemic levels, National Tourist Board director Kristjan Staničić said on Friday.

"Considering all the circumstances, we don't expect for the coming Easter holidays the level of turnover from previous years and previous Easter holidays but, by adhering to all epidemiological measures and protocols, we expect tourism activities, with an emphasis on the domestic market," he told Hina.

Since the school spring break follows the Easter holidays, more domestic tourists are expected next week, alongside those from Germany, Slovenia, Austria, Italy and the Czech Republic, he said.

More than 130 hotels and 60 campsites are currently open and most tourists are staying in Istria County, the northern Adriatic Kvarner region and Split-Dalmatia County, Staničić said, calling on all citizens and tourists to behave responsibly.

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

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Vir Island Strong Destination in January

March 31, 2021 - Last year's champion of tourism Vir Island is on its way to keeping first place.

After being last year's champion of tourism, the island of Vir is optimistic about having another great year.

As Večernji List daily newspaper reports, without having any organised events, Vir recorded 87% of last year's numbers in January alone. Speaking of last year's numbers, Vir was a well-deserved champion indeed with its 2.3 million overnights, over 100.000 tourist arrivals, and 87% of traffic from 2019. Vir Tourist Board director Srđan Liverić says he expects this year to be even better.

„We expect a good season, but we are aware this will depend on the situation in the world and travel possibilities. Due to the coronavirus crisis, we didn't show up on markets where we were present for more than 10 years and so we are waiting to see what will happen in spring", said Liverić for Večernji List.

He adds that one of the key advantages of Vir is that it is a real-estate tourism destination. In other words,  almost half of all estates on the island are owned by foreign citizens who reside on Vir year after year. They also invite their friends and families to join. The other half is owned by domestic, Croatian tourists who go there over weekends because the island is easily accessible by car

With good results in January, February also kept the island happy with a 16% increase. Mate Čulina, manager of the Vir Turizam tourist agency, told Večernji that while reservations remain in small numbers until the warmer months, Villa Lanterna already has 60 days fully booked in July, October, and September. Last year, Villa Lanterna had 100 days of filled capacities, and other luxury accommodations did similarly.

Vir Tourist Board also showed strong support for local renters, presenting them on their redesigned webpage.

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

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Porto Baroš to be New Marina for Super Yachts? Possible Expansion Outside Baroš Controversial

March 30, 2021 - The talk of the new marina for super yachts in Rijeka, Porto Baroš, brings both the hype of development and concerns for public interest.

Porto Baroš in Rijeka, a marina with the potential of 500 ties, is the subject of a public call to be assigned the concession for the next 30 years. The call offers the possibility of expanding to the travel port's entire area, reports the Rijeka-based Novi List daily newspaper. The call was open a month ago. The decision is expected to be known in the following ten days, after which the Ministry of Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure will decide to assign the concession that will be delivered to the Croatian government.

The trading company ACI-Gitone, owned by ACI (Adriatic Croatia International Club) and Lürssen (German yacht company), answered the public call with an investment offer of 363,7 million kunas.

As Novi List learns, ACI- Gitone plans to ask for the expansion of concession to the area owned by Rijeka Port Authority and currently functions as „the port for big yachts". If approved, the Rijeka marina would become the biggest in all of Croatia.

Oleg Butković, minister of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure, is very happy about the offer of ACI-Gitone.

„This investment makes me happy as we know that with such a marina capable of hosting megayachts comes a series of additional services. Rijeka and its surroundings must take such opportunity", said minister Butković.

Mayoral candidate critical of the offer

On the other hand, the left-green party Možemo! (We can!) mayoral candidate for Rijeka Nebojša Zelić is opposed to the investment, says Novi List.

Zelić adds he has no problem with the concession for Baroš, but he has issues with the idea of expanding concession to the larger area of Travel coast and Molo Longo.

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Nebojša Zelić, screenshot / Možemo! Politička platforma

„This is against public interest given that the concession is given to a minimum of 30 years and there is a possibility that the citizens could be denied access to the sea. That's problematic as it opposes the law of concessions which forbids changing the subject of the public call and in this case that is the expansion of the concession", said Zelić.

He points out that Rijeka's waterfront and Molo Longo unlike Baroš are not nautical tourism and that experience showed how much these places are valuable to the locals. „If these places are shabby, that's the problem of bad management by Rijeka's Port Authority and citizens can't be the hostages of bad management by the Port and the City of Rijeka", said Zelić. He also accused the leading party Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) for controlling the most valuable city property through Port Authorities. Zelić's party colleague Sandra Benčić said that the current General Urban plan in Rijeka disables nautical tourism port on Rijeka's waterfront and Moro Longo. She says that can change and that HDZ is counting on it if they get the majority in the city council on the upcoming local elections in May.

„I believe that Rijeka citizens will know to say no to denying access to the sea. We will publicly step out in front of the government to disrupt the expansion of the concession and prevent HDZ's interest being above the public's interest, and we will fight in the parliament too", announced Benčić.

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

 

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Development of Health Tourism: High Priority for Croatian Tourist Offer

March 25, 2021 - Both the Croatian Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Croatian tourist boards recognised the development of health tourism as a high priority for Croatia.

To discuss the development of health tourism in Croatia, a branch that is becoming one of the more important Croatian tourist products, Croatian Tourism and Sports minister Nikolina Brnjac met with Kvarner Tourist Board director Irena Peršić Živadinov, Kvarner Health Tourism cluster president Vladimir Možetič, and Zagreb Tourist Board director Martina Bienenfeld. As life expectancy and healthy lifestyle trends increase, the value of health tourism grows. The novel coronavirus only made that growth even more rapid.

"Over 80,000 tourists in 2020 visited Kvarner (well-known for Lošinj Island and its hospital for respiratory issues) for health services. Today, many people are recovering from the consequences of the novel coronavirus there," said the Kvarner Tourist Board director Živadinov.  

"We have all the advantages for further development of health tourism: a good reputation of health services, qualified staff, natural richness of thermal sources, good climate, and long tradition of tourism," said minister Brnjac. Her goal is to pull Croatia out of the perception of a country only good for the summer season.

Croatia offers health services in wellness and medicine tourism. Health tourism is most associated with the regions of Kvarner, Istria, northern Croatia, and Zagreb, but the goal is to include other regions that have the potential for health tourism and to achieve the goals of a strategy that needs to be accomplished by 2030.

Martina Bienenfeld said that the Zagreb Tourist Board is working on the City's recognition as the centre of medical excellence. She pointed out good traffic connections, a mixture of the Mediterranean and mid-Europe climate, as well as good prices of health services as great advantages of Croatia's capital to the international clientele.

The Health Care Bill and Services in Tourism Bill now allow hospitality and health tourism services in hospitals and medical centres. These legal changes are also significant in attracting further investments in the field.

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

 

Friday, 12 March 2021

Croatia and Israel Discuss Protocols Facilitating Travel

ZAGREB, 12 March, 2021 - Croatia and Israel have started talks on travel and protocols for tourists from the two countries, Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac said on Friday, hopeful an agreement would soon be reached.

Brnjac and Israeli Ambassador Ilan Mor met on Thursday to discuss the travel protocols with the aim of reaching an agreement that would facilitate travel for tourists from both countries during the pandemic.

The minister expressed satisfaction with the meeting at which she informed the ambassador of other activities of her ministry, including a project with the website "Safe stay in Croatia", which provides visitors to Croatia with information on locations and epidemiological restrictions in force as well as recommendations for health safety.

She spoke of special safety protocols which anyone applying for the "Safe stay in Croatia" certificate must comply with and explained how businesses with that certificate would be monitored.

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

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