Monday, 10 May 2021

More Than Two Thirds of Tourism Workers Willing to Get Vaccinated

ZAGREB, 10 May 2021 - Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac and Croatian Tourism Association director Veljko Ostojić said on Monday the summer season could be better than last year's, provided COVID-19 measures were complied with and a majority of tourism employees and the general population were vaccinated.

"Based on last year's experience and the preparations we have made together with the tourism sector and all tourism stakeholders, including the vaccination of tourism employees, which we consider the number one priority, I'm confident that this season could be quite good," Brnjac said in Rovinj.

The tourism sector is very interested in vaccination against COVID-19, she added.

"We have no problems with that at all because everyone is aware how important vaccination is so that we can ensure an even better season. After Dalmatia and Istria, the vaccination of tourism employees has begun in the interior and we have information that almost 70% of the tourism sector is willing to be vaccinated."

Brnjac said the Croatian Institute of Public Health should ensure additional doses for tourism employees.

She recalled that the Digital Green Certificate should be introduced on 1 June, that Croatia was part of a pilot project, and that Croatia already on 1 April clearly defined conditions and criteria for entering the country.

Ostojić said that unless something unforeseen and negative happened, he expected the summer season to be better than last year's.

He said he expected a lot from the Green Certificate, adding that the COVID-19 situation was improving.

"If the epidemiological situation isn't good, we have no right to expect tourism to happen. But by intensifying the vaccination of tourism employees as well as the general population, we will significantly improve the situation and be competitive as we were last year at the start of the season," said Ostojić.

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 centres across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Friday, 26 March 2021

70% of Tourism Workers in Croatia Awaiting Vaccination

March 26, 2021 - A large percentage of tourism workers in Croatia are awaiting vaccination in hopes they can have a safer season this year. 

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that as many as 70 percent of respondents from the tourism sector expressed interest in vaccinations, according to a survey conducted by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Croatian Tourism Association.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports initiated the collection of employees' personal data through professional associations to implement the Vaccination Program, which would put the tourism sector in the priority group.

Priority within it is determined following epidemiological risks, with the advantage not only for employees who have greater contact with guests, but also, for example, those who, due to the nature of work, are unable to provide adequate social distance, especially indoors, such as in the kitchen.

Tourism workers in Croatia interested in vaccination were divided into two groups. The first includes operational staff (reception, waiters, household, drivers, guides, skippers, etc.) and those who are in direct contact with them daily. Priority number two refers to "administrative staff" and employees working at the dislocated location, which are not in daily contact with persons from the first group.

"The good news is that we are put on a priority list. All skippers will be vaccinated; there is no discussion. This is of vital interest to us, especially if clients would ask for it or if one of us is a member of a yacht crew," says Vicko Ozretić, president of the Croatian Skippers Association and members of the crew of yachts "Crosca."

The association has not yet received information on when the vaccination will begin, and they hope it will be as soon as possible. However, due to the current epidemiological situation across Europe and strict measures, they have little hope they'll start work soon.

All the figures, Ozretić says without hesitation, have dropped significantly.

"We believe in the peak season; we hope it will be good. As we have a pretty good pre-season and post-season in nautical tourism, we will be the first to feel the loss and lack of this pre-season because charters usually start slowly for Easter, and start working in May. It's about that now. Few of us will work this Easter, and maybe no one," says Ozretić. The first reservations are recorded only in June, but a new problem has arisen, further complicating business in nautical tourism.

"These are vouchers from last season. A part of these clients started asking for a refund, where charterers expect a big blow. This is one of the huge problems we are currently solving. It is easy to have one or two cancellations, but twenty or thirty are hard to bear," explains Ozretić.

The problem with voucher cancellations has escalated currently, as cases rise across Europe due to the rapid spread of new coronavirus strains.

Are travelers giving up even in the postseason?

"September is still under question; for now, what is booked is standing, but these are more or less bookings from last year. September is a ways away; it is no longer booked as in the period before the pandemic. No one can know anything more in advance. Everything is uncertain," concludes Vicko Ozretić.

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