Thursday, 17 September 2020

Ministry: State of Security During Tourist Season Stable and Favourable

ZAGREB, Sept 17, 2020 - The state of security in Croatia was stable and favourable during the summer season, despite extraordinary epidemiological circumstances, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.

The ministry whose task force for implementing security measures during the summer season ceased operating on 15 September, issued a report on the activities taken by that body during the peak season.

During the season, the number of passengers crossing the Croatian border decreased by 60% to 25 million compared to the corresponding period in 2019 when about 62 million passengers were registered.

The number of vehicles registered to cross the Croatian borders from 15 June to 7 September fell by 46% to four million, while in the same period last year, there were 7.2 million vehicles.

The number of traffic accidents with fatalities was lower by 2.6%, and the number of accidents resulting in injuries fell by 15%.

Rescue operations at sea were conducted to save 20 persons.

This summer, the number of fires increases by 4.4% compared to the corresponding period in 2019, reads the ministry's report.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Monday, 14 September 2020

Stability Needed Following Surprisingly Decent 2020 Tourist Season

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes on the 14th of September, 2020, following the coronavirus-dominated 2020 tourist season, which ended better than expected for all but travel agencies, along with measures to preserve jobs and liquidity, it will be crucial to enable the implementation of the Tourist Land Act, and complete investments stopped or slowed by the pandemic. Representatives of all segments of tourism agreed with that, and they were gathered by the Minister of Tourism and Sport, Nikolina Brnjac, at a joint press conference on Friday.

By the end of August in Croatia, when taking into account all accommodation facilities plus nautical tourism, 6.8 million arrivals and 47.6 million overnight stays were realised, ie 41 percent of the arrivals and 53 percent of the overnight stays realised in the same period in 2019. Of that, foreign tourists realised 5.5 million arrivals and 38.3 million overnight stays, while domestic tourists realised 1.3 million arrivals and 9.2 million overnight stays.

The results of the enfeebled 2020 tourist season exceeded the initial predictions of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), which believed that Croatia would manage to generate only 30 percent of last year's tourism turnover during this highly unusual 2020 tourist season.

"Before us lies the realisation of the rest of the tourist year and preparations for next year, drafting a new strategic document for tourism development and a series of activities aimed at maintaining the stability of the tourism system, strengthening its resilience and speeding up the recovery process, European Union funds also have a role to play,'' stated Brnjac.

In terms of the percentage of overnight stays realised when compared to last year, the best traffic this summer was recorded in the nautical sector (70 percent), family accommodation (66 percent), but this wasn't the case along the entire coast, camps (57 percent) and finally hotels (44 percent). Weekenders made up only 3 percent less traffic than last year, and in some destinations like Vir they made up the vast majority of guests. This summer, hoteliers were under the pressure of cutting prices, which is why their income was 5 to 15 percent lower than the physical indicators, according to a survey by the Croatian Tourism Association presented by the association's director Veljko Ostojic.

"Camps had better demand, they realised 57 percent of last year's overnight stays. In addition, 4 and 5 star hotels were better filled by about 10 percent, and 5 star campsites had the best occupancy. This is a good indicator for the future development of tourism,'' said Ostojic of the 2020 tourist season. For next season, he considers it important to adopt a national safety label, which will be just as important as now.

Sean Lisjak, president of the Nautical Sector Association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, revealed that marinas accounted for 85 percent of last year's turnover this year, but will lose 150 million euros in September and October due to border closures. The annual revenue of the nautical charter last year was around 770 million euros.

The director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristjan Stanicic, pointed out that the CNTB's revenue this year will stand at around 200 million kuna, ie 150 million kuna less than last year, but he pointed out that it will be enough for the campaigns that are being prepared for 2021.

"The final preparations for the promotion of the post-season are underway, during which we're going to focus on the nautical offer, the continental offer, eno-gastronomy and the offer of Croatian national parks and nature parks. Throughout September, we'll conduct campaigns on our most important markets, as part of which we plan to thank all tourists for their trust when choosing Croatian destinations.

We're also working intensively on preparations for 2021, in which we'll position Croatia even more strongly as a safe tourist destination with a focus on markets that have responded best to promotional activities this year, such as Germany, Slovenia, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Slovakia and Hungary,'' said Stanicic.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Saturday, 12 September 2020

How Much Have Croatian Camps and Hotels Earned This Tourist Season?

September the 12th, 2020 - The Croatian tourism industry has taken blow after blow ever since the coronavirus pandemic broke through into the country back in spring this year. Croatian camps and hotels have had an extremely difficult time in drying to decide when to open, how to adapt to the epidemiological measures, or whether to bother opening their doors at all.

Despite the temendous amount of woes which plagued (and quite literally) tourism in Croatia, which is an economic branch of vital importance, accounting for around 20 percent of the country's GDP, the Croatian tourist season actually recorded far better results than were ever initially expected back during those dark lockdown-dominated days and weeks. With travel restricted and everything up in the air as the virus spread, many Croatian camps and hotels thought that there would be no season to speak of whatsoever, and the predictions from those in the industry were dire.

As summer arrived, flights began operating again and more and more Croatian camps and hotels began opening their doors. This was aided by Croatia's previously excellent epidemiological picture when compared to other countries in Europe, especially the terrible situations in both the United Kingdom and nearby Italy, and for the most part, the calculated risk of opening Croatia up to tourists paid off, resulting in a far better season than anticipated and a decent income level.

Now that the season is all but over and the cases of infection have begun to climb rather dramatically, just how well did Croatian camps and hotels actually perform when we look at the real figures?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes on the 11th of September, 2020, this year, Croatian hotels accounted for about 44 percent of last year's turnover during the summer season, with revenues that are 5 to 15 percent lower than physical indicators, according to a survey by the Croatian Tourism Association, which was revealed recently at a press conference at the Ministry of Tourism by Veljko Ostojic.

This shows that there was price pressure, to which some hotels responded. Croatian camps had better demand, they realised 57 percent of last year's overnight stays.

Minister of Tourism Nikolina Brnjac revealed that in the season, Croatia realised 5.2 million tourist arrivals, which is 54 percent of the level of traffic from 2019, from 39.8 million overnight stays, or 62 percent of last year's traffic.

This is significantly better than expected from the rest of the Mediterranean. The director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristjan Stanicic, revealed that the CNTB's revenue this year will be around 200 million kuna, which is 150 million less than last year, but he pointed out that this will be enough for the campaigns that are being prepared for 2021.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

What Year in History Does 2020 Croatian Tourist Season Resemble?

During the first part of the summer season, Croatia managed to open its doors for tourism more quickly than other countries which also rely heavily on it did, and positioned itself better on its emitting markets. But what year would be the most comparable to the 2020 Croatian tourist season?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes on the 8th of September, 2020, in a year in which tourism will lose at least a trillion dollars in revenue globally, setting the sector back 20 years, Croatia has so far come out with a slightly better result, especially when compared to competitors from the Mediterranean.

With about 46 million overnight stays realised from the beginning of the year to the end of August, the 2020 Croatian tourist season is currently at about 51 percent of the number of overnight stays realised when compared to last year, and the total annual result could reach the level of 2005 when the country had 51 million overnight stays, with 6 billion euros having been earned. Revenue this year will depend on the structure of spending, about which there are no estimates so far, and last year it stood at 12 billion euros.

The Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) published a comparison of the results of the 2020 Croatian tourist season for the usually hit month of July on Monday, and the official figures are currently also in in Spain, Turkey, Cyprus and Portugal. In July, Spain accounted for only 25 percent of last year's turnover, Portugal accounted 17 percent, Cyprus 12 percent and Turkey 14 percent.

Although the figures for August aren't yet official, all these countries with tourist traffic started later this year than Croatia did, and saw some significant traffic in the eighth month of 2020, but this was abruptly stopped by the closing of various borders and introducing quarantine in the last week of August. For comparison, Croatia realised about 2.5 million foreign arrivals in July (50 percent of what was realised back in July 2019), as well as almost 15.7 million foreign overnight stays (60 percent). In the first seven months of 2020, the country realised about 26.3 million foreign overnight stays, 42 percent of last year's traffic. August was even better for the 2020 Croatian tourist season according to the latest official data, as Croatia had about 2.3 million arrivals and 17.6 million overnight stays by August the 23rd, which is 67 percent of last year's result. By the end of August, it was estimated that a total of 20 million overnight stays had been acheived.

The Greek tourism sector estimates that it will end this year with tourism revenues of about 3 billion euros, which is 6 times less than it realised last year. Italy expects a loss of 36.7 billion euros in tourism, with a drop in consumption from foreign tourists of 82 percent when compared to last year, equal to an astounding 100 million euros a day, according to the World Tourism Council (WTTC). The CNTB pointed out that in the first part of the summer season, Croatia managed to open up to tourists much faster than what was the case with other countries. At the same time, it positioned itself better on emitting markets than all the countries covered by the analysis.

"The CNTB responded in a timely manner, directing its promotional activities and information campaigns to the most important emitting markets. That such a decision was correct is also confirmed by the results achieved by Croatian tourism in July and August, where we've recorded the most arrivals and overnight stays from the markets of Germany, Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary,'' the CNTB pointed out.

They also believe that very close and continuous communication with representatives of Croatian tourism associations, the Croatian Government and government institutions, as well as diplomacy was crucial.

''Considering the circumstances and the available budgets, we believe that we have all done an excellent job together,'' the CNTB concluded when looking back at the 2020 Croatian tourist season.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Adhering To Health Measures Could Secure 2 More Months Of Tourism Turnover

ZAGREB, Aug 26, 2020- There are now some 500,000 tourists in Croatia and if the epidemiological situation remains stable and everyone complies with recommendations, we can certainly expect another two months of tourism turnover this year, the National Tourist Board (HTZ) director, Kristjan Stanicic, said on Wednesday.

Stanicic met with representatives of Lika-Senj and Karlovac county tourist board representatives at Plitvice Lakes.

Lika-Senj county tourism board director Ivan Radosevic assesses that tourist trade in that county is very good compared to initial forecasts, saying that "August has brought an excellent 67% of last August's results, and year to date we have stood at 54% of last year's levels."

Currently, there are visitors in that county from Germany, Croatia, and Poland and the situation is similar in Karlovac County with the local tourist board's director Dina Begic saying that currently, the county is generating about 30% of last year's turnover.

They both underscored that this year the number of local guests has increased and account for 30% of tourism turnover.

Stanicic recalled measures from May until now which enabled tourism turnover, including a focus on marketing and information campaigns conducted on key European markets where the majority of holidaymakers come from.

Considering everything, Stanicic is exceptionally satisfied with the summer part of the tourism year and with that in August alone when 67% of last year's August turnover was achieved.

He announced a campaign for the shoulder season with emphasis on continental tourism, nautical and gastronomic tourism focusing on the closest markets.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Monday, 24 August 2020

Brnjac: Croatia Recognised As Safe Destination

ZAGREB, Aug 24, 2020 - Minister Nikolina Brnjac on Monday stated that the tourism sector was well prepared for the situation caused by the coronavirus and that the good tourism results, and government and crisis response team's measures had resulted in Croatia being recognized as a safe destination.

Commenting on claims by stakeholders in the tourism sector that it is going to take two to three years for tourism to get back to 2019's levels, Minister Brnjac said after meeting with representatives of the hotel industry, that it was of exceptional importance to "strategically think of further steps so that we can establish a sustainable and resilient system."

It is essential that everyone behaves responsibly and adheres to the recommended measures so that the positive trend in arrivals can continue this season and in that way, set the preconditions to maintain safety in the years to come, she said.

"The 2019 tourism season was above average in everything but the number of arrivals does not mean revenue too. That is why a tourism development strategy is important because it is important to know where we are going, what our objective is, and how to develop Croatia's tourism in the future. This situation with COVID is extraordinary. The tourism sector was exceptionally well prepared and the good results we have in fact, along with the government's measures which saved jobs and the measures by the Civil Protection Authority, have resulted in Croatia being recognized as a safe destination," the tourism minister underlined.

She explained that several ministries were in contact with those countries that have put Croatia on the quarantine list to ask that Croatia be treated according to the current developments in counties as the situation is not the same throughout the country.

"Hence, based on the epidemiological circumstances that will occur we expect other countries to review their lists. We have the biggest number of guests from Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, and considering that we are a car destination, thanks to the Tourist Board's good promotion, we used our advantage and good road network," she concluded.

Director of the Croatian Tourism Association (HUT) Veljko Ostojic said that if the support measures had not been issued in March, the tourism season would definitely not be as it is because "employers would have been forced to lay off a significant number of workers and without workers there cannot be any tourism." 

We need information about job retention measures...because employers have to make certain decisions. It is also important to secure liquidity for the next tourism season and today we talked about the possibility of using EU funds, he said.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Monday, 24 August 2020

HTZ Says Overnight Stays In August At 67% Of Last Year's August Figures

ZAGREB, Aug 24, 2020 - A total of 2.3 million tourists vacationed in Croatia in the period from 1 to 23 August, generating 17.6 million overnight stays, which is at 67% of the results in the same period of 2019, officials of the Croatian Tourism Board (HTZ) said on Monday.

The latest statistics, which are based on information from the eVisitor system and which include tourist turnover in commercial and non-commercial accommodation as well as in boat rental, show that in the first 23 days of August there were 4.3 million overnight stays in Istria and 3.5 million in the region of Kvarner.

Split-Dalmatia County follows with 3.4 million overnight stays, followed by Zadar County with 3.2 million overnight stays, Sibenik-Knin County with 1.4 million, Dubrovnik-Neretva County with one million and Lika-Senj County with 636,000 overnight stays.

HTZ director Kristjan Stanicic said that the results for August were excellent and that the HTZ had very good announcements for September from the countries which had not put Croatia on a list of epidemiologically unsafe countries.

Between the start of this year and August 23, 6.5 million tourists vacationed in Croatia, generating more than 44 million overnight stays, which is 53% of tourism figures in the same period of 2019, the HTZ said.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.


Monday, 17 August 2020

Minister Says Is Not Concerned Over Continuation Of Tourist Season

ZAGREB, Aug 17, 2020 - Croatia's Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic, who is at the helm of the national COVID response team, said on Sunday that he had no concerns over the continuation of the tourist season following travel warnings from some countries.

"I am not concerned over the remainder of the tourist season. There are currently 760,000 tourists in Croatia. In the course of the day, tens of thousands from EU member-states have entered Croatia," Bozinovic told the NOVA TV commercial broadcaster on Sunday evening.

A few days ago Italy and Austria decided to add Croatia to their lists of high-risk COVID countries.

The Croatian minister admitted that it would have been better, if such decisions had not been made, however, he added that Croatia would continue doing its best to make sure that the struggle against the coronavirus infection is efficient and that the tourist postseason is good.

Bozinovic says every country makes decisions it deems appropriate.

Since the start of the tourist season, there has existed some kind of contraposition of interests: on one hand, countries do not want their nationals to travel abroad and there spend their money, and on the other hand tourist destinations such as Croatia would like to attract as many guests as possible.

He said that there were some indications that tourists would continue visiting Croatia.

Asked whether Croatia would respond to Austria after it imposed the obligatory tests for arrivals from our country, Bozinovic said that "Croatia does not think that way."

"We are focused primarily on our interests."

We are trying to use our potentials and capacities to make sure that the favourable developments continue, the minister said.

As for Slovenia which is mulling some restrictions on arrivals from Croatia, he said that Zagreb is in permanent contact with Slovenia's authorities, and that it remained to be seen on Monday what would happen.

Slovenia to decide on possible restrictions on arrivals from Croatia on Thursday

In the meantime, the Slovenian government's spokesman said that they would decide on possible restrictions on Thursday. On Tuesday we will see the results of tests made on Monday and if there are no changes in the work on nightclubs (in Croatia), we will must respond in some way, Jelko Kacin said on Sunday evening.

Friday, 24 July 2020

PM Says Expects Ministers to Cooperate Closely for Tourist Season's Sake

ZAGREB, July 24, 2020 - The new, 15th cabinet held its first meeting on Friday, with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic saying the main item on the agenda was a bill on the reconstruction of buildings damaged in the Zagreb area in the March earthquake.

"As we promised, the bill is on the agenda of the first government session after the election," he said.

Plenkovic said he expected Health Minister Vili Beros, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic, Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman and Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac "to cooperate closely in the days ahead so that we can conduct consultations to combine what we do with our ambition to achieve the best possible tourist season and communication with many other states which follow the epidemiological situation in all other states, including in Croatia."

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

As Coronavirus Threatens Tourism, Croatia's Private Renters Worry

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 7th of April, 2020, the Croatian Government's rescue package has many measures related to the tourism industry, which is Croatia's strongest economic branch and is most affected by the coronavirus crisis. The measures include job preservation, financial and administrative burdens, wage benefits and tax breaks, RTL reports.

Nonetheless, Croatian tourism professionals are in awe, especially with regard to Croatia's very many private renters, and almost half of them think they will not be able to support their families without their usual tourist rental income.

Otherwise, we would not be able to take so much as a peek at Gordana's apartments in Crikvenica as of the beginning of April, because they would be full of readily paying tourists.

"We get cancellations almost every day, from now until June the 15th, everything has been cancelled, whatever we had. Otherwise, we should have entered the full season from April the 6th. We had almost 70 percent of the capacities filled,'' says Gordana Derossi, the owner of the Crikvenica apartments.

Last year, Kvarner enjoyed the best tourist Easter in the past three years, and it was believed that this positive trend would continue this year. Opatija makes for a sad image too, with its empty promenades. Private renters are now beginning to pass over from feelings of concern to fear, with their bookings dropping by as much as 50 percent. However, they do say that the Croatian Government is doing its job so far with the introduced coronavirus measures.

"I didn't use the tax deferral measures, but I do welcome the 50 percent less tourist tax," Derossi says. However, in March alone, a 70 percent drop in arrivals was calculated, with a 50 percent slash in overnight stays.

"Cumulatively, these figures are slightly lower, however, this is a direct consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, and I believe that unfortunately, in such an atmosphere, we'll continue with this sort of tourist traffic, which is practically non-existent at the moment, throughout April and May," said Kristijan Stanicic, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ).

Although HTZ is trapped in terms of Croatia's promotion on the foreign market, they remain present on social networks, and jobs in tourism have been more or less secured by the recently introduced government anti-epidemic measures.

"These are very important for the tourism sector, given that tourism will be the most affected sector in Croatia this year," Stanicic said.

Because the season is lost, the consequences will be felt for years. Tourism accounts for more than 20 percent of Croatia's gross domestic product, and it seems that the coronavirus effect is far from over yet.

Make sure to follow our dedicated section for all you need to know about coronavirus in Croatia.