Monday, 1 November 2021

Croatian 2021 Tourist Season Financial Results Arrive

November the 1st, 2021 - The Croatian 2021 tourist season financial results are finally in following a long period of praise for a remarkably good season marked by a good epidemiological picture.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, in the first nine months of 2021, the largest Croatian tourism company, Valamar Riviera, reached the level of 93 percent of the pre-crisis year of 2019 in terms of operating profit (EBITDA), and operating revenues in the same period amounted to 1.5 billion kuna, or 75 percent of sales realised back in 2019.

Given the high demand at the peak of the summer season this year, Valamar achieved excellent results in its more northern destinations in the third quarter, especially in camps where 15 percent more revenue than in 2019 was earned and the premium segment of hotels and resorts where 10 percent more revenue than 2019 was recorded. However, in the first nine months of the year, no significant recovery of business was achieved down in Dubrovnik, nor was it the case for tourist facilities with two and three stars.

In 2021, Valamar expects operating profit (EBITDA) in the range of 635 million kuna to 652 million kuna, or up to 85 percent of the realisation from back in 2019 as a result of austerity measures taken in the first part of the year and a strong recovery of operations during the height of this year's summer season. It is estimated that consolidated revenues for 2021 will reach 1,625 to 1,655 million kuna, or about 75 percent of the realisation they company enjoyed back during the record year of pre-pandemic 2019.

Maistra enjoyed 85 percent of its 2019 realisation in the third quarter of this year. In the season, they accounted for 95 percent of their occupied units in comparison to the same time in 2019. Once again, the most significant growth was achieved in the lux segment of their portfolio, which realised a volume increase of 13 percent when compared to 2019. In their first nine months of operations in 2021, the Maistra Group generated 1.15 billion kuna in operating revenues, which is about twice as much as they recorded last year, equal to an encouraging 92 percent of the realisation of the same period in 2019.

Profit before interest, taxes and depreciation (EBITDA) amounted to 568 million kuna, which is three times more than last year and 3 percent more than what they recorded in 2019. Net profits also amounted to an impressive 362 million kuna.

Pula's Arena Hospitality Group generated 93 percent of 2019's revenues in Croatia during the tourist season, and their domestic portfolio functioned better than the hotels they have in Germany, Hungary and Serbia. Unaudited total revenues in the third quarter for this region represented only 39 percent of total revenues when compared to the same period in 2019. The company's total consolidated revenues for the first nine months of 2021 are at the level of 414.9 million kuna and represent an increase of 81 percent on an annual basis, which indicates very strong recovery.

Accelerated recovery in Croatia with total revenues of 380.2 million kuna shows an increase of 143 percent when compared to the previous year and has reached 75 percent of revenues earned back in 2019. There has also been a very strong jump in the consolidated EBITDA for this particular group, which reached 162.5 million kuna when compared to the 18.6 million kuna recorded last year (representing 65 percent of 2019's profit).

In the first nine months of 2021, Plava Laguna generated operating revenues at the level of 972.4 million kuna, which is 124 percent more than last year and 18 percent less than back in 2019. The growth of operating revenues was generated by an increase in business volume with an increase in average net prices of 8.7 percent as a result of an increase in the share of individual sales channel(s), especially in regard to hotels and apartments.

The nominal level of operating profit EBITDA adjusted for one-off positions amounted to 487 million kuna and the company recorded a significant increase compared to the same period last year of 261 percent. In the first nine months of the year, the group generated a profit of 340.2 million kuna, while in the previous year, a concerning loss of 70.1 million kuna was recorded.

It's worth noting that Plava Laguna recently announced that this year, the company will reward its employees with a maximum of 5,000 kuna as a non-taxable reward, a Christmas bonus in the amount of 3,000 kuna, a gift in kind worth 600 kuna and a rebate in the amount of 70 kuna gross per day of vacation, as well as a gift for the children of their employees up to 15 years of age in the amount of 600 kuna. The right to a Christmas bonus within this company is being exercised in the proportional amount of a maximum of 3,000 kuna for all employees who have worked for at least two months during the year.

For more on the Croatian 2021 tourist season financial results, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Saturday, 23 October 2021

About 420 Service Providers Included in Croatian Tourism Month

ZAGREB, 23 Oct, 2021 - About 420 enterprises in the tourist industry have taken part in the campaign "Croatian Tourism Month" in October, and so far a surge has been registered in visitors' arrivals and bed-nights compared to October 2020, the tourism ministry reported on Saturday.

The campaign was launched on 1 October by the ministry and the Croatian National Tourism Board (HTZ) with the aim of extending the tourist season by offering a range of services available at special benefits and discounts of at least 35 percent throughout October.

Considering the interest shown by both service providers and guests, the campaign will be extend to include the first seven days of November, too. In this way, the extended campaign will coincide with the school holidays around the All Saints' Day, a public holiday in Croatia.

A source from the ministry has told Hina that they are satisfied with the turnout of service providers and visitors.

Domestic guests are mainly users of these benefits, and there also foreign visitors during this month.

In the first 20 days of October, 484,000 guests were registered in Croatia, a surge of 208% compared to the corresponding period in 2020, and the number of their overnight stays skyrocketed by 121% to nearly two million.

Compared to the pre-pandemic 2019, this October's number of visits accounted for 56% of the statistics in the corresponding period two years ago, and overnight stay amounted to 66%.

The e-visitor system shows that in the first 20 days of October, 118,000 Croatians visited local destinations, or 57% more than in 2020 and 14% fewer than in 2019.

The top destinations have been Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Split, Zadar and Rovinj.

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Saturday, 25 September 2021

MDC Says Summer Stopped Decline in Museum Visitor Numbers

ZAGREB, 25 Sept, 2021 - A poll by the Zagreb-based Museum Documentation Centre (MDC) covering five Croatian museums which in recent years had the largest number of visitors shows that the two peak months of this tourist season have stopped a steep decline in the number of museum visitors caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The poll shows that the Pula-based Istria Museum of Archeology, the Split City Museum, the Dubrovnik Museums, the Museums of the Croatian Zagorje, and the Zagreb-based Klovićevi Dvori gallery saw an 84.9% increase in the number of visitors compared to the same period of 2020, which accounts for 70% of visitors to those museums during the last pre-pandemic summer of 2019.

The MDC says that a favourable epidemiological situation and good tourism results in July and August 2021 have strongly reflected on the number of museum visitors but notes that the actual contribution of this year's tourist season to museums' results in 2021 will be known only in early 2022.

Kocijan: Most visited world museums still far from being optimistic

The world's most visited museums have still not published data on visitor numbers in the first months following lockdown lifting but MDC director Maja Kocijan says they are certainly far from being optimistic.

Unlike Croatian museums, museums elsewhere in Europe were closed this year as well and once the lockdown was lifted, most of them have had to comply with much stricter epidemiological rules, she said.

Kocijan is not optimistic about the overall figures for Croatia for this year.

"The dramatic drop in visitor numbers and income was stopped for a while this summer but new waves of the pandemic have extended the biggest museum crisis ever into 2021. The season is over, the pandemic unfortunately isn't, new restrictions are on the horizon and the 84.9% increase in visitor numbers in the Croatian museums most attractive to tourists will be neutralised by the negative statistics caused by the pandemic and (2020) earthquakes," Kocijan said, recalling that one-third of Zagreb museums, including the biggest national museums, were entering the autumn closed, preparing for evacuation so that their post-earthquake reconstruction could start.

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Saturday, 18 September 2021

Investment Rating Confirmation of Good Gov’t Policy, Says PM

ZAGREB, 18 Sept, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Saturday the affirmation of Croatia's investment rating and forecast of a 6.5% economic growth this year were a confirmation of the government's good policy, which retained Croatia's economic and financial stability during the pandemic.

"The Standard & Poor's agency has affirmed Croatia's investment rating with a stable outlook and raised the economic growth estimate in 2021 to 6.5%! This is another confirmation that Croatia has retained economic and social stability as well as jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic with the government's measures for the private sector," the prime minister tweeted.

With a successful tourism season behind and the implementation of reforms and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan thanks to European funds, Croatia is on the path of a strong and fast recovery, he wrote.

"Another priority is to go back to the policy of public debt reduction and budgetary stability. Entry to the eurozone will contribute to the further strengthening of the credit rating," he added.

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Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Croatian Road Toll Fees High Over Weekend, Close to Same Weekend of 2019

August the 14th, 2021 - Croatian road toll fees are experiencing excellent numbers so far this summer, with this past weekend being far beyond anyone's expectations from just a few months ago. Numbers like those we saw and took entirely for granted back in pre-pandemic record year of 2019 which seemed unattainable this time last year are becoming more and more of a reality.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, Croatian Motorways is feeling the results of a truly excellent Croatian good tourist season so far in their business, which also recorded excellent results last weekend. From the 20th to the 22nd of August, 856.5 thousand vehicles passed at their toll booths and a massive 47.1 million kuna without VAT was collected in Croatian road toll fees.

When compared to the same weekend last year, when the turnover of 591.6 thousand vehicles and revenue of 31.5 million kuna in Croatian road toll fees was recorded, this figure marks a promising increase of 45 and 50 percent, respectively, and according to official HAC data, compared to the same weekend in In the pre-pandemic year of 2019, in which record results were also achieved, the number of vehicles this weekend was higher, but revenues were still slightly lower.

That weekend, two years ago, HAC recorded a turnover of 837.6 thousand cars and other vehicles, which means that last weekend the traffic was higher by 2 percent, and the state highways had a traffic of almost 19 thousand more vehicles.

However, Croatian road toll fees collected back then stood at about one percent higher, and on the same weekend in August in the pre-pandemic year of 2019, revenues amounted to 47.7 million kuna without VAT included.

The fact that with a larger number of vehicles there was no equal increase in revenue from freight, and it is slightly weaker, is partly a result of the fact that before the tourist season, as a government measure to attract tourists to come to Croatia, the so-called winter tariff, which is somewhat cheaper, remained in place for longer.

For more, follow our travel section.

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.

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Friday, 20 August 2021

Croatia Logs 468 New Cases, One COVID-19 Related Death

ZAGREB, 20 Aug, 2021 - In the past 24 hours, 468 coronavirus cases out of 9,948 tests (4.7%) and one COVID-related deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Friday.

The number of active cases is 2,509 and there are 251 hospitalised patients, including 26 on ventilators, while 6,472 persons are self-isolating.

To date, Croatia has registered 368,887 coronavirus cases and 8,295 deaths, while 358,083 persons have recovered from COVID-19, including 313 in the past 24 hours.

To date, 2,447,178 persons have been tested for the virus.

To date, 3,200,638 vaccine doses have been administered, with 41.69% of the population vaccinated, including 50.1% of adults.

One dose has been administered to 1,691,778,554 persons, while 1,571,296 persons have been fully vaccinated - 1,508,860 who have received both doses and 62,436 who have received a single-dose of the Janssen vaccine -- which is 46.59% of the adult population.

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Saturday, 14 August 2021

Croatia’s Coronavirus Update: 367 New Cases, 2 Deaths, 223 Recoveries

ZAGREB, 14 Aug, 2021 - In the last 24 hours, 9,194 coronavirus tests have been performed in Croatia, and of them 4%, that is 367, have come back positive, the national COVID-19 crisis management team reported on Saturday.

The COVID-19 death toll has risen by two to 8,282.

Currently, there are 1,782 active cases, and 192 patients infected with this virus are receiving hospital treatment including 20 placed on ventilators.

Since the first registered case of the infection with coronavirus in Croatia on 25 February 2020, 366,724 people have tested positive, and of them, 356,660 have to date recovered, including 223 recoveries in the last 24 hours.

One in two adult Croats vaccinated against COVID-19

Since the start of the vaccine rollout, 3,166,258 coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered in Croatia, and four in ten citizens (41.4%) have got vaccinated, or 49.7% of the adult population.

So far, nearly 1.68 million people have been given a shot, while 1.55 million have fully been vaccinated, that is 45.9% of the adult population.

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Sunday, 8 August 2021

Plenković Says Tourism Results Good

ZAGREB, 8 Aug, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković was attending the 306th Sinjska Alka tournament in Sinj on Sunday, saying it was "a beautiful event" for the area and Croatia because it was "our tradition, our heritage and everything that embodies Croatia's identity."

Speaking ahead of the lancing competition, he congratulated the people of Sinj and the Alka Knights Society on the 306th Sinjska Alka.

The tournament commemorates a victory over 60,000 Ottoman soldiers on 14 August 1715 by 700 Croatian defenders of Sinj, about 30 kilometres inland from the southern coastal city of Split.

The event features period-clad horsemen riding at full gallop and aiming their lances at an iron ring, called the alka, which is suspended from a rope above the race track.

It was inscribed on UNESCO's world intangible cultural heritage list in 2010.

Members of the press asked Plenković to comment on the COVID situation in Sinj, whose Mayor Miro Bulj asked that hospitality establishments be allowed to stay open longer for the tournament, a request rejected by the national COVID crisis management team due to COVID rules.

The prime minister said the rules were the same for all and that they were adopted for, not against, citizens and tourists.

He said he saw no problem, as more spectators would be allowed than last year, and that after 18 months it should be clear to everyone why bars were not allowed to stay open after midnight, not just in Sinj.

Plenković went on to say that the tourist season was above all expectations, and that the state and all other segments of society had done everything for it to be better both in terms of the COVID situation and efforts to promote Croatia.

He announced a tourism sector meeting in Opatija on Tuesday to be attended by six ministers aimed at reviewing what has been done in this year's tourism season which, according to current estimates, will be at 65-70% of the results achieved in the record year 2019.

"Considering our neighbours and the situation we were in, that is brilliant," Plenković said

He added that people should be more disciplined, wiser and more responsible to each other in order for the season to last as long as possible, so that Croatia's coastline was an orange COVID zone for at least two to three more weeks which, he added, would indicate strong economic recovery.

He said the growth announcements for the second quarter were "brilliant" and that if the season continued like this, they would be "very good" for Q3 as well. "That's what is most important at the moment to me as prime minister."

Asked to comment on the Hague war crimes tribunal's confirmation that Slobodan Milošević took part in a criminal enterprise against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Plenković said Croatians knew that very well and did not need proof.

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Sunday, 8 August 2021

1.05m Tourists Vacationing in Croatia

ZAGREB, 8 Aug, 2021 - There are 1,055,000 tourists vacationing in Croatia - 886,000 foreigners and 169,000 Croatians, the Tourism Ministry said on Sunday. 

Among the foreign tourists, the most numerous are Germans (257,000), followed by Slovenians (125,000), Poles (81,000) and Austrians (68,000).

The largest number of tourists are staying in Istra County (271,000), followed by Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (180,000) and Split-Dalmatia County (170,000).

Croatia has registered 7.4 million arrivals and 44.5 million overnights this year to date, respectively 58% and 68% of the results logged during the same time in 2019.

In the first seven days of August, there were 981,000 arrivals and 7.4 million overnights, respectively 78% and 91% of the figures recorded in the first week of August 2019.

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