Croatian Tourism Minister: We are Focusing on Domestic Tourism, Lower Prices

By 16 April 2020

April 16, 2020 - Can Croatians save the country's tourism this year? Croatian Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli comments on domestic tourism and the Ministry's plan post coronavirus. 

"Domestic tourists cannot save the tourist season in Croatia because their share in total traffic in the last two years has been around 12 percent, but tourism certainly counts on them when coronavirus measures are loosened, which is decided by the Civil Protection Headquarters," Croatian Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli said Wednesday on

"We always prepared special projects for local tourists. This year should have been 'A Week's Holiday is Worth It' and the Cro card that offered discounts. It had nothing to do with the corona era, because we were preparing these projects long before the pandemic was revealed in the world," Cappelli said, answering questions from reporters.

He announced that the Cro card will now be redefined and certainly try to be used in some way to serve its purpose in Croatia, not only on the coast and in restaurants, but to be used all over the country and for various offers, thus boosting domestic tourist consumption and revenues.

Asked by journalists if tourism prices should be lower this year, which could also attract domestic tourists, if the health situation permits, the minister replied: "Of course the prices will be lower, it will be cheaper."

"It will be cheaper, especially in private accommodation, which will certainly be more important for tourist demand when it comes to looking at being more secluded, better quality and closer access to nature with fewer houses in the surrounding area," said Cappelli, pointing out that they are in a similar position with camps.

In addition, he believes that nautical tourism will come to the fore and that the fact that Croatia is, as he said, 'the country with the most charter vessels in the world', will certainly be important. He also believes that with reasonable prices, it will be more readily available to domestic tourists at certain times.

"If there is tourism activity and the coronavirus situation improves, in private accommodation, nautical charters and camps, I see an opportunity this summer, rather than in some hotel accommodation, which will have to be more strict in receiving guests, as that's where epidemiologists will have a say in how many rooms can be open and the like," Cappelli emphasized.

He also reminded that because it is impossible to realize plans for this year, the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) has annulled its annual and financial work program, announcing a salary reduction of up to 30% for employees in Zagreb and representative offices, and advised lower levels of the tourist board system to do the same.

Asked how Croatian tourism is preparing for the measures to be lifted and the possible reopening of hospitality facilities, the minister said that this depends primarily on the decisions of the epidemiological service and the National Headquarters, but also that they have "some plans if something happens tomorrow."

"We have plans for marketing activities in case the measures are loosened and facilities can open, and yesterday we gave the task to HTZ to prepare proposals within 14 days if, for example, tourists from Austria or another country close to us want to come and could visit us. We will definitely try to take advantage of this proximity and the possibility of getting there by car and highway. So, if we see the borders starting to open or something similar, we will be ready for marketing activities in these markets within 14 days," Cappelli announced.

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