2022 Croatian Tourism Year Promising with Increased Airlines, April Hotel Bookings

By 21 November 2021
2022 Croatian Tourism Year Promising with Increased Airlines, April Hotel Bookings

November 21, 2021 - The 2022 Croatian tourism year is already promising, with hotel reservations and increased flights from April. 

Slobodna Dalmacija writes that although it seems that everything related to tourism in Croatia for this year is over and the accounts are complete, tourism professionals are not sleeping. This winter, fortunately, is full of work. Some parts of the season are already showing that reservations are up by 20 percent compared to previous years, and the most sought after are holiday homes and five-star hotels. Instructed by the high demand last summer, tourists have accelerated their decision to travel next year and are already booking their trip to the Adriatic to make sure there are enough beds. There is currently no lack of optimism but also caution among tourism professionals.

Even in the middle of the quieter autumn months, reservations are slowly arriving for 2022, occupancy calendars are filling, and everyone involved in sales must set a sales strategy, prices, and reservations for 2022. 

Prices scattered from low to high last year, which did not go unnoticed by guests. However, international partners have already settled capacities and prices on the Adriatic with large hotel systems, while large internet platforms and agencies through which private renters work already know their prices for the next season. 

"In planning the 2022 tourist year, we must be prudent and smart in the pricing policy; one should not get carried away by this year's demand because every next year is a new story that starts from the beginning. What we did in 2021 is one thing, at some point, we were practically the only country in the Mediterranean where we could travel, while what awaits us in 2022 is a lot of question marks and unknowns. And we tend to take off, convince ourselves that we are the best and most sought after, and tailor the prices accordingly. But, it doesn't work, this year the guests saw our weaknesses, lack of manpower, improvisations, poorer service. Top service in the highest accommodation categories is still the most sought after and the fastest to book. Still, it does not make even 10 percent of our capacity, while most hotel and family accommodation is in the mediocre category and wants to have high prices. That will not work in 2022," one long-term hotel professional estimated about the current situation.

According to the latest European Travel Commission (ETC) study, 66 percent of Europeans plan to travel by March 2022. For the first time in a year, travel plans are evenly distributed over the next six months. Recent research shows that after sacrificing socializing, traveling, and having fun for a long time, travelers want to make up for the time they haven’t been able to spend on holiday for the past two years. If something does not change due to the pandemic, business plans say that hotels on the Adriatic will open in April 2022, when the first numerous rotations in air transport from Europe have been announced.

The current interest in Croatia was confirmed at the recently held largest world tourism fair WTM in London, where airlines announced new and increased routes to Croatia next year. 

"We received excellent announcements for next year from the representatives of, our most important partners in the British market, which brings us the largest number of British tourists with TUI. Furthermore, partners for next year announce increased demand for Croatia and a larger number of airlines. Still, we all have an important task because the basic precondition for a successful tourist season will be a stable epidemiological situation," emphasizes CNTB Director Kristjan Stanicic, announcing further promotional activities and projects aimed at positioning Croatia as a quality and safe tourist destination with a rich offer.

Richard Owens, development manager at easyJet, says that they achieved excellent results in Croatia this year and almost entirely returned to the trends from 2019. As a result, they plan to increase capacity and introduce new flights to Croatia next year. At the same time, Frank Broersen from TUI expresses satisfaction with the demand for Croatia, expecting the continuation of positive trends and further recovery of the tourist market next year.

This currently good position of Croatia on the tourist market will seek confirmation in 2022, but many circumstances will undoubtedly be more unfavorable for Croatia. Currently, Spain, France, Italy, and Greece, which recorded a massive drop in tourist traffic last summer, are recovering rapidly. Moreover, with an increasing number of vaccinated Europeans and mandatory Covid passports, which will be almost ubiquitous in the travel industry in 2022, their expectations are high to bring back travelers, especially those that discovered Croatia as a replacement for these tourism superpowers.

"Preparations for the next tourist year have begun. From today's perspective, it is quite clear that in 2022, safety will be one of the critical conditions when choosing a destination for travel, while the realization of the season will largely require the provision of a quality workforce. In these crisis years, we have higher-quality quality facilities to achieve better results. Still, people are key to maintaining the status of Croatia as a high-quality destination in the Mediterranean," says Veljko Ostojic, director of the Croatian Tourism Association.

According to the eVisitor system, 683 thousand guest arrivals were recorded in October, with 2.2 million overnight stays. Given that the post-season was interrupted last year due to a significant deterioration in the epidemiological situation, this year's figures in October are higher than last year's. Compared to the record 2019, the number of tourist arrivals in October this year is 61 percent of the results from October 2019, while the number of overnight stays is 70 percent compared to October 2019. In the first week of November, 31,649 foreign tourists stayed in Croatia, with domestic guests from Austria (4,980) and Germany (4,004), who achieved a total of 122,656 overnight stays.

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