German Croatian Holiday Booking Boomed Before Russian Ukraine Invasion

By 11 March 2022

March the 11th, 2022 - German Croatian holiday booking was exceeding 2019's pre-pandemic levels and experiencing a real ''boom'' just before Vladimir Putin's shock invasion of neighbouring Ukraine a couple of weeks ago.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, up until the beginning of the unjustified Russian invasion of Ukraine last month, German Croatian holiday booking levels were truly excellent, even better than in pre-pandemic 2019, but what the rest of the tourist season will look like this year is uncertain because the entire European market is currently in a state of shock.

This is how Romeo Draghicchio, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB) in Germany, describes the current situation, on the occasion of the ITB Berlin fair, which is being held in a virtual form this week for the third year in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"In Germany, there are concerns about the war in Ukraine, but so far we aren't really seeing a significant impact on consumer habits. However, since the beginning of the war, programmes for Russia and Ukraine have been cancelled, while cruises aimed at St. Petersburg are being diverted to other ports. It will take more time to assess the real consequences for the summer season because there is currently a shock in the market. When we talk about Croatia, until the outbreak of the conflict, booking was at a higher level for the country, even when compared to the 2019 tourist season, which was a great sign,'' he said.

''What the further course of the season will unfold like remains to be seen, but the good position of this country on the German market has been confirmed by the recently published research "Reiseanalyse" of the FUR Institute for 2021, according to which Croatia climbed to the ranks of the top four German destinations. In addition to that, as pointed out by the FUR, in 2021, Croatia was the only destination that increased its market share when compared to 2019,'' added Draghicchio when describing the German Croatian holiday booking trends so far.

It's worth noting that this year's ITB is being held in two parts, one part was held from March the 8th to the 10th, the ITB Convention, which focuses on digital and sustainable solutions with the transfer of all sessions on the official ITB platform. The programme also includes lectures by a number of international top speakers and tourism experts. The second part of the ITB refers to the Digital Business Day, which will be held on March the 17th.

It is a concept conceived as a platform for the networking of exhibitors and buyers, and each participant creates their own personal business profile and communicates with potential partners or clients through audio/video tools. Within this part of the ITB, CNTB representatives will also create their profiles and hold a series of meetings with partners and the interested business community.

CNTB Director Kristjan Stanicic pointed out that if the situation in Ukraine lasts any longer, we can expect greater disruptions in the wider tourism market, especially in countries in the immediate vicinity of Ukraine, such as Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.

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