Gov. Targets a New Tourist Demographic: Croats

Total Croatia News

April 15, 2020 — The coronavirus pandemic effectively nixed any hope of “normal” summer tourism filled with European vacationers and jet setters from all corners of the world. The Croatian government, like many others in Europe, will try to salvage “the season” by drawing a key demographic: locals.

More and more countries are urging their citizens to spend their holidays within their own borders this year, announcing financial measures that would encourage summer vacations somewhere near home.

The Croatian tourism sector will likely rely on local guests this year. The third set of financial measures discussed by the government could follow Greece and Germany’s lead by incentivizing local tourism over foreigners by helping employers cover vacation costs, according to Jutarnji List.

The measures would also introduce a financial model encouraging Croats to spend their holidays in the country this year, most likely through the long-announced “Cro Card” program, which will be adapted to the new circumstances.

“We do not know exactly what the model will be, there are all kinds of suggestions,” a source told Jutarnji. “Among them a model according to which the state would add a kuna from the budget to every kuna [of paid vacation] by the employer. But things have yet to be defined, so it is too early to talk about the details.”

Employers typically mark paid vacations as a non-taxable expense. But in a pandemic, such a model would be unworkable. Most employers lack the resources to cover vacation costs.

Greece’s Chamber of Commerce is promoting a discount holiday destination for as many as two million Greeks who, with the help of special coupons, would have a five-day holiday of their choice between July until the end of December, with many expenses heavily subsidized. The same appears true for Germany, one of Croatia’s main source of tourists.

The President of Germany’s General Practitioners Association, Klaus Reinhardt, told members to cancel plans for holidays abroad they made. Ditto Finland, which is seeing increased talk of canceled vacations because Finnish economists believe it will help restart economic activity.

A well-informed source told Jutarnji proposed financial measures should, among other things, introduce a financial model encouraging Croats to spend their holidays in Croatia. The government may have to help employers to cover vacation costs first.

The campaign aimed at domestic guests will also be joined by the Croatian National Tourist Board, which is still pushing to keep Croatia’s high profile in foreign markets mainly through social networks, while activities towards the domestic market will be directed when conditions are right.

It is still unknown how these campaigns will look and how much money will be invested in them. It is likely that, apart from locals, they will also be targeted at guests from the region, more specifically the countries “easily accessible by car.”

According to data from the CNTB, 1.69 million Croats took on a multi-day vacation in 2018. Of them, 55 percent, or 929 thousand, traveled within Croatia. Inside Croatia, they generated 16.2 million overnight stays.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment