As much as 20 percent of Croatia’s GDP is made up by tourism as one of the country’s strongest economic branches. Given the fact that Croatia is a destination to which many European tourists drive (with the exception of the UK and Ireland, the nationals of which tend to use air transport), Croatian motorways are usually packed at this time of year with license plates from across the continent visible across the country. Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, those same Croatian motorways have experienced expected losses.
As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 16th of August, 2020, Ivan Ribicic, the director of the toll collection sector at HAC, told Dnevnik N1 what the situation currently looks like on Croatian motorways, which is a state-owned company.
“HAC is operating with a deficit of 30 percent, which is 540 million kuna,” stated Ivan Ribicic, but the opening of the tourist season has indeed improved revenue when compared to the way things stood earlier on in the year, he stressed. Given the fact that the ”lockdown month” for Croatia took place back in April and that Croatia has experienced more toursim than the previously dire predictions suggested, this is logical.
“HAC is in its restructuring phase, we were well on our way to getting better. The crisis caught up with us, but thanks to banks and to our creditors, we managed to get our hands on some stand-by arrangements, so we do have room to breathe and we’ll invest the money for the future. If revenues remain at this level, then we will survive,” the Croatian motorways director explained.
Some workers at HAC have been retiring, taking severance pay along with the move, and that’s how they’re dealing with unfortunate redundancies, he says.
“It’s good that people are using ENC devices more and more, and the campaign is contributing to that. We organised and monitored the hourly loads at Croatia’s toll stations, ans so we were able to organise ourselves accordingly,” said Ribicic.
For more on Croatian motorways and travel in the coronavirus age, follow our dedicated section.