If the early bookings are an indicator, 2016 will be a bumper year for Croatian tourism.
“We have published a new catalog three weeks ago, and the situation with booking already shows that the private accommodation industry in Croatia has made many new friends this season. If we are smart enough and if the guests who this season came for the first time return to us with their friends, then the next year will be fantastic”, said Selimir Ognjevnić, director of the tour operator ID Riva Tours from Munich, speaking at the second Forum of Private Accommodation Industry in Poreč, organized by the Croatian Chamber of Economy, reports Glas Istre on October 14, 2015.
These are good news for private accommodation sector, which accounts for almost half of the overnight stays in Croatia, but is still quite fragmented. However, unlike other countries which are only now experiencing a boom of the segment thanks to the so-called sharing economy, Croatian family accommodation sector is a good example of how to operate within the law.
However, it should be noted that in the last few years the owners of rentals have joined forces, since they realized that it was the only way they can successfully lobby the legislative bodies and institutions, so they have established several county groupings within the Croatian Chamber of Economy.
“In Croatia, we have a system which is based on tradition which is 180 years old. Tourism in Croatia started in private accommodation. We have preserved the possibility for people to continue with that activity in successive generations. Since the last forum, we have finally established our system of professional organizations, and we are trying to be a good partner to the parliament and the Tourism Ministry, and we also trying to communicate with the Finance Ministry. At this point, we can be an example within the European Union that a state can protect its interests, that people can live and earn money from their property, and that guests can enjoy such accommodation”, said Nedo Pinezić, president of the Union of Family Accommodation. The panel discussed the new trends in tourism and how rental owners can improve and return their investments as fast as possible.
President of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies Boris Žgomba believes that Croatian agencies can greatly help owners of rental apartments. “Each owner chooses a model which will make him or her visible in the market, working to promote and sell their capacities. Croatian tour operators are very important for the development, sales and promotion of private accommodation. We want to be your partners in the development of your product, and the product are not only rooms and apartments, but much more than that. The goal is to enable you to have a faster return on investment”, said Žgomba, and stressed that at the moment the sector was inadequately promoted at the national level. He expressed hope that the new campaign of the Croatian National Tourist Board “Croatia – Full of Life” will include this type of accommodation in its promotional activities.