A look at tourism trends in the Mediterranean in the light of recent events in the region.
Mediterranean countries, including Croatia, mostly have very good tourism results this summer, which is a consequence of the attractiveness of the region, good weather and high temperatures. However, some countries such as Tunisia and Egypt have seen a decrease in the number of tourists due to various security issues which could jeopardize their future tourist results as well, since security is a key precondition for tourism development, reports Novi List on August 14, 2015.
Leading Croatian tour operators and representatives of travel agencies share that opinion. However, none of them expects a decline in the global tourist traffic this year. Forecasts of the World Tourism Organization show that global tourism will grow by as much as five percent. But, everybody agrees that there has been a change in trends in tourist demand and a divergence of tourists from the “affected” destinations to the safer ones.
Tourism officials share the opinion that the safety of travel is a key factor, significantly more important than the price, and that the major tourist destinations such as Tunisia and Egypt will need time and skill to restore the confidence of tourists and the results they have previously achieved.
A part of their “tourist cake” has already been taken by countries of similar size and capacity, such as Spain, Turkey, Portugal, France, Italy, and even Greece and Turkey, although those two countries themselves have certain disruptions and security problems this year.
Some of the tourists have certainly gone to Croatia as well, but officials claim that there are relatively few of those and that therefore the current relatively high tourism growth in Croatia cannot be explained by the flight of tourists from other countries.
“The events in the Mediterranean, primarily in Tunisia, but also in Egypt and Turkey, have further questioned the safety of travel, which is reflected in the change in tourist demand”, said Pavle Marković, director of the Ban Tours travel agency from Zagreb. He estimates that Tunisia is in the most unfavorable position, while Egypt is also experiencing problems due to recent events, particularly relating to the kidnapping of a Croatian national in Egypt. Greece and Turkey are for the time being faring relatively well.
“However, after a pause in July, in early August the European tourists again started going to Tunisia, which includes flights from Ljubljana which are sold out. That is not really surprising since the Tunisian government has taken great care to ensure security on the beaches and in hotels and partly bears the costs of air transport which means 50 percent lower costs for travelers”, said Ivan Pukšar, director of Kompas tourist agency from Zagreb.
Boris Žgomba, president of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies, said that British tour operators do not fly to Tunisia at the moment. He also advised that people should be very careful when choosing which part of the county they go to. The same goes for Egypt as well, where the tourist demand is currently mostly frozen.