Slobodna Dalmacija reports that as many as 70 percent of respondents from the tourism sector expressed interest in vaccinations, according to a survey conducted by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Croatian Tourism Association.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports initiated the collection of employees’ personal data through professional associations to implement the Vaccination Program, which would put the tourism sector in the priority group.
Priority within it is determined following epidemiological risks, with the advantage not only for employees who have greater contact with guests, but also, for example, those who, due to the nature of work, are unable to provide adequate social distance, especially indoors, such as in the kitchen.
Tourism workers in Croatia interested in vaccination were divided into two groups. The first includes operational staff (reception, waiters, household, drivers, guides, skippers, etc.) and those who are in direct contact with them daily. Priority number two refers to “administrative staff” and employees working at the dislocated location, which are not in daily contact with persons from the first group.
“The good news is that we are put on a priority list. All skippers will be vaccinated; there is no discussion. This is of vital interest to us, especially if clients would ask for it or if one of us is a member of a yacht crew,” says Vicko Ozretić, president of the Croatian Skippers Association and members of the crew of yachts “Crosca.”
The association has not yet received information on when the vaccination will begin, and they hope it will be as soon as possible. However, due to the current epidemiological situation across Europe and strict measures, they have little hope they’ll start work soon.
All the figures, Ozretić says without hesitation, have dropped significantly.
“We believe in the peak season; we hope it will be good. As we have a pretty good pre-season and post-season in nautical tourism, we will be the first to feel the loss and lack of this pre-season because charters usually start slowly for Easter, and start working in May. It’s about that now. Few of us will work this Easter, and maybe no one,” says Ozretić. The first reservations are recorded only in June, but a new problem has arisen, further complicating business in nautical tourism.
“These are vouchers from last season. A part of these clients started asking for a refund, where charterers expect a big blow. This is one of the huge problems we are currently solving. It is easy to have one or two cancellations, but twenty or thirty are hard to bear,” explains Ozretić.
The problem with voucher cancellations has escalated currently, as cases rise across Europe due to the rapid spread of new coronavirus strains.
Are travelers giving up even in the postseason?
“September is still under question; for now, what is booked is standing, but these are more or less bookings from last year. September is a ways away; it is no longer booked as in the period before the pandemic. No one can know anything more in advance. Everything is uncertain,” concludes Vicko Ozretić.
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