As Novac writes, once upon a (pre-pandemic) time, th Easter period used to mark the beginning of the tourist pre-season across Croatia. This year, only twelve hotels have been opened down in Dubrovnik, Croatia’s tourism Mecca. The Easter holidays attracted about 1,000 tourists, and they were mostly those of us who live in Croatia.
”This year, the announcement of the beginning of the tourist season, despite the situation we’re currently in, brings with it certain types of restrictions because neither the catering and hospitality facilities nor their terraces are able to work, Ana Hrnic, the director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, told HRT.
It isn’t just Ana Hrnic with worries on her mind. Until April the 12th, the City of Dubrovnik and the Tourist Board were offering their tourists numerous benefits.
”The Cultural and Historical Museum, the Maritime Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, our two archeological exhibitions in Revelin… we invited all Croatian citizens to come down to Dubrovnik and come and visit those museums for free,” said Julijana Antic Brautovic, the director of Dubrovnik Museums.
Among the few foreign guests on Stradun were three Turkish sailors.
”I came to buy a yacht. We’re in the ACI marina. It’s nice, we like Dubrovnik, I’ve been visiting the historic centre with some friends,” said a tourist from Istanbul.
Indoor restaurants are the biggest problem
”It’s difficult, we can’t eat anything anywhere. We have to buy food and then go back and eat on board, it’s very inconvenient,” noted the Turkish tourist.
”We sail to the islands, they’re wonderful, they have excellent conditions for nautical tourism, but in a pandemic it is difficult to imagine anything. It’s similar in Turkey, so we must all be responsible,” said the same tourist from Istanbul.
Dubrovnik’s catering and hospitality industry workers are also waiting for the outcome of the situation with a sense of uncertainty.
“Twenty-six of my colleagues couldn’t take this anymore. They’ve permanently closed their premises, one part of them has moved out of the city, some others among them are also planning to leave,” said Ante Vlasic, the president of the Dubrovnik Restaurant Association.
International air traffic to Dubrovnik has now thankfully been re-established – for now twice a week from Madrid and Munich, which is an enormous downgrade in comparison to what this wildly popular Dalmatian city is used to. Easyjet flights from Geneva also began running from April the 10th this year.
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