Closed Doors in Middle of Season for Legendary Rijeka Hotel Bonavia

Lauren Simmonds

As Novac writes on the 19th of August, 2020, although many thought that this year’s tourist season would look catastrophic, Croatia could end 2020 with about 50 percent of last year’s results, which is a result that is better than what was expected by just about everyone with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic firmly in mind. Unfortunately, this is obviously not the case in Rijeka because its most famous hotel, one of the symbols of the city on the river Rjecina, the legendary Bonavia – is closed.

The only available information as to why this was so, came from the most powerful global tour operator, the wildly popular, which removed Bonavia from the list of Rijeka’s offer with the remark: Additional safety and hygiene measures are currently being implemented at this facility due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

An explanation for the closure of Rijeka’s much loved Bonavia, which is obviously of great public interest, was provided by its owner, the Porec-based company Plava laguna.

”Hotel Bonavia Plava Laguna in Rijeka was closed owing to a business decision of Plava Laguna. This hotel, like all of the other facilities we manage, will be opened in accordance with the booking situation and the demand of guests,” said Eva Novi Zan Prusina, head of the public relations office of one of the strongest Croatian hotel companies, for Novi list.

In other words, it is obvious that Bonavia’s booking status was below profitable figures and the company decided to close its doors, even though we’re still very much in the Croatian tourist season.

According to the Kvarner Tourist Board, in June and July, the Opatija Riviera and the Rijeka area were the two worst county micro-regions. The Opatija Riviera achieved just 30 percent of last year’s results in June, and the Rijeka area achieved 38 percent of the traffic it enjoyed last year, with both realising 55 percent of July 2019’s traffic this July.

This is significantly worse than what was seen on nearby Krk and Cres, which both reached more than 70 percent of last year’s results in July. If we look at Rijeka’s tourism through this prism, the business decision to close Bonavia’s doors makes sense.

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