Coronavirus Who? Foreign Tourists Continue to Descend on Istria

Lauren Simmonds

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic
Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

As Novac/Barbara Ban writes on the 8th of July, 2020, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a breath of the tourist season is finally being felt in the popular Istrian city of Pula. The stormy weather that arrived recently drove most tourists off the beaches and they decided to finally go into the city.

The main streets and the Forum were full of people, which is really unusual to see during the coronavirus crisis and gives encouragement to continue with 2020’s otherwise enfeebled tourist season. Restaurants, bars and shops, as well as souvenir shops in the city centre, which had been eerily empty in recent weeks, began to fill up slowly.

”Yes, we’re satisfied with the beginning of July in Istria and all these numbers are growing every day. Last week we had about 90 thousand guests on the Peninsula, and this week we expect about 120 thousand. A slightly longer procedure on the border with Slovenia didn’t deter guests from arriving in Istria,” the director of the County Tourist Board, Denis Ivosevic, said briefly.

Many tourist workers in Istria were afraid of this situation given the health crisis we’re still embedded quite deeply in, but fortunately the beginning of the week showed that it will not be an obstacle for the arrival of tourists.

As has been heard from the director of the largest hotelier in Pula, the Arena Hospitality Group’s Reli Slonim, the numbers are getting better in camps in the south of Istria and even in hotels.

”It’s difficult to predict the season now, but maybe we could reach around 60 percent of last year’s turnover. We’re satisfied with the situation as the camps are filled, where the largest number of our guests are currently located, and our hotels and tourist resorts have better and better numbers,” said Slonim.

It’s worth mentioning that Istrian holiday homes are currently well filled and have proven to be an ideal choice in a situation where most people are looking for safety and an escape from the crowds. A good part of them have been well filled since mid-June, and if the situation around the coronavirus epidemic remains under control, a good season in this segment of accommodation is expected by the end of September.

According to data from eVisitor, in the first seven days of July, 106,722 arrivals and 638,085 overnight stays were recorded in Istria. Most guests are from Germany, who realised the most overnight stays – 227,276 of them.

As is being said, there is potential for Istria to even reach last year’s figures from this period for the beginning of July this year, which is something that was simply unimaginable to most up until very recently.

The Germans are followed by Slovenes with 147,326 overnight stays, Czechs with 55,479 overnight stays, Austrians with 49,031 and Italians with 35,595 overnight stays. The most visited destinations in Istria are Rovinj, Medulin, Umag, Porec, Vrsar, Tar-Vabriga, Funtana and of course, Pula.

For more on travel to, from and within Croatia during the coronavirus era, follow our travel page.


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