Austrian Media: Croatia is Our Best Chance for Summer Holiday

Daniela Rogulj

April 27, 2020 – The proximity to Croatia by car could be the driving force for Austrian tourists this summer, should the borders open. 

As the summer quickly approaches, Vecernji List reports that Austrian media has been increasingly seeking a concrete response from the Austrian political leadership as to whether and when the borders will open to regain their much-appreciated freedom of travel after the global coronavirus pandemic brought tourism to a halt.

Austrian citizens are receiving their answers gradually, just as the epidemiological situation improves and Austria opens step by step. However, impatient Austrians are still waiting to see if they can book their holidays abroad.

While Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger see summer holidays as a solution to signing bilateral treaties and opening borders with countries as serious aboout the coronavirus pandemic as Austria, citing Germany and the Czech Republic as an example, the Austrian media is much more gallant and is continually expanding the list of possible tourist destinations for holidaying Austrians during the corona era.

Titled “Croatia is the hottest for travel” with the headline “Korona: Where we can holiday this year”, the Österreich daily said on Sunday that Croatia “intends to open its borders” for returning foreign tourists and for that, given its competitors, “has the best chance.”

The same source states that Chancellor Kurz has already discussed the issue with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and relays news from Kurz’s Twitter that he discussed with his colleague Plenkovic “a coordinated approach to reopening the tourism sector in these two countries, and seasonal workers and border controls”. He also added Plenkovic’s statement:

“Everyone I spoke with wants to find one model that opens borders and people can come to Croatia in the summer.”

Österreich particularly emphasizes the great advantage of Croatia as this year’s most desirable holiday destination for Austrians in the corona era – its proximity to Austria – which enables them to travel by car. For Austrians – this is a crucial security aspect.

At the same time, the daily states that Italy has “almost” no chance as a destination for this year’s holidays and is a “no-go zone” for foreign tourists. Not only the media, but politicians also warn that “it is advisable to avoid traveling to Italy”. Greece’s chances of attracting tourists, according to the same source, are bad because of the distance and the necessary air travel. Travel bans are still in force in France, Spain and Turkey and are therefore unrealistic. Germany and the Czech Republic are mentioned as serious candidates for a holiday, which has already been mentioned several times by Chancellor Kurz, stating:

“I believe that our goal must be to re-establish freedom of travel step by step. Above all, we will be able to do this with our neighbors, who are also on the right track.”

Austrian media reported on Sunday that German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass had warned Kurz about the danger of “opening borders too soon to bring back tourists”. As a negative example, he cited the events at the famous Tyrol ski resort Ischgl, the epicenter of the coronavirus infection, not only for Austrians but also by many foreign and German tourists, saying that “Ischgl should never be repeated”.

Mass argued for common measures and criteria for reopening borders, at the European Union level. Repeating Austrian Chancellor Kurz, he said that “the hard-fought successes of recent weeks should not be allowed to be destroyed in this way.”

In this European game of which country will open its borders to foreign tourists faster, interesting data from one of the many Austrian surveys show that as many as 71 percent of Austrians intend to spend their holidays in Austria because of the coronavirus and the crisis caused by its spread. In connection with this, the Government plans to open hotels at the end of May, and in mid-May restaurants, cafes and other establishments.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page


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