May 13, 2020 – Leading German tour operators, including TUI, are interested in achieving part of the season in Croatia, which is among the destinations that could be booked for the summer, with airline arrangements, according to the Croatian National Tourist Board.
Noting that the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) and its German representative offices are constantly and proactively communicating with the German market and partners about the possibilities of cooperation and the arrival of German tourists in Croatia this summer, HTZ Director Kristjan Staničić said that Croatia was mentioned in communication with the leading media in that market as a possible destination for summer vacation, primarily because of the excellent results in preventing the spread of coronavirus and as a destination that can be reached relatively quickly by car.
Apart from these trips, there is interest in “air bridges”, i.e., the arrival of tourists by tour operators and airlines, however, for any travel from Germany, warnings for travel abroad will first need to be lifted in that country. This is expected in mid-June, and according to some information for some destinations, planes could be ready around June 10. Still, it will all depend on the epidemiological picture in Germany and the countries where tourists would travel.
According to Staničić, the President of the Management Board of TUI, Fritz Joussen, believes that it is necessary to distinguish destinations with conditions for receiving guests from those that are still out of reach, marking Croatia as a destination that meets the requirements.
“Assumptions and interest of TUI and other German tour operators for the arrival of German tourists in Croatia certainly exist, as well as to realize part of the season and minimize their own losses. Interest is also present among individual German tourists, with whom we also constantly communicate through networks and offices,” says Staničić.
However, how, when and with which transport these trips will be realized is still being negotiated. As specific destinations will undoubtedly be out of the reach of organized tourist traffic through agencies and tour operators, Staničić believes that there will be enough air capacity to provide charter flights or regular airlines to individual destinations. Without presenting plans to invest in that market in the new circumstances, Staničić reminds that for years HTZ has been cooperating with leading German tour operators and airlines (TUI, FTI, ID Riva, RSD, Eurowings, Condor and others), and believes that some projects can be achieved.
“These companies use our communication messages all the time, as well as the new #CroatiaLongDistanceLove concept, and as soon as adequate conditions are created in the German market, we will conduct a targeted online campaign for certain groups of tourists and residents of the southern German provinces, which start at the end of June and the end of July, depending on the individual German province,” reveals Staničić.
He adds that in Germany, as well as in other markets where they plan to carry out promotional activities, they will certainly use the current image of Croatia as a safe and ‘corona free’ country.
Asked about estimates and expectations from the most important market for Croatian tourism, the HTZ director believes that we could achieve up to 30 percent of last year’s record turnover, when Germans could travel abroad again after June 14.
TUI and other major German tour operators are currently showing similar interests for Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain and Austria, whose governments, according to information from German tourist circles, are negotiating with the German government on the possibility of establishing air tourist bridges after the Germans are allowed to travel.
These circles also claim that this should be agreed or negotiated at the government level, and Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli said earlier this week that Croatia had begun negotiations with Germany on tourism.
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