More than 10,000 Foreign Tourists Arrived in Croatia, Mostly Slovenes and Germans

Daniela Rogulj

May 25, 2020 – A favorable epidemiological picture is bringing tourists back to Croatia. There are currently about 22,000 of them in the country – half are domestic guests, and of the foreign ones – most are Slovenes, but also Germans. reports that in Croatia, they say, they feel safe. A pleasant temperature just above 20 degrees, swimming pools, and good company are the only things that Germans need for a vacation in Croatia.

But to get here, they still needed more paperwork than in previous years. “At all borders, we had to show our reservations, passports and phone numbers,” Ali from Germany said.

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It only took them a few extra minutes of waiting at the borders. They had no problems moving through Austria, Slovenia, and finally to Croatia.

“We left early in the morning, we waited fifteen to twenty minutes at the border with Austria, and about 30 minutes with Slovenia and Croatia. The trip was very nice,” adds Ali.

The excellent epidemiological picture in Croatia, which is better than in their country, is the reason why they never thought about canceling their reservation.

“I feel safer here than in Germany because Istria has been without the coronavirus for about three weeks now, while there are many more in Germany,” says Werner from Germany.

But there were cancellations and relocations of reservations, especially in the pre-season, that is, in April, May and the first half of June.

“What makes us extremely happy is the fact that we managed to keep about 90% of reservations in terms of transferring reservations to later dates, but also in the 2021 season or through vouchers that guests will use for reservations in the same facilities,” said Mladen Bujanic, co-owner of the travel agency Myistria.

The facilities that will be full this season are certainly holiday homes, but also camps that provide guests with isolation and privacy. However, we must accept the fact that occupancy will not be at the level of previous years.

“We hope that from the middle or the beginning of June from the 10th to the 15th, we will really start something that will look like a pre-season and start for the main season with the opening of borders with our most important markets,” said Denis Ivošević from the Istria County Tourist Board.

The travel agencies note that the amount of official information and instructions for tourists should definitely be increased. This is a year of struggle for every guest.

“What will help keep guests in the future is certainly unambiguous and clear communication of the conditions under which one can come to the Republic of Croatia as a foreign tourist,” said Mladen Bujanić, co-owner of the travel agency Myistria.

There is also an increase in the number of domestic guests, who are currently Croatia’s most numerous tourists, along with Slovenes and Germans. “We could hardly wait for these security measures to be lifted, for these county borders to be opened so that we can move a little,” Biljana said.

And some traveled even before the measures were lifted in their country, so on their return, they will have to be quarantined, or tested for COVID-19. “When the borders reopen, everyone will come, they’re not really scared now, but the only problem is later, when they get home,” states Debbie from Austria. 

Nautical tourism is among the first to recover. Spanish media report that some multinational companies are relocating their fleets to the Croatian coast.

Guest of Dnevnik Nova TV Sean Lisjak, president of the Marina Association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, says he isn’t sure if it is true, but that he heard the media broadcast the same news.

“We are pleased with the information. It is too early to say whether there has been any official contact with the companies located among our marinas. Tomorrow we will all be informed about all this. If so, we welcome it, our marinas are ready to receive new clients,” he said.

For the past weekend, he states that the first modest arrival of clients was recorded.

“This weekend, we have already recorded a more serious arrival of clients in our marinas. No marina has not recorded a more serious arrival of individual guests, boat owners who, based on the decision on the possibility of coming to our country, used it,” he said.

“We appeal to speed up the flow of guests with passes and hope that their number will grow every weekend. We also recorded the first charter clients, which makes us very happy because some marinas have vessels in their fleets that sailed. This is at the level of some 200 or 300 clients and there are about fifty ships that have come from central Dalmatia from marina to marina,” said Lisjak, adding that he hoped that two ugly months were behind us.

To increase the number of guests, he states that the level of service quality in marinas is rising every year. “We are recognized by that. The Institute of Tourism evaluates services and customer satisfaction every year and we rank very high. There are some shortcomings, but they are not drastic to the point of devaluing us,” Lisjak explained, adding that it is important to increase the number of client arrivals.

“It should be possible for vessels smaller than 24 meters, i.e., our real transits, clients from Slovenian and Italian marinas or anywhere in the world, to be able to enter our marinas under the same conditions without any problems,” Lisjak concluded.


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