June 30, 2020 – Darija Reic of the Croatian National Tourist Board Office in Great Britain comments on the air bridge and British interest in Croatia.
Over the last few days, the media has been talking about negotiations between Great Britain and specific European destinations on the so-called “air bridge”, including Croatia. On Sunday, the story received additional media focus, as well as concrete official outlines.
Namely, Priti Patel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Dailymail that negotiations are underway with individual countries, regarding the establishment of an air bridge without quarantine, and that the ministry is working “overnight” to achieve them.
Most importantly, there is a great demand, and travel agencies from the UK are overwhelmed by the demand for travel to Europe, as well as Croatia.
As Patel points out, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs plans to enable Brits to go on vacation to the safest destinations without quarantine for 14 days, and it is expected to come into force on July 6.
HRTurizam spoke with the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board Representation in Great Britain, Darija Reic, about the possible air bridge as well as the interest in Croatia from the UK market.
When asked about the interest in Croatia in the British market, Reic pointed out that Croatia ranks high as a safe destination, since the beginning of the pandemic, and even today.
“In the last two days since the news was announced about the categorization of destinations to which it will be possible to travel from Great Britain without the need to quarantine on return, there has been increased interest in Croatia, which has been ranked high as a safe destination since the pandemic. Airlines operate their programs in accordance with the decisions and recommendations of the Government, and we already have flight announcements from the beginning of July to Pula and Rijeka, and from mid-July to Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik. The representative office in Great Britain also records high interest and increased number of inquiries from the public, especially last weekend,” Reic points out.
As for the negotiations on the air bridge, they are conducted at the state level, and the CNTB office in London, as Reic points out, continuously communicates that we are open to British tourists and that Croatia is a safe destination, ready to receive guests.
Considering the corona situation, but also the economic crisis, the question is how much it has left a mark on the financial power of British tourists who are known as guests with high consumption. According to the research Thomas Summer 2017, tourists from the United Kingdom are right behind tourists from the USA in terms of the highest daily consumption per person – 139 euro. And in the past few years, consumption has certainly grown even more, thanks to the large number of young British tourists who have visited festivals on the Adriatic.
Reic points out that the British are extremely careful about the value of money, and logically, as well as their reduced travel budget, following COVID-19. “Britons traditionally like to get more for their money, and in light of the pandemic and weakened economic power, it is to be expected that price will be a strong motivator in choosing a destination.”
What is important at the moment is concrete negotiations at the state level, not just media speculation, and there is great interest in Croatia from the UK market. More official positive news can be expected in the coming days around the air bridge between the UK and Croatia.
To better position itself on the UK market, Reic points out that the CNTB campaign is underway in the UK market, and that the British will currently look for smaller tourist locations or “hidden gems” that are very common on the Adriatic coast and islands.
“Split, Dalmatia, Dubrovnik and the Neretva Valley are traditionally the favorite regions of the British. What many certainly want to experience is, for example, a visit to Dubrovnik without the usual crowds. In light of the pandemic and social distancing, tourists will look for smaller tourist locations and ‘hidden gems’, which are very common on the coast and islands, and they should be given special attention to communication activities. Well-known specialized travel magazines have authority and weight, and national newspapers mostly have sections dedicated to travel that serve as an inspiration to readers, with a huge reach, especially online. Nowadays, when we really spend a lot of time on mobile phones and laptops, online communication is crucial, and interactive content such as video ads attract special attention,” Reic concluded.