Croatia Full of Cheap Empty Beds Despite Official Record Year

Total Croatia News


July 18, 2019 – As Croatia’s unusual tourist season continues, and with access to official statistics restricted in another officially record year, is Croatia full of empty beds?

A record year with millions of tourists and – much more importantly for the Kings of Accidental Tourism – millions and millions of overnights. We all love statistics, right? At least until they don’t work quite as you want, and then you restrict access to them, as the Ministry of Tourism did recently to their internationally award-winning, transparent tourism statistics reporting system, eVisitor

So with access to official statistics restricted, how can we find out how the season is going, and how to get a better understanding of the QUALITY of the Kings’ beloved overnights?

There are various Croatian agencies offering last-minute deals on the coast. I decided to check out one of them to see what kind of availability and prices were on offer – Integral Zagreb. There are other sections of the site, but I chose ‘Adriatic Sale.’ You can check what is available in the link in the previous sentence. 

(Jelsa main square – July 14, 22:00)

For the purposes of this article, I decided to focus on one example I know well – Hotel Fontana in Jelsa, which is about 50 metres from my Jelsa front door. I was surprised to see not only so much availability, but also such incredible prices for a waterfront hotel on Croatia’s premier island. Fontana is a 2-star hotel, so there is not much luxury in the hotel, but the location is divine. 

And, as you can see from the lead photo, the prices are very good indeed. A family of two parents and child under the age of 12 can have a 7-night stay, with free parking and WiFi, breakfast and buffet dinner, for a total price of about 475 euro. The cheapest advertised price above is 1,750 kuna per adult and one child goes free. Prices go up a little in August, but not that much. 


I checked for private accommodation, and the cheapest I found for the same family for a week starting tomorrow in Jelsa was 405 euro. That is before you start to eat. 

So a family can have a great 7-day stay in Jelsa for under 500 euro. There is no need to spend money in the restaurants, as the hotel provides everything. Perhaps an ice cream or two on an evening stroll. 

Meanwhile, the number of overnights increases so that the Kings can boast yet another successful tourism season of record growth. 

Except even with these crazy prices, there is still lots of peak season availability. 

Croatia, Full of Life? More like Croatia, Full of Empty Beds, which will probably get filled when the prices go down further. And so we can all celebrate another record year. 

As the Kings have restricted access to the statistics, all we can do is speculate. Anecdotally from cafe and restaurant owners, the higher spending Jelsa guests from Scandinavia and the Brits, are down, but there seem to be more Bosnians and Hungarians, who do not spend as much, if at all on their hotel package. I don’t blame them. If you can get such a great location for a holiday for such a price, why not? 

This is the worst kind of tourism for Croatia, a country blessed with so many natural gifts, but missing one thing – a tourism strategy. 

(Jelsa main square – July 16, 20:35)


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