Renters Worried, Croatian 2022 Pre-Season Worse Than Expected

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to local Zadar portal, due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, Croatia will likely have much fewer guests over the Easter period than we had hoped.

”It’s hard to say how much fewer people there will be than expected, but I’m hearing that these days, the cancellations of some larger groups who had Easter reservations are slowly trickling in. Personally, I had a lot of reservations in April and May, but everything in April ended up being cancelled. Everything is changing from day to day,” said Martina Nimac Kalcina, president of the Family Tourism Association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), when asked about the potential number of tourists we could expect in Dalmatia over Easter.

Since February the 24th and the beginning of the Russian invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, everything has changed. Until then, the Ministry of Tourism and Sport confirmed, the dynamics of reservations and announcements for the main part of the tourist year were at a record level, such as what was experienced back in pre-pandemic 2019, and in some segments even ten percent better. The current geopolitical situation related to Ukraine, rising energy prices and inflation have somewhat affected tourism news, but it is good, the ministry said, that reservations haven’t stopped entirely. The same has been being said by the president of the Family Tourism Association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

“The situation isn’t as catastrophic as the pandemic caused it to be, but the war in Ukraine has slowed down reservations a lot. The Croatian 2022 pre-season is incomparably worse than it should have been. Everything started out well after the New Year, and then, literally from the first bombing of Ukraine, it slowed down sharply. On the same day, inquiries stopped arriving and after a few days they started reappearing, but very slowly. There have been no cancellations for large numbers of people, but there are for the Croatian 2022 pre-season.

Those cancellations have been coming from everywhere – from America, most of them from Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia… Some Americans are still planning to come here, but there are very few of them, incomparably fewer than they should be, because Croatia’s position on the map of Europe looks close to Ukraine and Russia,” said Nimac Kalcina, noting that unlike private accommodation, which is already feeling the effects of the war in Ukraine, there have been cancellations in the case of cruises so far.

However, she believes that the main tourist season will be very good if the situation with the war in Ukraine doesn’t escalate.

“I hope that our season will be full, there are reservations, new ones are still coming in. Renters who have more attractive facilities shouldn’t be worried, but it’s a question of people’s length of stay, the Croatian 2022 pre-season, the post-season… All cards are now on the table… Because as people’s travel dates approach and the situation in Ukraine fails to calm down, tourists simply cancel their reservations. It’s understandable that people postpone making decisions about holiday dates because they can see that the situation isn’t changing. An additional problem is that the war brings even higher inflation,” said Nimac Kalcina in an interview with

“Nothing drastic is happening here,” said Bojan Milicevic, a spokesman for the Le Meridien Lav hotel in Podstrana near Split, adding that there had been “some very minor cancellations, several small groups directly linked to the Ukrainian and Russian markets.” The only noticeable drop has been the booking of individual guests from distant destinations such as America. However, they aren’t expecting any major problems from the European markets at the Le Meridien Lav hotel, provided, of course, that the war situation doesn’t escalate.

“We don’t have any cancellations from any European guests. Things look pretty good to us when it comes to the state of reservations being made. Of course, the Americans are our pretty strong guest segment that we need to keep an eye on. But, in general, our picture looks good thanks to regular guests from Scandinavia and Western Europe, who, along with the Americans, are our most numerous guests. We’ll see. It should be borne in mind that a lot has changed, as have booking trends, once Americans planned trips a year in advance. The coronavirus pandemic has changed all that, now it is no longer the case,” Milicevic concluded.

For more, check out our travel section.


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