Wealthier Guests Booking Croatian Holidays as Summer Reservations Begin

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, there has been some excellent news circulating about this tourist season, which is hopefully going to be significantly better than it was last year. Even for those guests who prefer to stay in other types of accommodation, the outlook currently looks reassuring for Croatian holidays when compared to the summer of 2020.

In the reservation structure of the Boutique Hotel Vestibul Palace in Split from the Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) group, 35 percent of reservations refer to guest members of that group.

SLH has six hotels operating in the Republic of Croatia – in addition to this one owned by Nenad Nizic, there are also D-Resort Sibenik, Boutique Hotel Alhambra Mali Losinj, San Canzian Village & Hotel in Central Istria and Villa Orsula and Hotel Excelsior in Dubrovnik.

Additional safety protocols for Croatian holidays in 2021

Those hotels all have good announcements for the second half of June, while their booking in large numbers has started for the months of July and August. According to Nizic, the president of the Group of Unique Luxury Hotels Stories at the Association of Hoteliers of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), a lot of these reservations depend on customers being able to rely on air companies, which hasn’t been easy throughout the pandemic, although some are more easily driven to.

The aforementioned group boasts 18 hotels from down in Dubrovnik all the way up to Porec, Istria and Kvarner are classed as destinations foreign guests can drive to, and they naturally take the lead with booking from June onwards, but for their hotels in Dubrovnik, Zadar, Split and Sibenik and on the islands where their members operate – Hvar, Solta and Korcula, a lot is riding on airlines running and people trusting them to do so properly.

“Given the announcements of more direct flights, the number of which will increase by 20 percent through June to a total of about 45 percent, everything will likely come to life quite rapidly, and in the heart of the season even more so. For the members of our group, occupancy is expected at the levels of 65-70 percent, significantly more than last year when the occupancy was around 50 percent.

Guests with deeper pockets arriving in Croatia this year aren’t in question whatsoever, which will significantly increase our results compared to 2020,” assured Nizic, adding that a large number of their members are also part of large global chains, and are represented by SLH through the chain Relais & Chateaux (Zadar Bastion Heritage Hotel, Meneghetti in Bale, Bevanda in Opatija and the Lesic Dimitri Palace on Korcula).

When it comes to the structure of guests, in the first place are tourists from outside Europe, more specifically from the United States, and while this large emitting market is opening up to travel as the vaccination process continues, evidence of a reason to be in Croatia such as proof of having paid for accommodation is still needed, and this factor also instills an additional sense of safety.

“We’re glad that all the trends indicate that the tourism sector is moving back towards normalisation, for good results we need a continuous good epidemiological situation. We’re looking forward to participating as the Stories Group next week in the first live event this year in Montenegro at the Adriatic Luxury workshop, which will bring together tourism entities from across the region as well as tuxury tourism agents from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. These markets proved to be extremely important last year and we expect increased demand this year as well,” stated Nizic.

The Russians are also very interested in coming to Croatia…

The fact that Croatia, as the first of the European countries to open up to the Russian market, is high on the list of priority destinations for the Russian tourism sector, has also been confirmed by the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) in Russia, Rajko Ruzicka.

Safety protocols in line with Croatia’s public health recommendations, the “Safe Stay in Croatia” campaign, the public health regulations in countries that are Croatia’s key emitting markets, so-called COVID passports with a more lenient regime for cross-border travel by international airlines, all speak in favour of a much better season for Croatian holidays than we had before the advent of the vaccine last year.

When it comes to the niche of luxury guests booking Croatian holidays, the indicator is the already relatively strong increase in the number of reservations being made from America, due to the announcement of the establishment of an air bridge between the United States and Croatia.

Such are the results of the reservations of the travel agency Croatia Luxury Rent, owned by Josip Stulic. Since the beginning of May, that company has recorded an extremely high growth in the number of bookings, in the first two weeks of May, they’ve seen a massive 100 percent increase when compared to April. This high growth in the number of bookings from the US is accompanied by those from the neighbouring Canadian market, and they also have good data from here in Europe, more precisely from the British and Scandinavian markets.

Connected to the USA and Russia by new flights, with air connections of 44 airlines from a total of 72 destinations, the number of passengers and air connections is finally expected to increase at Dubrovnik Airport during the second half of June.

For more, follow out dedicated travel section.


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