March 16, 2020 – A look at how Croatian hotels are handling the coronavirus crisis in the country.
HRTurizam writes that there is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the tourism sector most. The borders are closed, all events are canceled, there is a ban on gatherings over 100 people, schools, colleges and kindergartens are closed, and the recommendation is not to travel, or to keep people in self-isolation.
Everyone in the tourist chain is under attack, from travel agencies and renters to hotels, many of which have had to close their facilities temporarily. As we can see from the reports on the Zagreb Stock Exchange, hotels are registering cancellations of bookings and various gatherings in March, April and May, and a fall in stock prices. Still, so far, there are no significant cancellations from June onwards, which is good news.
Although the current annual reservation status is better than last year, Valamar Riviera reports that the number of new bookings has slowed significantly since the coronavirus escalated. The current cancellations of bookings recorded primarily relate to the period from March to May this year and only to a lesser extent to the rest of the main season, which accounts for over 85% of annual operating revenues, says the Zagreb Stock Exchange.
Hotel Medora Auri 4* started operating on February 4, 2020, but will be closed from March 14 to March 30, 2020, respectively, subject to harsh travel conditions from the major markets, until the above circumstances change. Other facilities at Medora hotels and resorts do not anticipate a change in the schedule of operational work.
According to Maistra and Adris Group, business operations were in line with expectations by early March, but after adopting emergency measures and recommendations in the Republic of Croatia and other neighboring countries, cancellations of bookings for accommodation and meetings for March, April and May 2020 began, mainly in the MICE segment. There are currently no significant cancellations for reservations from June onwards.
Liburnia Riviera Hotels say the coronavirus has a negative impact in terms of reservation cancellations and reduced capacity occupancy. According to current data, 19% of total confirmed bookings were canceled in February, 64% in March and 62% in April. Cancellations in May and June are slightly lower at 31% and 21% respectively. Liburnia Riviera hotels say that the continued duration of the disease will continue to affect their business adversely, and its effects will depend on the length of its exposure in Croatia and the countries of origin of its clients.
The Imperial Riviera said that the current state of bookings is at the level of last year, but the entry of new bookings has slowed significantly. Cancellations are mainly for April and May.
Plava Laguna states that from the end of February, the Company recorded cancellations in the amount of 25% for March and April, while there are no cancellations in the high season periods.
Given the current situation at Maestral Hotels, it is estimated that the opening of the hotel for this tourist season will not be achieved at the planned pace, and only one hotel is currently open. Bookings from focal states for group arrangements for March and April were canceled, and new bookings for the rest of the year slowed down by 50% compared to last year.
A large number of canceled reservations in the preseason and early summer season are also recorded in Vodice Hotels, which is why the official opening has moved towards the middle of April.
According to the first indicators, Jadran Hotels expected a successful tourist year, but in the last two weeks, numerous reservations for April and May were canceled, and sales for the rest of the season were stopped. Furthermore, the inflow of funds was halted by agencies seeking price reductions and more flexible cancellation and deposit terms.
Palace Hotel Zagreb reports that after adopting extraordinary measures and recommendations, cancellations of reservations and meetings for March, April and May 2020 began.
FTB Tourism plans to open their hotels in Cavtat on April 1 and 19, however, they cannot say for sure given the slow entry of new bookings and the cancellation of existing bookings. The high risk to the business, they say, is undoubtedly the legal restrictions on the movement of citizens of certain countries, especially the main markets, Great Britain and France.
At a meeting of the Presidents of the Board of Directors of the members of the Croatian Tourism Association, the leading hotel companies decided to suspend the operation of most hotels for two weeks. HUT points out that in each coastal destination, one hotel accommodation will be provided, while several hotels will be provided in Zagreb.
As the main tourist season brings more than 85 percent of the annual operating income to hotels, as well as to everyone, we hope that the whole situation will settle down as soon as possible and that the tourism sector can still count on turnover in the main tourist season. It is difficult to predict how much this situation will affect travel in general, i.e., how long it will take to activate the tourism market.
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