As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 2nd of June, 2020, everyone who is expecting Italian tourists all over Europe and the world this year will be disappointed because, according to the current mood of the Italians, many of them will not leave Italy during the summer. Croatia is a favourite destination for many Italians, but should the Croatian tourism industry simply forget about Italian guests this summer?
”According to current polls, it is estimated that only three percent of those Italians who have gone abroad on holiday in previous years will leave Italy at all this tourist season. That is a miserable number compared to those polls taken before the pandemic hit,” says Rea Karnincic from Milan, who is originally from the Dalmatian city Split and owns the travel agency “Solo Croazia” for Slobodna Dalmacija.
The real question is, is there any interest at all from Italians for a holiday in Croatia, does Rea’s travel agency have such inquiries?
”Well, I can’t say my phone lines are really hot. For months, no one called because no one knew what would happen with the coronavirus pandemic and how the situation would develop. In recent days, the phone has been “shyly” ringing, they’re starting to become interested again, but I think that everyone in Europe, including people in Croatia, can forget about Italian tourists during June. Maybe there’ll be a few of them during July, August and September. The shipping company SNAV, which connects Italy and Croatia, will start sailing only on June the 27th, and the planes will take off only at the beginning of July. In addition, Jadrolinija starts operating with Italy again on June the 10th or 12th, so just twice a week,” said Karnincic.
The fact that this current negative mood in Italy is bad for the Croatian tourism industry is best shown by the fact that before the coronavirus crisis, about a million Italian citizens came here during the summer months.
”And those are some bygone, better times. The answer to why many Italians won’t bother to travel abroad this summer should be sought primarily in financial reasons, as many people have become impoverished or out of work, so they just can’t afford a holiday. Another reason is that many Italians no longer have any days off, because during the crisis, they took advantage of the “old” days off and those for this year.
The third reason is that the Italian state encourages Italians to stay and spend their holidays in Italy and thus help the country’s economic recovery. Thus, each family will receive a voucher worth 500 euros, which must be spent in hotels in Italy. Single people will receive a voucher of 150 euros,” concluded Rea Karnincic in an interview for Slobodna Dalmacija.
For more on Croatian tourism in the coronavirus era, follow our travel section.