Big Blow to Croatian Tourism: Italians Canceling Reservations on Coast

Daniela Rogulj



August 14, 2020 – Italy’s restriction on travelers returning from Croatia has already proven to be a big blow to Croatian tourism. 

Italy yesterday restricted all travelers returning from Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain. Namely, travelers need to prove that they have been tested in the last 72 hours and that they are negative for the coronavirus. If they can’t, they have to commit to being tested within 48 hours in Italy. This new measure, of course, is no friend of Croatian tourism. reports that the news caused concern among Italian tourists who are canceling their trips to Croatia.

“This is a decision made yesterday, so we are already recording the cancellations of the reservations themselves,” camp director Massimo Piutti told Nova TV.

“We’ve been receiving calls all morning from Italian tourists who are upset about this decision. However, they still show interest in Croatia and want to come to Croatia,” says Viviana Vukelic, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board in Italy.

And for those who are already there, the decision of their government is not clear.

Overnight holidays have become more complicated for Italian tourists who are vacationing in Croatia, and there are currently about 46,000 of them.

“I’m surprised because I think we have too many cases in Italy. I don’t know now exactly how it is in Croatia, but I think you have had relatively few cases compared to Italy,” one Italian woman told Nova TV.

Boris Zgomba, president of the Association of Travel Agencies at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, says he does not understand why Italy implemented such a move.

About 30,000 Italian tourists are currently vacationing in Istria and Kvarner, which is two-thirds of their total number in the country. They are worried about the new information, but they don’t know anything yet.

“We don’t know anything yet. We don’t understand, if we don’t get tested, will anything happen to us? Is it my responsibility, will I report to the hospital? At least they should have told us that before, not now that we’re here for three days now,” one tourist told HRT.

The Chief of the Civil Protection Headquarters of Istria County, Dino Kozlevac, said that the decision was disappointing. 

“I don’t think we are so bad in epidemiological terms, especially since they know which regions in Croatia are more vulnerable, which have fewer cases. Istria is a completely safe region for them, both Primorje-Gorski Kotar and most of the entire coast. Therefore, it saddens us because it will complicate the whole situation around tourism and is definitely not good,” said Kozlevac for HRT’s show Regionalni Dnevnik, adding that there must be some other reasons for that decision.

“I guess it is a tourist decision. Croatia is a hit this season; there is a lot of tourism, we are fighting the virus in parallel, successfully, less successfully, successfully again. Therefore, there will probably be some reason,” said Kozlevac.

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