When Will Croatian Tourism Return in 2021? Price Wars to Commence

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic
Makarska riviera, Croatia
Makarska riviera, Croatia

As Novac/Barbara Ban writes, the German Government isn’t counting on the normalisation of the tourism market whatsoever before the summer, according to the German Government’s commissioner for tourism, Thomas Bareiss, in an interview with German media yesterday, adding that he believes that in the next two to three months, travel will continue to be difficult to imagine. Bareiss expects that the tourist market will begin to recover in the second quarter and fully revive by the summer, which means that Croatian tourism can’t expect a recovery from the German market before Easter.

“If we really manage to vaccinate most citizens in the second quarter, then we’ll have a relatively safe situation when it comes to travel,” Bareiss said.

The Croatian tourism sector assessed the assessments of the German Commissioner for Tourism as positive. According to the people involved in the operation, they have already prepared for the fact that the start of the pre-season will be worse due to the epidemiological situation throughout Europe. This year, Easter also falls earlier.

Croatian Minister of Tourism Nikolina Brnjac said that Croatia had begun preparations for the season and that they were in contact with representatives of the tourism sector and economic entities in Germany.

“The basic message of all meetings is that the health and safety of all of us must come first. Although it’s difficult to assess when the epidemiological situation will normalise, it’s certain that with the arrival of the vaccine we’re entering a new phase in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. A sufficient level of vaccination will certainly affect the perception of all tourist destinations this year, including Croatia,” said Brnjac, adding that vaccination is a message of responsibility.

“In addition to vaccination, there are health security protocols for all stakeholders in tourism, which the Ministry will soon present and market in emitting markets. Personally, I hope for a higher level of vaccination, both in Croatia and in our emitting markets, because it will bring us the normalisation of tourist traffic,” the Minister noted when discussing when the Croatian tourism return.

“I think the statement that the tourism market will start recovering in the second quarter is good news for us. How long the preseason will be depends on a lot of factors. It should be better than it was last year when it didn’t even exist. Objectively, Easter falls very early and every overnight stay is precious, especially in this situation, we should be realistic and expect good numbers from the second half of May onwards,” said the president of the Croatian Tourism Association, Veljko Ostojic.

The head of the Uniline travel agency, Boris Zgomba, says the bigger challenge will be prices wars and competition when it comes to the general Croatian tourism return.

“Turkey, Greece, Spain, Italy are all returning and there will be a struggle for prices, services and promotion. There will be a lot of last minute deals, bookings and riots on the tourism market. Financially speaking, we can’t expect a big recovery yet. According to my estimate, we’ll be at 60 percent of the traffic we had back in 2019 this year,” Ostojic concluded.

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