As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, although Croatian tourists had made fewer trips by September this year than they did last year, their plans for winter travel, including abroad, have apparently increased. At least that’s what Croatian tourists thought in September, before the onset of the fourth wave of the pandemic. This was revealed via the MasterIndex survey on the usage habits of financial services in Croatia, conducted by the Improve market research agency, on a sample of 1,046 users of banking services in Croatia aged 18 to 55.
Back in September, 43 percent of respondents planned to travel abroad this winter, while in September 2020, 21 percent planned to travel abroad. 17 percent of them planned to go skiing, 51 percent had an Advent trip planned, while as many as 24 percent of respondents intended to head off abroad celebrate the New Year. Those who said they weren’t planning a trip abroad cited financial worries or fears of cancellation as their main issues. The most attractive locations for travelling within Croatia were Zagreb and its surroundings.
When it comes to realised trips, in 2021 2.7 trips per passenger were realised by Croatian tourists, and a year earlier, 3.4 trips were for leisure, while the number of business trips until September remained the same as last year (1.6 trips per respondent). For comparison, back in pre-pandemic 2019, respondents travelled an average of 4.2 times for leisure and 2.6 times a year on business. On average, a little less than 8,000 kuna was spent on one trip for leisure, and as many as 92 percent of respondents find out information about the destination of their trips via the Internet.
Most Croatian tourists pay for their trips with debit cards and cash, and as for the amount they spend on travel, it is higher than it was in the year before.
Of those Croatian tourists who planned to travel abroad at the time of the survey back in September, half planned to travel to a European destination during Advent, and on average they planned to stay on such trips for 3 to 4 days. A quarter of the respondents planned to celebrate the New Year in one of the larger European cities, and they thought that such a trip would last on average 5 days. As for skiing, such a trip was planned by 17 percent of respondents.
Among the respondents who planned a trip, most are those with a higher level of education and who have a higher income, they were also mainly respondents from Istria. Thus, 28 percent of Istrians were sure that they’d travel somewhere abroad this winter, compared to only 3 percent of respondents from Northern Croatia. At the same time, 68 percent of Slavonians planned an Advent trip to a European destination, as opposed to 47 percent of those from Istria and Zagreb. Comparing the data with last year, it could be seen that the number of those planning an Advent trip abroad or to go skiing has increased significantly, but it would be interesting to see what these same respondents plan today, in the midst of the fourth wave of the pandemic and with the emergence of a new strain of the novel coronavirus.
While before the pandemic, each respondent travelled to one of the European destinations on average once a year, now that average has dropped to 0.3 trips. The number of trips within Croatia also decreased slightly, in contrast to 2.6 trips made back in 2019, in 2021, respondents travelled an average of 2.1 times a year.
As for spending on leisure travel, although people are travelling less, respondents are spending more. Thus, on average, Croatian tourists spent a little less than 8,000 kuna on one trip, and last year they spent an average of a little more than 6,100 kuna. Back in pre-pandemic 2019, the average travel spending was 5,150 kuna in total. Respondents from Zagreb and Northern Croatia also spend much more on this type of travel than respondents from the likes of Lika and Istria.
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