Which Croatian Towns Can Count on Tourism in Summer 2021?

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic
Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, although the British market was naturally expected to rush to book a summer holiday after the announcement of the easing of measures against the spread of the novel coronavirus, even travel organisers who regularly monitor the market were pleasantly surprised by the sheer growth of British bookings.

EasyJet thus announced an increase in flight bookings from the United Kingdom for this summer by more than 300 percent compared to just one week ago, and bookings for summer holiday packages increased by more than 600 percent compared to a week earlier.

Travel organiser TUI UK is reporting a 500 percent increase in booking compared to a week ago, and Jet2 has revealed that their growth is above 600 percent. On the Skyscanner site in just one day, they had a 69 percent increase in bookings.

As has unofficially been found out, TUI UK is currently recording 66 percent more bookings for Croatia than it did during the same period last year, of which more than half is booking for Dubrovnik, for August and September.

“As things stand now, while some Croatian towns will be able to count on the pre-season to some extent or another, that isn’t the case for the whole country.

Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium won’t allow for such leisure and tourism trips before May the 15th or even early June, and the Scandinavians aren’t to be expected before July. Currently, the best sales are in August, September and even October, which all stakeholders in Croatian tourism should take into account and they try to profit as much as possible from the interest we’ve been recording in the market. Judging by this optimism that we’re finally seeing, Dubrovnik could be full at the end of summer and in September, as might Split, while Istria and Kvarner have the benefits of being typically car destinations,” revealed a source from TUI.

No concrete figures have been revealed yet because the starting points for this jump are low for everyone, but tour operators are finally seeing the light at the end of a very long, very dark tunnel, because the reaction shown by the British market can now also be more or less expected in other markets as measures ease.

Croatia can have certain advantages if it carries out its tourism campaigns properly, and focuses especially on the end of summer and even the post-season, which could be a shining star. Although Spain is their favourite destination, the British are still not welcome there because of the British strain of the virus, nor are they yet welcome in neighbouring France.

Greece, however, has put enormous amounts of effort into bringing tourism back to their shores amid the pandemic, and bookings from the UK have shot through the roof.

“Greece has worked hard to make its comeback, it engaged agencies in all emitting markets, developed a return strategy, worked out bilateral agreements with certain emitting markets on border crossings and these are the results,” said interlocutors from the sector, who believe that Croatia needs to work hard on defining all of that as soon as possible. Testing, vaccinations and everything that has sadly become the norm of late all need to be carefully looked into to facilitate any sort of tourism for Croatian towns and cities this summer season.

However, the Croatian tourism authorities are keeping their cards close to their chests and are waiting for the European Union’s common position on these issues, and in the meantime their focus is on the Safe Stay in Croatia certification and campaign project, presented on Thursday by Minister Nikolina Brnjac and Kristjan Stanicic, director of the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ).

“During the preparations for this tourist year, we’re putting the safety and health of our fellow citizens and our guests in the first place, and we have the support of the sector, gathered in the Council for Recovery and Development of Tourism. With the prescribed protocols, we’ve covered more than 200,000 catering and hospitality facilities and service providers in tourism,” pointed out Brnjac and added that it is important to ensure that this national label is available to all stakeholders in Croatian tourism and the travel chain.

The CNTB will carry out campaign activities during March and April across the European markets of Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, France and the Netherlands.

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