Misleading European Media Reports Damaging Croatia’s Tourist Season

Total Croatia News

May 30, 2020 – The lack of clear travel advice from the Croatian authorities is leading to misleading headlines in the European media, which is affecting the tourist sector which is 20% of GDP in a good year. 

The most interesting mini-project I started this year – with the considerable help of Kresimir Macan and two of his interns from Manjgura – was to start the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community, a project that is way outside my comfort zone. 

But what a great and useful resource it has become in just 10 days. Community participation from its members all over the world is helping build a picture of both what the real travel situation is in Croatia, as well as the perception of being able to travel to Croatia. 

I don’t blame the European media for not getting things completely right, as it is incredibly difficult to have accurate information in such fast-changing times when the authorities are so reluctant to present information transparently, but there is some dangerous misinformation, as well as some inaccurate reporting going on. 

Here are three examples that I have been sent to the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community


Perhaps the most worrying example was from the BBC, which stated that visitors need to produce a negative COVID-19 test. This is currently NOT the case. You do NOT require a test to enter or leave Croatia, and there is NO self-isolation/quarantine requirement. Our Viber community is slowly building a resource of links to the official pages of other countries so that tourists can find out what happens when they return home. You can get info for some links here, and if you would like to send the link for your country, we will happily add it. 


Our community member was kind enough to recommend TCN as the best source of information. You can see our comprehensive Croatian travel update here (updated daily).

Last night, The Irish Times published an article about travel to Croatia and Greece.


“Croatia and Greece have announced that they will be opening their countries to some foreign visitors for the tourist season, but Irish holidaymakers will not be allowed.”

This was the opening sentence. I can understand why the journalist wrote this, but it is actually not true. Irish tourists CAN come. 

It was the same in Belgium, according to this article, sent in by another community member. 


The reason that these articles were written, and the reason these journalists are saying Irish and Belgian tourists cannot come is a direct result of the very poor communication from the Croatian tourism authorities. 

What changed on May 28 was that Croatia opened its borders fully – and without conditions – to 10 countries with a good corona record. Citizens of Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, and Germany can now enter Croatia without restriction.


Before that decision (and still true today), people from EU countries were allowed to come if they could prove ownership of property in Croatia, proof of paid accommodation or proof of a business meeting. 

There is an important technical distinction which has obviously not been picked up by the European media. Croatia is open for tourism for those 10 countries. It is technically not open for tourism until June 15 for the rest (assuming things go well with the virus), BUT you can come on holiday. The difference is that you will enter not as a tourist, but as someone engaged in an economic activity (spending money in the hotel). 

So while it is technically correct to say that Croatia is not open for tourists from Ireland and Belgium, it is very misleading, as tourists can come under the umbrella of economic activity. A very Balkan solution. 

The Irish Times also gives the impression that Irish tourists will not be allowed to Croatia this summer. That is also misleading, as everything will open up on June 15 IF the corona situation is at an acceptable level in Ireland. 

If you have any more examples of misleading information being published in European media, please email link to [email protected] Subject European Media. Or why not join our vibrant Viber community (you will need to download the app)? 



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