February 27, 2020 – Croatian Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli comments on the coronavirus and its effects on Croatian tourism so far.
HRTurizam reports that the panic and spread of mass hysteria around the coronavirus is of no use to anyone, and many experts and scientists are calling for the voice of reason.
Today, Croatian Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli was the voice of reason at a session of the Croatian Government, stating that 24,500 tourists are currently staying in Croatia, or about 3% more guests than at the same time last year.
“There is still no major decline, except of course from the eastern markets, such as China and South Korea, as expected. In the first month, we had an increase of about 70% from the Chinese market, and now in February, a decrease of 60% was achieved, so we got closer to zero.”
As for the impact of the current situation on tourism revenue, Capelli noted that the first three months affect somewhere around 5%, while the first six months affect 27% of total tourism revenue.
“So the first three months will not have a significant impact on total tourism revenue. The biggest eventual cancellations that occur are in business and congress tourism, which is about reservations for March. Easter is earlier this year, so it won’t even be a true picture of what’s going to happen in the rest of the tourist season. The real picture will be shown by the situation in May, when the biggest arrivals are achieved because tourists connect holidays.”
Cappelli added that in the last two years we have a new tendency in tourism through last minute bookings, i.e., our guests only book their arrival in May and June for the peak tourist season.
“So far, we do not have any cancellations for the main part of the tourist year; our markets are still stable. Positive data shows that we have a 3% increase in interest from the German market as well as from 7% to 8% in the UK this year. So for now, we do not feel any disadvantages, except for a slight halt to bookings, which was to be expected in this situation. There is no room to panic, the government headquarters manages the situation in real-time and all services are fully prepared,” Cappelli concluded.
“We need to stop any panic and big shopping trips for supplies, because we are not in this situation or at this stage at all,” said Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, adding that the Government will remain 100% transparent and prompt about all relevant information to the public.
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