HTZ Says German And UK Decisions Will Impact Tourism In Croatia

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Istria, Rijeka | Photo by Romulic and Stojcic
Istria, Rijeka | Photo by Romulic and Stojcic

Istria, Rijeka | Photo by Romulic and Stojcic

ZAGREB, Aug 20, 2020 – The Croatian National Tourism Board director, Kristjan Stanicic on Thursday said that decisions to put Croatia on lists of unsafe countries for travel would certainly affect tourism turnover.

The German foreign ministry on Thursday issued a warning against travelling to Sibenik-Knin and Split-Dalmatia counties because of the increasing number of new coronavirus infections. “Unnecessary travel such as for tourism to these areas is not recommended,” the ministry said.

Commenting on the decision to Hina, Stanicic said that the fact that Germany had not declared all of Croatia as unsafe was “a mitigating circumstance.”

“We know how important the German market is for Croatia’s tourism from which we have generated 3.6 million bed nights in August thus far, which in the current circumstances is an excellent 93% of last year’s results. As such, I once again appeal for everyone to adhere to the prescribed epidemiological measures because at the moment that is the fundamental precondition to continue achieving tourism turnover in the country,” Stanicic said.

Putting Croatia on the red list in the UK will change travel plans to Croatia

Commenting on the latest announcement from the United Kingdom that Croatia could be put on the red list of countries due to allegedly imported cases of the infection, Stanicic said that it could potentially mean British tourists leaving earlier or changing their plans to travel to Croatia.

“The United Kingdom is one of the more important markets for Croatia’s tourism and the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively affected arrivals. In circumstances when until mid-June it was almost impossible to travel anywhere in Europe and with the exceptionally strong contraction of air transport, the British market did not result in any strong activation. Hence, since the start of the year until now we have had about 97,000 arrivals and 483,000 bed nights from that market, which is about 16% of last year’s turnover and the arrivals from the UK rank 12th among foreign tourists,” Stanicic explained.

The director of the HTZ branch in Great Britain, Daria Reic, has informed that interest by British visitors for Croatia is still strong and partners are informing of good occupancy rates in planes.

“We are receiving a lot of calls from potential passengers enquiring about the current situation in Croatia and our partners are informing us of very good bookings for the remainder of August and September,” Reic revealed.

She said that Brits are by no means happy with their government’s decision, adding that the general opinion in public is that no one wants to go into 14-day quarantine.

Currently, 17,000 Brits are spending holidays in Croatia

If the government does indeed make such a decision there could be a drastic drop in tourists while Stanicic said that currently there are about 17,000 Brits in Croatia with about 56% in rooms and apartments, 29% in hotels, 7% in nautical accommodation, 5% in camps and 3% in non-commercial facilities.

Most of them are vacationing in Dubrovnik, Split, Konavle, Hvar, and Pula.

We are doing our utmost to precisely inform foreigners in the UK and elsewhere

Both Reic and Stanicic underscore that the HTZ is cooperating with diplomatic representations in the UK and elsewhere in the world to provide accurate information based on which they can then decide on including countries on the list of risky or safe countries.

“Unfortunately, we cannot impact a final decision and apart from the epidemiological situation, their decisions take into account the economic interests of each individual country. That is particularly obvious in the fact that some countries have declared us to be a risky destination (Slovenia, Austria, Italy) while others consider us to be a safe tourist destination and their tourists are enjoying their vacation in Croatia (Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and so on),” said Stanicic.

“We will continue to promote Croatia as a safe and stable tourist destination, particularly through online channels and we have launched an initiative for some local tourism boards and companies to organise testing in their areas for all interested tourists so they can continue their vacation undisturbed,” he concluded.

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