Despite Nautical Tourism’s Popularity, Korcula Marking Drop in Traffic

Lauren Simmonds

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic
Korcula, Croatia
Korcula, Croatia

As Morski writes on the 2nd of August, 2020, Korcula hadn’t even bothered to hope for their overnight stay count for the coronavirus dominated 2020 tourist season to reach 70 percent of the amount of overnight stays recorded this time last year, but it has. In Korcula town, the very structure of the guests arriving has altered.

Most Croatian guests, who are being heavily relied on this year as tourism continues to be affected (albeit somewhat less heavily) by the global pandemic, tend to arrive on Korcula and into Korcula town in their cars. This is closely followed by boaters and the enfeebled nautical tourism sector. Although the results are getting better, the people who live and work on the island are hoping for a return of regular air travel, as Zarak reports.

There are no crowds to be seen on the gorgeous Dalmatian island of Korcula this summer. Hotels that opened on Korcula back in late June are still only 40 percent full.

”This year, Croatian guests predominate. These are guests who come in their personal vehicles. We also have Germans, Austrians, Slovenes, and French tourists,” said Maja Lena Lopatny, public relations manager of hotels on Korcula.

Due to the smaller number of airlines operating, travel agencies are recording a drastic drop in traffic.

”Transfers have all been cancelled, air arrivals are minimal and that’s one of the main reasons why there are no excursions taking place that we normally do,” said Vlado Iliskovic, the owner of a travel agency on Korcula.

The most sought after type of accommodation on the island is currently private accommodation, and in the very heart of Korcula town centre, you can spend the night for up to fifty euros, a dramatic drop when compared to this time last year, long before the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe and dragged the tourism industry to its knees.

”We have our lowered prices, the prices have been lowered by some 25 to 30 percent,” said Katija Depolo, the owner of an apartment. The very structure of the guests arriving on the island has changed. They typically stay for a week or more, and accommodation outside of Korcula town is increasingly desirable.

”These are mostly guests looking for more distant places which are close to the sea, they’re mostly families,” said Hana Turudic, the director of the Tourist Board of Korcula town.

”Korcula is very beautiful and charming. Especially the old town. Last night we walked and had dinner at the tavern. It’s really, really nice,” said Manuel from Spain.

Croatian singers who can’t work because of the coronavirus also recognise Korcula’s sheer beauty and claim that that’s why they’re spending their time on the Dalmatian coast.

”I gladly come back here because this place provides me with maximum protection. This place is magical,” said popular Croatian musician Nina Badric.

Well known for its glorious beaches, interesting history, beautiful architecture, proximity to places of interest on the Dalmatian mainland and its fascinating gastronomic scene, Korcula usually has no issue when it comes to attracting guests from all over the world and has since long managed to rest on its laurels – until now.

Nautical tourism, along with guests who have arrived either from the rest of Croatia or other countries in Europe by car are by far the most represented on Korcula at this moment in time. There are currently about three thousand and three hundred tourists staying there.

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