Proving that the touristic offer in private accommodation has largely outgrown demand are the adverts for apartment rental, vacation houses and flats across the Adriatic coast, never lower just ahead of July
A bed in a family home in excellent locations from Istria to Dubrovnik can be found these days for an incredible 6 Euro, while an entire four-bed apartment in a popular destination goes for 25 Euro per day, Slobodna Dalmacija reported on June 27, 2016.
These are prices not seen even in the early post-war years, meaning it’s not a lack of interest, but a surplus of beds.
This is the first of already visible consequences of uncontrolled growth of this type of accommodation coming dangerously close to almost 600,000 beds in 65,000 households, making the owners in this business more and more sceptical of the income to be made in this season.
They are growing in numbers, while guests are not. June has passed with almost half empty apartments, while reservations show most can count on 40 to 50 days of occupancy, far below the lowest numbers of usage of touristic types of accommodation.
Even camps, dependent almost exclusively on the weather forecast, have significantly surpassed the occupancy of private accommodation capacity, growing in double digits for the last few years.
“Our private accommodation is unorganised, divided and without any marketing or reasonable sales, coming down to the resourcefulness of the owner and how serious he is about the business. Some 50 days of occupancy cannot be called a business, that’s how many guests “grandma Mara” got 50 years ago.
Private apartments keep growing, booking and reservation portals are filled with renters, but no is in it seriously. So their occupancy will keep decreasing every year,” said a renter from Tučepi whose apartments are full 150 days per year.
Traditional June guests who came in large numbers to private accommodation, such as Czechs, Poles, Slovaks and Bosnians, are fewer this year so in a panicked response owners are selling even the best beds by the seaside for just 10 Euro.
The advertised prices are higher, but in the end can be halved on the spot, we’re told. These days a four-bed apartment in Sukošan is on offer for 30 Euro, in Biograd for 35 Euro and only 27 Euro in Zaton. A room in Pag goes for 12 Euro until the end of June, while in Vodice four persons can vacation in an apartment until the beginning of July for 30 Euro.
Not even Split has all its beds full, so an apartment for four in Bačvice goes for 50 Euro, by the sea in Makarska for 40 Euro, while in Kaštela a bed in an apartment goes for 6 to 8 Euro, as much as some empty apartments on Pelješac.
It remains to be seen if July will bring better occupancy of private accommodation only due to the fact that hotels have been filled for some time now in the peak of season, so the surplus will spill over.
A similar story might go down in tourism centres in September, when many hotels on the Adriatic have sent a halt of booking to foreign partners.
Diocletian’s Palace still holds its price
The quality of accommodation and renter attitude are the most important tools that can keep private renters in the game. In the Tourism Board of Split there are currently 20,804 registered beds, 13,991 of which are private.
According to Josip Sedlar of the private renters association Split Tourism, guests look for polite, tourism oriented hosts who will serve them with plenty of information on the town and surroundings, especially culture and adventure, expecting to stay in a modern apartment with fast internet and all technological advantages.
“The service gets better each year, while the rise in tourists is followed by a rise in beds. The Ultra festival is a great promotion. The number of overnight stays is increasing, so we’ve had a great May, while the Summer is expected to break records. Speaking of capacity usage, the centre of town fills up first, while the less attractive areas have less demand,” Sedlar said.
The Smokvina Travel agency considers the prices somewhat more realistic than last year’s as the number of renters went up, but old rules still apply.
“The most expensive accommodation is within the Diocletian’s Palace and in Marmontova street, while a bed for 2 or 3 times less can be found only a few hundred metres away, in Varoš or Radunica,” said Denis Orlić from Smokvina Travel.
We’ve checked the price difference ourselves, so two people in a three star apartment within the palace will pay 220 Euro per night, while faring much cheaper if they stay just outside, where the price per night is – 40 Euro!