Josko Stella on Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Season: It’s Not Over Yet

Daniela Rogulj



August 29, 2020 – Split-Dalmatia County has recorded excellent tourist results so far this season – and far more than expected. However, the latest increase in coronavirus cases and Croatia’s inclusion on the red list of some countries, some extremely important markets, is a cause for concern. Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board director Josko Stella believes that, despite everything, the situation can still be improved.

We still have time; the tourist season is not over yet.

“The situation is not good, it is very difficult now, but we still have time to fix it. It is a great pity because this end of August started very well and was better than we expected, but now it all depends on the period ahead, whether we will curb this situation and reduce the number of new infections. We need to take the situation seriously, discipline ourselves, listen to the Headquarters’ recommendations, avoid gatherings and physical contacts,” says Stella for

Austria, Slovenia, and Italy put Croatia on the red list, and Germany placed Split-Dalmatia County on theirs. August is currently at 68% compared to last year. The most numerous guests in central Dalmatia are Poles, Germans, Croats, and Czechs, so putting Split-Dalmatia County on the red list in Germany could be the strongest blow so far. And after a dry May in which there was no tourism anywhere and a timid June when about 20% of last year’s result was achieved, things went well. According to data from the eVisitor system, in Split-Dalmatia County, 433,820 guests stayed in commercial accommodation in July, 47 percent of the tourist traffic of last July.

They realized 2,898,993 overnight stays or 54 percent of tourist overnight stays realized in the same month in 2019. There were 22,511 arrivals and 160,649 overnight stays in July, representing 50 percent in arrivals and 49 percent in overnight stays compared to the same month last year. He was pleased with the fact that the same number of German guests stayed in Central Dalmatia in July as last year, who had the same number of overnight stays as last year, which is an exceptional success in this turbulent business year.

“In the first seven months, we realized 39% of overnight stays compared to 2019, but now our situation has become more complicated. After the dismissal from Great Britain, we will see what will happen to the Germans. Those blacklists are changeable, and I hope that we will be able to calm the situation and remove us from the lists. If this hadn’t happened, we would have had a great September and October, bookings were great, but if it doesn’t improve, I’m afraid of canceled reservations,” says Stella.

The dismissals from Germany, however, have not yet begun. The County Tourist Board points out that tourist companies, hosts in family accommodation, marinas, and camps respect strict epidemiological measures and protection standards. The Croatian coast has so far proved to be the safest and most acceptable holiday destination in the Mediterranean this season. That this is the case is evidenced by the daily visits of world-famous people to Split-Dalmatia County and its attractive waters. This sent the best marketing message of our tourism to the world.

However, the deteriorating epidemiological situation has also raised concerns at Split Airport, which had 165 landings and take-offs of commercial aircraft on August’s first weekend, carrying more than 30,000 passengers in both directions. Although this is a relatively large number, it was only 35 percent of passengers compared to the same weekend last year. In the first seven months of this year, Split airport, which is connected to 60 destinations worldwide, had a total turnover of 277,000 passengers, and in July alone, this airport had 171,815 passengers. The traffic of around 150,000 passengers was expected in August, which is now in question given the situation and the global pandemic.

In order to attract tourists to Central Dalmatia, the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board has proposed to the Civil Protection Headquarters to open a point where only tourists will be tested for coronavirus so that those who are obliged to take the test can do so faster and cheaper.

“We would finance part of the costs as the Tourist Board, hoteliers also expressed the will that they would also give a discount to guests who are being tested, and part of the guests would have to pay,” says Stella. “In this way, we would meet guests’ needs from countries looking for testing for COVID-19 on their return from Croatia. I fully support everything that is determined and implemented by the Headquarters. I call on the inspections and all other authorities to do everything they can so that we can put ourselves in order and save September,” says Stella.

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