November 13, 2020 – Tourism professionals from Lika-Senj and Karlovac counties expressed optimism about next year in their area, but also in Croatia as a whole.
As Hina reports, the panel “What about (corona) tourism in 2021?” was held on Thursday, November 12 2020 as part of the 6th regional forum of family accommodation in Karlovac, which was organized with partners by the Family Tourism Community Section for the Lika-Karlovac region at the chambers of Karlovac and Otočac.
Panelists presented their views on the next tourist year and this year’s experiences, which they described as “a good lesson from which much could be learned and prepared for the future.”
The owner of the hotel and winery Boškinac from Novalja, Boris Šuljić, rated this year as one of the most challenging in tourism, but also for him as an entrepreneur. However, he added that at the beginning of the spring closing, they managed to keep all employees and use the time to work on the company’s progress.
“That’s why we had a very successful season this year, but as trends change and regardless of corona, we still have to constantly adjust. I am optimistic about 2021 and I believe that flights, maritime traffic, and car tourism in the full profile will be established to a greater extent,” said Suljic.
He also believes that everyone in tourism should be well prepared for next year, and that “the difficult experience from this year should be a guide”. He also said that “the most important thing in tourism is to deliver high quality”.
“We are already working hard on new dishes and we believe in the classic continuation of our business and a return to the ‘old normal’,” said Šuljić.
Krešo Rogoz, director of the Croatia Open Land DMC company from Karlovac, is also optimistic for next year, saying that after stopping all plans, they used this year to search for new resources, but also to prepare a different, more individual tourism for smaller groups.
“It’s also interesting that we raised prices and thus got smaller groups that accumulated more money. The key is to team up, collect additional content and excellence, and we all hope for a normal spring and base our plans on car tourists,” said Rogoz, who believes that it is time to jointly devise how to brand destinations to be even more recognizable in the tourist markets.
The director of the Homeland War Museum in Karlovac, Hrvojka Božić, notes that this year they used digital channels a lot to bring back visitors, which they succeeded in doing, and in the summer months they had about 80 percent of last year’s attendance.
They are optimistic about 2021, believing in the power of community collaboration and networking of stakeholders within the destination, as well as in the development of content tailored to individual visitors and smaller groups.
Although they had only 25 percent of last year’s overnight stays this year, Rakovica Deputy Mayor Mihovil Bićanić also hopes for a speedy recovery.
“We believe in stabilization in 2021, in which we should additionally focus on domestic tourists and on raising awareness about the offer of continental tourism, in which there is still a lot of room for additional content and strengthening quality,” concluded Bićanić.