Slobodna Dalmacija reports that there are currently 2766 tourists in Split – mostly Croatians, followed by guests from the USA, Germany, France, and Poland, confirmed Alijana Vukšić, director of the Split Tourist Board, which clearly speaks of the current tourist picture in Croatia’s second-largest city, which broke records until the coronavirus pandemic.
From the beginning of June until June 13, a little more than 26,000 tourist overnights have been realized, while the number of tourist nights in the same period last year was 5,800, and in 2019 a little more than 100,000, which the people of Split can now only dream of.
The Split Tourist Board director is optimistically looking forward.
“The interest in Split is growing day to day, which is confirmed by tourist traffic, and also the current announcements of travel agents, journalists, and tourists. We have a reason to be optimistic, and I believe there will be growth in tourist traffic in the following months. Still, we need to be very careful because the success of the tourist season depends on the responsible behavior of each individual,” says Vukšić.
The current situation in Split in terms of tourist arrivals is not great, as evidenced by the announcements of numerous renters in various groups on social networks. They mostly complain about the lack of reservations. There are many empty apartments in the city center, those in great locations, beautifully decorated.
By reviewing the offer of accommodation on popular online platforms, it is easy to see how some renters struggle because their existence depends on renting or on credit. In despair, they began to significantly lower prices. Some stunning central apartments can be found for as little as fifty euros.
“According to people’s reactions and available information, the pre-season was catastrophic in the case of those renters who previously had guests in that period. Only now, in mid-June, something similar is starting to happen that once took place in the pre-season – in Split, some reservations began to appear, and the first guests appeared. This is very weak, considering that our epidemiological situation is excellent and that we thought that our “last minute” would start at full speed. For now, the story is on the respirator, but for at least the last two weeks, the reservations have started to come to life, and there are no cancellations as before,” notes Martina Nimac Kalcina, president of the Family Tourism Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.
The first guests move into the apartments in Split almost shyly, but this is far from what the renters hoped for. Nimac Kalcina will say that the current situation in Split on this issue looks like the one that the people of Split used to have in April. And that means – there are some guests, but it’s generally poor.
“Attractive apartments in the center of Split, even those with their own parking, are empty. In the last few days, their owners are asked to inquire daily, which usually ends with a reservation, but all this is too little, insignificant. These are apartments in Varoš, Get, Bačvice, Radunica, Spinut, which were once full throughout the summer. In addition, the prices of their rent have been lowered by about twenty percent compared to 2019, so again it is not going,” says the president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Family Tourism Association.
However, Nimac Kalcina believes that the Split tourist story will soon heat up somewhat, as the planes in full operation towards Split should start returning at the end of June.
“Unfortunately, the pre-season has been lost, and the peak season itself will not be what we hoped for,” predicts the long-term volunteer in the family tourism sector.
Split Airport: Traffic growth and the announcements are good
“According to the information from Split Airport, already May, in which the traffic of approximately 33 thousand passengers was realized, from 14 markets where 15 airlines flew, was a good announcement of what awaits us in the next period,” said the Split Tourist Board.
The airport expects further traffic growth by the end of June, a total of 80 to 90 thousand passengers, an additional 10 markets, and a total of 35 airlines.
“Confirmations of flight announcements for a period longer than three weeks are ungrateful given the variability of the epidemiological situation in our country and in the world. But if the favorable epidemiological situation is maintained from June to September this year, we can expect approximately 800,000 passengers,” Vuksic hopes.
She notes that, according to the Split Port Authority, 151 cruise ships have been announced by the end of the year.
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