Zagreb Hotels at 14% Capacity, Can Skiing Season Save Them?

Lauren Simmonds

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 28th of September, 2020, hotels on the Adriatic may be able to relax because they have finished with their season with higher-than-expected traffic, which could cover part of the costs and, with the help of state aid, ensure survival until spring. However, the agony for those of us in Zagreb and Zagreb hotels continues, which could be stopped by the reopening of borders within the EU, which is being intensively supported by the European Commission.

The current statistics of Zagreb hotels in September are sad to say the very least. In the period from the 1st to the 24th of September, there were 16,915 arrivals and 29,750 overnight stays realised, ie 19 percent of arrivals and 21 percent of overnight stays realised in the same period last year. So far, the leading market for Zagreb hotels is domestic, followed by Germany, Italy, Israel and the United States. Out of 71 hotels in Zagreb, 59 hotels currently have tourist traffic, 12 are closed, and the occupancy rate is currently at a rather miserable 14 percent. As of Friday, there were 1253 guests staying in Zagreb hotels, according to eVisitor. The Palace, which needs to repair the consequences of the earthquake, is not open, and the famous Hotel Dubrovnik is working at half of its normal capacity.

The Sheraton was recently opened which had several prom dinners and has some guests, but not all rooms are open. Apart from the Sheraton and the Westin, the largest hotelier in Zagreb, HUP Zagreb, as part of Maistra, opened the Zagreb, International and Jadran hotels, and Panorama was closed.

It has been briefly stated that “in these uncertain times, the hotel’s operating plan depends on booking and their profitability”, which means that any of these hotels could close again if there is no demand. The result is weaker than in the summer months for a number of reasons.

“Most of the hotels that opened in the summer were counting on guests passing through on their way down to the Adriatic, but they were waiting for the autumn in which they hoped for at least a somewhat increased traffic of the business segment and events. Then, at the end of August, the borders were closed, ie Croatia was put in the red zone, and the decision of the Medical Chamber that no rallies or training would be held, which is a segment that was our leader in the autumn months,” explained Josipa Jutt Ferlan, the director of Zagreb City Hotels.

If this situation lasts, the winter will be difficult for Zagreb hotels, but the opening of the first hotels and resorts at European ski resorts, they hope, could start the opening of borders, flights, traffic and some sense of normality.

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