ZAGREB, Sept 11, 2020 – In the first eight months of this year, 6.8 million tourists visited Croatia and generated 47.5 million overnight stays, which was at 41% and 53% respectively of last year’s levels.
YTD tourism results are better than expected following the outbreak of the coronavirus infection, according to a statement made by Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac and the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) director Kristijan Stanicic at a news conference in Zagreb on Friday.
Of those 47.5 million overnight stays, the lion’s share, 84%, were made in July and August, and in those two months, Croatia registered 5.2 million holidaymakers.
Addressing the news conference, Minister Brnjac thanked the stakeholders and businesses in the tourism sector for those results.
“Clearly, nobody finds this situation easy, however, the sector has shown that it has been well prepared and we thank everyone for these results,” she said.
The minister says that the government adopted the right measures in a timely fashion to help keep jobs and liquidity in this industry.
The gradual reopening of the borders paved the way for the arrival of tourists, and the results are better than expected in all types of tourist accommodation, she added.
“Nautical tourism is one of the segments that has fared well, and currently there are about 300 mega-yachts in Croatia. We hope that this good season will continue.”
Government assistance schemes for the tourism and hospitality industry will be in effect until the end of this year to help the sector make good preparations for 2021, and the minister recalls that part of the money will be ensured from the European Union’s funds.
She announced the preparation of a strategy for sustainable tourism with the engagement of experts in drawing up the document.
About 200,000 tourists currently vacationing
HTZ director Stanicic said that about 200,000 tourists were currently vacationing in Croatia.
He said that HTZ campaigns on social networks had registered hundreds of millions of visits.
Stanicic also commented on some negative campaigns on foreign markets that were unfavorable for Croatia.
We tried to respond to that “with certain positive and fact-based messages,” he said.
When asked about the financial effects of the tourist turnover, Stanicic said that one should wait for the end of the year.
The director of the Croatian Association of Tourism (HUT), Veljko Ostojic, said that given the circumstances, the results in the sector were the best possible.
In hotels, overnight stays in the first eight months were at 30.4% of the levels in the corresponding period last year, Ostojic said, warning that the financial effects would be even lower.
Ostojic and the head of the Association of the Croatian Travel Agencies (UHPA), Tomislav Fain, agreed that the assistance provided by the government had been essential to keep the sector in motion.
The head of the association of marinas within the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), Sean Lisjak, told the news conference that marinas were satisfied with this year’s results.