November 20, 2020 – The Croatian Tourism Association is optimistic about the 2021 tourist season, thanks to the recent announcements of a COVID-19 vaccine.
HRTurizam reports that the recently published optimistic results of the third phase of testing two vaccines against COVID-19 and Germany's announcement that it could vaccinate 70 percent of the population by the summer of next year have brought optimism among tourism workers around the world, including Croatia.
This news is especially important for our country, where the arrival of guests from Germany in large numbers is crucial for a successful season.
Announcements about the vaccine inspire optimism that tourism could begin to recover in the second quarter and then approach the numbers before the pandemic in the second half of next year, said Veljko Ostojic, director of the Croatian Tourism Association, adding: "We must be careful and continuously monitor the situation to be able to make appropriate decisions, both in terms of the market and in terms of the organization of work in accommodation facilities and destinations."
As a review of expectations for next year, Ostojic points out that it will be marked by last-minute reservations as well as an increase in online reservations.
"In any case, it is to be expected that next season will have the characteristics of last-minute reservations, an increase in online reservations, increased interest in higher category facilities that guarantee greater isolation of guests and that the key criterion for choosing a destination will be security in the broadest sense. Croatia's advantage is that it is an auto-destination and has a significantly smaller population compared to other countries," commented Ostojić.
Tourism in the National Development Strategy 2030 is recognized as a strategic branch that stimulates the economy
The draft text of the National Development Strategy, which was adopted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia and sent for broad public discussion, defines tourism as a strategic activity in Croatia, which is why it is necessary to work on its sustainability and recovery from the current crisis.
The goal of the umbrella strategic national document, which must be followed by all other sectoral strategies and implementation plans, is to keep Croatia among the leading European tourist destinations in terms of safety, quality, added value, sustainability, and innovation.
"This year, tourism is finally recognized as one of the key economic sectors in which we have the knowledge and experience to make an extraordinary result even in times of crisis. This year, tourism has proven to be a shock absorber of the economy, rather than a vulnerable part of the economy as it is often perceived. The key to further development of tourism is to raise its international competitiveness, both by reducing the VAT rate to the level of the competition and by defining a comprehensive approach on how to encourage increased investment and reduce barriers to investment in the hotel industry that brings the greatest added value to the economy and the local community," said Ostojic and concluded that they are satisfied that the mentioned key determinants are recognized in the draft text of the National Development Strategy of the Republic of Croatia until 2030.
In Croatia, there are still on average between 15 and 20 thousand tourists every day
An average of between 15,000 and 20,000 tourists still stay in Croatia every day, and official statistics show that 236 hotels and 31 campsites have been opened. Most tourists stay for the weekend, but there is a significant number of those who stay during the week.
Tourists are attracted by special offers, including heated houses in camps, the new offer of "home offices" in hotels, and better prices for accommodation in luxury villas. Most guests are in family accommodation, about 4000 of them, while hotels have about 3000 guests, followed by camps.