Questions by Brian Gallagher
International tourism has been affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic. We spoke with Daria Reić, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board in London about the impact on Croatia.
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit Croatian tourism, what measures have been taken to protect the tourist industry?
The Ministry of Tourism has devised a series of measures to help the industry cope with the effects of the pandemics.
A liquidity credit line has been secured for the tourism sector in the amount of HRK 600 million. An extensive list of measures includes: exemption from half of the annual amount of the tourist tax lump sum for private renters and family farms and prolongation of the legal deadline for recategorisation for all catering facilities (renters, hotels, camps, marinas …).
Travel agencies are allowed a moratorium on termination of contracts for 180 days from the end of special circumstances and allowed the option of offering vouchers instead of refunds for cancelled reservations.
Also: Postponement / exemption of deadlines and benefits based on tourist membership fees and postponement / release of concessions for tourist land to hotels, tourist resorts and camps.
Have there been issues with people who have booked holidays to Croatia but have not been able to go due to Covid-19?
This is a universal problem the global tourism industry is facing at the moment. Once travel resumes completely, we hope to see many of those who were unable to travel earlier in the year, reschedule their visits.
How have you been maintaining interest in the UK for visiting Croatia? What can someone who wants to go to Croatia do at the moment?
In order to keep our audience engaged and inspired, we are staying proactive on social channels, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where we make continuous efforts to present Croatia as an interesting, safe, and high-quality destination.
In April, the Croatian National Tourist Board launched a new #CroatiaLongDistanceLove campaign. As part of this communication concept, a dedicated page has been created on the Croatia.hr website, featuring all the best of Croatian tourism offer in the form of attractive video materials, virtual tours, beautiful photos and interesting information.
We have also launched the #CroFact campaign, aimed at bringing fun, interesting and lesser known facts about Croatia to our wide online audiences.
The European Commission has recently produced guidelines and recommendations for the lifting of travel restrictions to help tourism. How does this relate to the UK?
Things are moving in the positive direction in the EU, but the development of the situation within the UK remains to be seen – whether there will be any further restrictions and recommendations relating to travel outside the UK. Once aviation resumes, we hope to see a steady number of British visitors coming to Croatia.
Will there be special promotions when the situation is better?
We are preparing further marketing campaigns to inspire people to visit this year, which we will be launching once the right conditions in the market are achieved.
Croatia is perceived as a safe destination, an image that has been strengthened further during the pandemics due to the country’s effective handling of the crisis.
We will make sure to make use of this positive perception and focus on all what people are longing for at the moment – fresh air, preserved nature, fresh local food and variety of accommodation.
Will there be more of an emphasis on Winter tourism this year, such as the Zagreb Christmas market?
Christmas markets are increasingly becoming an important element of the Croatian overall tourism offer and have been gaining in popularity with international audiences over the past few years. There is no doubt we will be enthusiastically promoting them closer to the time. However, the most important period for the Croatian tourism is summer months, and our focus at the moment is to make the best of this important period.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
The CNTB has a COVID-19 dedicated page on www.croatia.hr, where you can keep track of latest developments and travel advice, as well as enjoy quality content to help plan your future travel to Croatia.