Some people feared the worst, a few were more optimistic, the truth could well be somewhere in the middle. The tourist season in Croatia is in full-swing, and as restrictions are slowly lifted more and more travellers are enjoying a well-earned holiday on the Adriatic. There can be no doubt that the arrival of direct daily flights from New York to Dubrovnik has given the south of the country a much needed shot in the arm.
However, across the rest of the tourist hotspots in the country the make-up of guests is rather different. “Currently, the largest number of tourists are Slovenes, Germans, Austrians, but also Czechs, Poles, Slovaks and Hungarians,” stated the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, Kristjan Staničić, in an interview for Slobodna Dalmacija. He added that “For all third-country nationals, including citizens from Bosnia and Herzegovina, we have relaxed the crossing of borders to the maximum, so anyone who meets the conditions for entering Croatia can enter our country and feel safe and welcome with us.”
July and August are traditionally the height of the tourist season across Croatia, although with the delayed start of the season due to the global pandemic the indicators predict that the post-season will be just as busy, if not busier, than the pre-season.
“In the first six months of this year, there were about 2.6 million arrivals and 11.7 million overnight stays in Croatia, which is an increase of about 55 percent compared to the same period last year,” said Staničić. Adding that “I will use football vocabulary, we played very well in the first half and I appeal to everyone to adhere to the prescribed epidemiological measures, be responsible and conscientious so as not to jeopardize the most important tourist months ahead. The most important part of the tourist season is ahead of us and that is why caution and responsibility are extremely important, and I appeal to the greatest possible vaccination of the population.”
And the future looks bright with more and more airlines announcing new flights and new routes. “According to the announcements and available information from airports in Croatia, in July about 70 percent of routes from July 2019 should operate to Croatia, which is a very good indicator and a sign of a gradual recovery of air traffic,” stated the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board. And any direct comparison to 2019, which was a record breaking year in terms of tourism numbers, is healthier than comparing with last year.