The Croatian government today announced their three phase plan to ease the COVID-19 regulations that have been in effect since the 19th of March. And the Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, also brought up the question of tourism in Croatia this summer.
“We are looking for a solution on the basis of which we will be able to open our external borders to other countries with a similar epidemiological situation as Croatia,” commented the Prime Minister. Adding that we all know how important the tourism sector is for the country.
“Our goal is to find a solution over the coming weeks, which will be jointly agreed and safe, and over the past few days we have held numerous talks on this matter. I will also hold more talks today and I will present to the European Council the easing of measures that we have announced today,” commented Plenkovic. Adding that “We will continue to find ways to reactivate Croatian businesses.”
As around 20 percent of Croatia’s GDP comes directly from tourism the need to find a solution for this year’s tourist season is imperative. It is clearly a balance between the health of the nation, which is utmost, and the health of the economy. Many businesses rely on the summer season to finance them through the winter period, and without a tourist season it is clear that the crisis could last well into next year.
Croatian tourism could come in phases in 2020
Speaking to the media after the session of the government the Prime Minister reiterated his stance on tourism this summer “I have been holding meetings with leaders of European countries all week and will continue to talk with them. These are countries whose citizens love Croatia and love to holiday in Croatia. All these European colleagues that I have spoken to are willing and indeed want to find a model in the next weeks to open the borders between our countries and allow their citizens to holiday here in the summer.”
With the opening of internal air transport, which was announced in the third phase of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, on the 11th of May, there will no doubt be some domestic tourism throughout Croatia, which could be used as an early model for this year’s tourist season.
Plenkovic revealed that he spoken with the political leaders of Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, amongst others, to find a tourist model that would above all be safe. All of these countries have a relatively similar epidemiological situation as Croatia, and could all be candidates for the tourism model, which could also include Germany.
“This isn’t only the wish of the Ministry of Tourism and the tourism sector but also the obligation of the government that on a European level we start joint discussions,” said Plenkovic.
Although there has been no official statement it would appear that Croatian tourism will be opened in a phases, firstly with domestic tourism, followed by tourism from close European countries that are in similar COVID-19 situation and have succeeded to reduce the spread of the virus. There has been no mention so far of other important travel markets for Croatia, such as the UK and the USA, presumably as both these countries are among the worst affected by the pandemic.