The Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli, has commented that by the end of May the borders may be open and Croatians will be open to cross the borders. In an interview for RTL, Cappelli said that after the meeting with EU ministers yesterday they had agreed that they must find a common mobility protocol for travel inside the European Union. “We are well recognized in this regard, and everyone praised Croatia's control of the COVID-19 pandemic. We all insist that mobility be addressed as soon as possible," said the tourism minister.
Solutions for the tourism industry, at least inside of the European Union and on a much smaller level, are being worked out. Whether this will mean road and air corridors to Croatia from countries with a similar COVID-19 situation as Croatia, such as Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany. Another possibility is that tourists coming to Croatia would have to have some form of certificate to prove that they are corona-free.
And Cappelli revealed that this idea is being discussed at the EU level, "We are talking about this, we have given ourselves a deadline of a month to work out exactly how to do it. There is a will, it is desirable no matter that some countries want to keep citizens within their borders. People want to travel; I think some solution will be found.”
He added that “It's a home-to-destination action, it's controlled tourism, there's no other solution. Road corridors as well as air bridges would be possible. They will be given advance instructions on which corridor to reach without having as few contacts as possible.”
There is no doubt that tourism in 2020 will be completely different to any other year, for the past three years Croatia has broken records in terms of tourist numbers and revenue. And when the minister was asked what he expected the tourism season in Croatia would look like this year he stated that revenues could be as low as 25 to 30 percent of last year.
“We are making a plan for now that we will have revenues between 25 and 30 percent in the main season. Tourism will be different. Something good will come out of all this. We need to start working on a different tourism strategy. Today, everyone was talking about something horizontal that boosts economies. The GDP impact of tourism on the economy will be high," he said.
And asked when the borders could be reopened and tourists allowed to enter and indeed Croatians allowed to leave the country he stated that, “I hope there won't be an explosion of infected people, and that by the end of May we will be able to go out and also have the opportunity to accommodate tourists. But, let's forget everything so far, this will be a very different and controlled tourism,” added Cappelli.