Extremely good results of the tourist season, unfortunately, did not significantly affect the business of travel agencies. Some of them do not necessarily link their offer and products to the tourist season because in their package of services they have specific trips and products such as congress tourism and school trips, which were missing this year.
Also, agencies dealing with the organization of trips of Croatian guests abroad or foreign guests in Croatia this year were not able to realize the contracted trips due to the closure of borders and travel bans.
-Travel agencies have gone through the worst, a survey we conducted among members in mid-August shows that agencies have seen a steady decline in revenue since the beginning of the pandemic, and in the last two months it has been more than 80 percent. The current epidemiological situation is not in our favor either, and according to our estimates, most travel agencies are not able to generate turnover that is crucial for preserving jobs and liquidity of business - said Tomislav Fain, President of Association of Croatian Travel Agencies (UHPA).
Aware of the fact that the tourism sector will not be able to maintain its business processes and operate without further support from all relevant stakeholders, UHPA appealed to the Government of the Republic of Croatia to extend job support for the next period.
-In recent weeks, we have witnessed information that the tourist season exceeded expectations and that 50 percent of last year's turnover was realized, while forgetting the problems that are still present because the tourism sector is much more complex than the results of arrivals and overnight stays and includes many persons and companies which do not depend solely on the tourist season. I am thinking of travel agencies, most of which, according to our estimates, will not be able to generate turnover and ensure business liquidity before the summer of 2021 - Fain emphasizes.
In addition to extending job preservation measures, UHPA is committed to addressing many of the outstanding issues facing travel agencies. It is extremely important to apply the already existing security protocols as soon as possible and to communicate through a smart campaign that Croatia is a country where all epidemiological measures are respected, masks are worn and prescribed measures are respected.
-Tourist agencies as an important factor in the tourist offer in Croatia must not be equated with other stakeholders in tourism who managed to achieve results in the season, nor forgotten at the end of the summer season. We need transparent decisions that will clearly communicate a number of measures and decisions that will provide the agencies with the conditions for the continuation of business and enable the return of paid funds to all passengers - concludes Fain.