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Coronavirus could cause 30 million loss Coronavirus could cause 30 million loss Ahmet Kalajdžić

Coronavirus could cause a 30 million loss for Dubrovnik’s tourism as bookings expected to be up to 40 percent down

Written by  Mar 10, 2020

Cruise ships cancelling arrivals, northern Italy in total lockdown, airlines postponing flights and bookings significantly down, coronavirus is already having a lasting effect on this year’s tourism industry and Dubrovnik is far from immune.

A press conference entitled “The Impact of Coronaviruses on Dubrovnik Tourism" was held today in the City of Dubrovnik offices and the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, the director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Ana Hrnic, and Stanko Ljubic, a member of the board of tourism all participated.

“We are looking at the effects on the overall economy since we mostly live from tourism, we need to prepare for reduced bookings. We believe that the situation will stabilize and be better. Although in the first six months of this year we estimate that we will record a loss of 30 million Kuna. Therefore, we need to adjust, but since we had a surplus of 27 million Kuna last year, we will cover the loss we had previously planned in May with a planned budget rebalance in May,” commented Frankovic.

Frankovic added that he had always advocated reducing the number of cruisers but also emphasized that the city can’t do without them. However, it is precisely in the cruising segment that the biggest losses will be because the number of arrivals has already been reduced.

“We already have an interest in some cruise companies for additional bookings, because they are already interested in "jumping in" where some cruise ships have cancelled to fill the empty dates. However, the United States has warned its citizens not to cruise, and Venice is under quarantine,” concluded Frankovic.

The director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Ana Hrnic, added that “The situation is changing from hour to hour and we are actively monitoring everything. It is true that some groups have cancelled and some postponed until the autumn. We have no cancellations for the main season, we tend to be optimistic even though we have to be prepared for different scenarios as some international tourism fairs have been cancelled, which has never happened before. We need to prepare to finish the season the best we can.”

A long-time member of the tourist council, who with his agency "survived" many crises, Stanko Ljubić, stressed that daily booking is as much as 45 percent lower than in 2019, and that we can expect a 30 to 40 percent worse season.

The mayor added that the tourism segment is extremely important, and that Dubrovnik will be one of the most affected because one third of the budget revenue comes from the tourism sector. Some projects have to be slowed down, but fortunately some of the projects are funded and covered by EU funds and will not be affected by the current situation.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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