According to the first forecasts, another successful, if not the most successful, tourist season is ahead of Croatia. After two seasons in which strict epidemiological measures were in force, the easing of restrictions has contributed to increased tourist activity, but it is still clear from the pattern of guests' behaviour that the pandemic has changed some habits when it comes to summer vacations.
Croats continue to choose their country as their first vacation destination, most of the reservations are from the continental part of Croatia, and only a very small percentage choose countries such as Greece, Turkey and Tunisia. This is shown by the statistics of the travel agency Arriva travel, which offers its users holiday packages.
On average, domestic guests, i.e. a family of four, spends about 9,400 Kuna on accommodation, they stay a maximum of seven nights, they usually pay by via instalments on credit cards and mostly travel by car, and 20 percent by organized bus transport. Arriva travel notes that one of the trends that emerged as a result of the pandemic is that when booking a vacation, clients want to complete the entire process from inquiry to payment electronically, which was not the case before the pandemic.
"Before the pandemic, passengers insisted on personal contact with us, while today communication by phone or e-mail is sufficient for them. Likewise, when arranging vacations in Croatia, the new trend is for clients to more often arrange travel cancellation policies, which was not the case before the pandemic," points out Tamara Černeka, director of the travel agency Arriva travel, and notes that tourists are no longer looking for isolated places as they used to in the previous two years.
The difference compared to 2020 and 2021 is also in the demand for air tickets to European destinations. Namely, the increase in purchased tickets for European metropolises in comparison to 2019 is as much as 80 percent, which Arriva travel justifies with the increased desire of travellers to compensate for all that they could not visit in the previous two years. Cruise ships that sail the Mediterranean are also returning, but most of them still require valid Covid certificates.
As for the places where domestic guests travel in Croatia, the most sought-after destinations for travellers from Eastern Croatia are the Crikvenica Riviera due to its geographical proximity and the Makarska Riviera due to its natural beauty.
"In terms of numbers and income, this summer season will certainly be at 80 percent of the record in 2019. It is difficult to say whether it will be reached or exceeded because the largest number of customers book at the last minute, i.e. a few days before departure. Those who are hoping for ultra-last minute discounts will be disappointed, because there are none. All capacities on the Adriatic are very well filled, both in the main season, but even for the post-season. Namely, the pre and post-season are well filled by school groups who continue to choose the Adriatic as their destination", points out Tamara Černeka.