Home Tourism Croatia plans to attract tourists despite the pandemic | Tourism

Croatia plans to attract tourists despite the pandemic | Tourism

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The Baltic hotspot hopes to lift border closures in time for the peak holiday season.

We all love to go on vacation. A few days – or even a few weeks, if we’re lucky – away from usual life, to enjoy the sun and splash in the sea or in the hotel swimming pool.

And in a European spring characterized by lockdowns, border closures and a well-founded fear of being near anyone else, the idea of ​​getting away from it all is never far away.

But even though many of us have long dismissed any thoughts of heading abroad for a summer vacation this year, Croatia still plans to attract tourists in peak season.

The Adriatic hotspot hopes to earn nearly a third of its previously expected annual tourism revenue this year, despite corona virus pandemic, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli said Thursday.

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Tourism accounts for almost 20 percent of the Balkan country’s gross domestic product (GDP), with vacationers attracted by its beaches and warm summers.

But tourism has been hugely affected by travel restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, and the government expects the economy to contract by 9.4% this year because of the pandemic.

“We will try to reach, if possible, 30 percent of our tourism revenue from last year, because we still have the possibility of thinking about arrivals in July, August and September,” Cappelli told Reuters in an interview.

Last year, Croatia earned 10.5 billion euros ($11.5 billion) from foreign tourists and 12 billion euros ($13.1 billion) from tourism as a whole, making around 10% more than in 2018.

Cappelli said the main potential markets for Croatia this year were Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany and Italy – even though Italy was badly affected by the virus.

“Croatia is easily accessible by car from these countries. If the epidemiological situation allows and the situation in these countries matches ours, we could develop a model for the safe arrival and stay of our guests,” he said.

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He also indicated that talks were underway European Union on the possible movement of people between Member States, including Croatia, but bilateral agreements between Member States cannot be excluded.

Under lockdown restrictions, Croatians, unless specially authorized, are not allowed to travel abroad and foreigners who enter must spend two weeks in quarantine.

“I hope that towards the end of May we can fulfill the conditions and find a solution to reopen our border, but of course waiting for the epidemiological situation of the moment,” Cappelli said.

Croatia has 2,076 cases of COVID-19 and 69 deaths.

Cappelli said Croatia was working to adapt tourist facilities such as hotels, campsites and marinas to a new form of tourism adapted to the necessary safety measures against the coronavirus.

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