Croatian tourism provides desperately needed cash injection for the economy


December 3, 2021 – The Croatian tourism sector has provided a very, very welcome injection of cash to the national economy after the remarkably successful season this summer. It couldn’t have happened soon enough.

As Poslovni Dnevnik / Radmila Kovacevic / VL writes, the summer tourist season 2021 has been above all expectations. While the summer may well be over now, Croatian tourism for this year is not over yet. Around 13,000 guests are currently staying in the country, certainly among them digital nomads, which further marked the unexpected success of 2021 for Croatian tourism and the economy as a whole.

All of this is, of course, in the shadow of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but the problems caused by it were far less of a problem than we feared before the summer months arrived and almost negligible compared to the damage. suffered by some other countries. in the rest of the Mediterranean, ie competition from Croatia.

Let us simply quote the tourist superpower of southern Europe, Spain, which, before the pandemic, received up to 48 million tourists a year, this year, during the first eight months, had to be satisfied with a meager 30% of the traffic it enjoyed in 2019. Croatia, on the other hand, concludes the eleven-month period of 2021 with 13.5 million customers who spent 83.5 million overnight stays in the country. All this is first of all thanks to an exceptionally favorable epidemiological picture which has lasted and lasted. Now, of course, that has changed a lot.

From the start of the year to November 29, Croatian tourism managed to ‘grab’ 67% of arrivals from the best tourism year ever, 2019, and measured by overnight stays, things were even better – the country has reaches up to 77% of those recorded in pre-pandemic, 2019 record. It should also be noted that some destinations across the country during peak summer weeks even exceeded this record year’s traffic.

Croatian tourists with 2.2 million arrivals come second, after the Germans, and with 12 million overnight stays, they reach 89% of the 2019 results. Slovenes and Austrians with 1.1 million arrivals are shared third place, and the Poles, with a million arrivals, set new records. Tourism successes are unfortunately not evenly distributed along the coast. The season was simpler and more successful for places and regions within driving distance, while southern air destinations like Dubrovnik still struggled with air traffic inconvenience and then with a greater shortage of customers.

However, it turned out that tourists who made it to Croatia during the coronavirus pandemic stayed on vacation a few days longer than before, and they filled the best and most expensive accommodation in the Adriatic. Croatian without any real problems. This was the case even with higher prices than last year, which is a luxury some hotels could afford thanks to good demand. This was made all the easier as some wealthy tourists, who used to choose either exotic destinations in Asia or Central America, or, if they wanted to stay in Europe – Tuscany, Provence, South Tyrol zbog , finally discovered the Croatian coast this summer, mainly in the direction of beautiful Istria.

However, Croatian hosts from north to south of the country were convinced that quality and safety are much more important to customers during the pandemic than price. We will have to wait a few more months for the data on foreign currency receipts from tourism to see if this is true or not, but it was already clear in the first half of the summer according to the tax receipts and the invoices issued that we had. some generous guests visiting in 2021.

On August 1, Finance Minister Zdravko Maric announced that with the last day of July, the value of all goods and services purchased in Croatia since the start of the year exceeded that of the first seven months of the record year even better, with 93% of overnight stays since 2019, which is especially important because that month, hosts across the country practically hit the highest prices of the whole year. The value of invoices taxed in the economic activities of Croatian tourism during the month of August exceeded the amount of August 2019 by 21%.

At the annual level, their value at that time was almost 18 billion kuna (84% of 2019 results). It gives full rights to those who expect tourism receipts in foreign currency to exceed the figure of eight billion euros this year.

In the peak year of 2019, that number was ten billion, and in the first pandemic tourist season of 2020, less than five. Whatever the final data for 2021, it is clear that Croatian tourism this year has provided a welcome and beautiful injection into the Croatian economy. This was arguably more necessary than ever given the unprecedented situation with the global pandemic.

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