According to reservations, Croatia is in the second place of the most wanted destinations on the Austrian market for 2021, right after Greece, announced one of the world’s largest tour operators, TUI. Italy, Spain, and Turkey follow, and when general trends and general interest in travel are considered, the most popular foreign destination of Austrians is Italy, while Croatia has again taken a high second place.

In the pre-pandemic and record-breaking 2019, Croatia was visited by 21 million tourists, while last year that number dropped by as much as 55 percent to 7 million tourists. Austrians, who make up 5.9 percent of the total number of overnight stays in Croatia, most often visit Istria and Kvarner, Croatian regions with the richest hotel offer.

An all-inclusive offer plays an important role in choosing a destination for Austrians, especially those of tourist resorts and hotels with a special offer for families with children. They rarely prefer family accommodation, and many Austrians in Croatia have their own real estate as well as boats.

However, Croatia mostly relies on its traditionally strongest tourist market, Germany, whose guests make almost a third of all total arrivals in Croatia. At the end of May, Germany removed Croatia from the list of high-risk countries for travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, so planning the arrival of tourists from Germany to Croatia is yet to be expected. Due to the uncertain situation with the coronavirus epidemic in that country, every third German according to surveys did not even know if he would go on a trip this year at all.

German and Austrian guests visiting Croatia mostly come by car, so this year Croatia has focused on its traditional markets and does not depend to the greatest extent on air transport. Due to the impossibility of planning the trip earlier, tour operators predict that this year, due to the more favorable epidemiological situation, the season could be extended until November.

Research also indicates a significant interest of Germans and Austrians in acquiring real estate in the Adriatic, so an increased activity in the real estate market can be expected in the coming months.

IT’S ALL ABOUT FLEXIBILITY

Analyzes show that during the corona crisis, the use of one’s means of transport in the realization of tourist trips increased and that the priorities of customers changed, so flexibility became the most important factor. Although the price-quality ratio has been the most important criterion when planning a trip in the past, flexibility is now a top priority.

More than two-thirds of all new bookings are currently bookings with the possibility of canceling or moving the date of arrival free of charge (Flex), and the booking so far shows greater interest in higher category hotels and packages with various benefits such as extra nights, higher category rooms, free transfers, and other facilities.

For May, the sale is promising, and an even larger number of reservations is expected, given the lifting of measures and the growing vaccination of the population.

CONSUMPTION GROWTH IN THE SECOND HALF OF 2021

Economists expect a significant increase in spending in the second half of 2021. According to the Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank, household income in Germany increased by 393 billion euros over the past year and now stands at a record 7.1 trillion euros. That’s a plus of six percent over last year.

Economic analysts at the bank say Germans have made significant savings for fear of losing their jobs or making less money. In addition, store closures and cultural offerings due to lockdown have significantly reduced consumption.

Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank estimates that the Germans saved 16 euros last year out of every hundred they earned. It is expected that the money held by the Germans in their bank accounts will be reactivated and go into private consumption. This primarily applies to travel, visits to restaurants, and cultural events.

“SAFE STAY” IN CROATIA

Croatia was preparing for the tourist season through the “Safe stay in Croatia” campaign, a national label for security protocols in tourism and catering, to attract old and new guests with a sense of security while staying in this country.

The Safe Stay Project in Croatia is implemented by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and aims to educate and acquaint visitors and stakeholders in tourism with the protocols and measures implemented in Croatia at all levels of tourism.

The Safe Stay label is awarded free of charge to stakeholders from the Croatian tourism sector such as carriers, airports, stations, nautical ports, and marinas, who register in the system and fill out an admission form confirming and guaranteeing safety recommendations of the Croatian Institute of Public Health. The label allows guests to identify destinations, accommodation providers, transport, tourist attractions, and others who have adopted national and world standards of health and hygiene more easily.

The prominent Stay safe in Croatia label provides information to all visitors that the tourist facility of their interest operates according to the current recommendations of the World Travel and Tourism Council and the Croatian Institute of Public Health.