ZAGREB, Dec 29 (Hina) – The tourism sector believes that the 2021 tourist season will be better than this year’s, but that it will be very demanding, with the epidemiological situation continuing to be the key factor, Croatian Tourism Association (HUT) director Veljko Ostojic has told Hina.
“Despite the very difficult financial situation and other external factors that will have an an impact on results in 2021, such as vaccination, restriction of movement and the epidemiological situation in the country, we believe that with the experience gained in 2020, the tourism sector will achieve good results. We have shown that are capable of functioning well in extreme circumstances so we are rightfully optimistic about next year,” Ostojic said.
With this year’s results being at around 50% of the 2019 results, the Croatian tourism sector has been slightly better than the tourism sectors of many other countries, amid a global decline of 70-80% in relation to 2019.
Croatia’s main advantage – easily reached by car
Hotels and camping sites had an important role in that, as did other stakeholders in the tourist and catering sector by ensuring compliance with epidemiological restrictions by employees and tourists, owing to which there was not a single case of infection in commercial accommodation facilities this year, said Ostojic.
“We believe the situation will continue to be like that in 2021 as well and that if a number of epidemiological conditions are met, the first greater turnover is possible for Easter, in early April, for which the hotel sector is ready,” Ostojic said.
He noted that Croatia’s main advantage, also in 2021, is the fact that it is easily reached by car and that Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Poland remain its main tourism-generating markets.
Support for liquidity, job retention
Ostojic said that the hotel sector was exceptionally satisfied with how quickly the government had responded to the crisis and adopted adequate measures, noting that maintaining liquidity would be crucial in 2021 as a precondition for survival until more significant own funds are earned, and that job-retention measures should continue until the start of the season.
Investments put on hold
Ostojic also noted that investments worth around HRK 25 billion in the tourism sector were currently on hold and that it was not likely they would be launched in 2021. Most of them refer to improvement of quality as well as infrastructure, digital transformation and the green economy.
When more significant investments will be launched depends on the outcome of the next tourist season as well as the epidemiological situation, EU recovery funds and new legal regulations, said Ostojic.