February 15, 2022 – It is reasonable to believe in a possible record summer season in 2022 due to the number of reservations. However, low vaccination rates, rising energy prices, and other factors may still interfere, warns Tomislav Fain, head of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies.
All EU countries are still on the map of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in dark red, but most of them with higher vaccination rates are expected to drop more over time than expected in Croatia. Our tourism workers hope that despite low vaccination, rising energy prices and other things, all previous efforts to invest in the season will not “melt”, but due to many open questions they do not dare to predict whether we’ll have a good start to this season, writes Slobodna Dalmacija.
Booking is better than for 2019, but there is no guarantee that part of these reservations will not be canceled.
”From the current perspective, the view of this year’s tourist season seems quite optimistic, especially when it comes to peak season, July and August. Demand is high, reservations are constantly arriving, but we must be very careful because they are all made with the possibility of cancellation and no advance payment”, says Tomislav Fain, owner of the Zadar travel agency “Terra Travel” and president of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies.
He reminds that the situation with COVID has greatly changed the previous way of doing business and everyone must be flexible, so reservations are accepted without payment.
“We had to adapt to this pandemic. We don’t know what could happen tomorrow, whether there will be an increase in contagion and some new measures again and we had to allow people to cancel their reservations. So we still have to be careful with optimistic announcements, but I say that if everything remains as it is now, there could be a record summer season”, Fain says.
The pre-season is filling up a bit less but he emphasizes that it is a good signal that most airlines left their flights at the beginning of April, which is an indicator that their seats are filling up.
”Our guests are accustomed to having enough capacity and there will probably be a lot of “last minute” reservations”, said the president of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies.
Vaccination is holding us back
Along with COVID, the rattling of weapons on the border between Russia and Ukraine is not in favor of more frequent trips.
”At the moment, we do not know how the situation will unfold there by the summer or how and how much it can affect the arrivals. We, like everyone else, follow what is happening there”, Fain points out.
The interest of the population in vaccination in Croatia is miserable; those who wanted to get vaccinated did so a long time ago, and in the persuasion of those who do not want to do so, the announcement of the ECDC, which will include the parameters of vaccination of the population in the map of European countries, doesn’t help.
”In terms of vaccination, we are the worst of all countries that are our strongest tourist competition. These are “landmines” that can reduce the possibility of a record summer season because even if we do not have a lot of infected people, data on poor vaccination can significantly affect the arrival of guests. If we stay in the red because of that, we will close the door to some markets for ourselves. It is enough for Germany to mark us as undesirable, and here we are in trouble”, concluded Fain.
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