Interview with Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli
Today, Croatia’s Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli, gave an interview to the Croatian media company “Novi List”, from which we are happy to reproduce relevant content on the subject of opening, as it largely confirms the content that SeaHelp has already published in previous articles.
Opening by sector
Just to reiterate: The restrictive measures that Croatia has implemented so far, and which its citizens also largely adhere to, are exemplary throughout Europe. As a result, the government is also discussing further easing of the restrictions, which explicitly also affect the nautical sector. As Croatia’s Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli told the „Novi List“, “In the coming week … we will know, arranged by sector, what can be started first and how. At the moment we believe that the first tourist traffic can be started in actually more isolated segments, e.g. holiday homes, i.e. private accommodation, then accommodation in smaller areas or outside the large and urban destinations, and something can certainly be done in nautical tourism. For example, there are also campsites. So anything that is closer to nature, which still allows a certain social distance and reduced contact with other people. However, the basic prerequisite for us is the opening of internal traffic and the question of borders, especially for our important car destinations.”
Also nautical tourism
This shows that Croatia has well recognised how important the concern for health protection will be for the resurgent tourism industry in the future. A certain degree of social distance, such as is maintained in apartments and on ships, for example, should be guaranteed. It will also be difficult to explain in the long term within the European Union why, for example, an Austrian should be allowed to shop in an Austrian supermarket but not in a Croatian supermarket, provided that appropriate hygiene rules are observed and the distance is guaranteed.
Only every third hotel room, every second restaurant table
Concrete proposals on how tourism can return to Croatia in times of the Coronavirus, the Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli already stated in his interview with “Novi List”: “Among other things, we will also propose that every third or fourth room in hotels be opened to guests. When guests leave, the rooms would be empty for a few days, to be cleaned and disinfected according to the epidemiologist’s recommendations. At that time, some of the previously empty rooms would be used, so that a third or a quarter of the capacity would be available at any time. In principle, there will still be a lot to do in terms of safety. One of our proposals will also be to be among the first to open travel agencies, where there will certainly be no invasion, and I do not see a problem with tourists entering one room after another. Or in tourist offices. Furthermore, we must be aware that, when things are under way, there will not be five people at the table, but two, that not every table will be available, but every second or third. These are all proposals that we are putting on paper and we are sitting down with epidemiologists to see what we can do and how. The reality is that it will be good to start with everything. But I can see that the experts have reacted positively and want to talk about it, at least try to do something. In this respect, we will send our proposal to the government within a few days.”
Health before economic interests
That sounds responsible. The proposals, especially the restrictions in restaurants and hotels, show that the Ministry of Tourism places the health of its guests clearly above economic interests.
Measures similar to Austria and Germany
One certainly does not misinterpret these statements if one assumes that Croatia, after the rigid lockdown due to the coronavirus, will certainly orient itself in the future towards the situation in Germany and Austria, where further cautious steps towards normality are also being considered. And as far as the skippers are concerned: Where is safer from the coronavirus than on your own yacht in bright sunshine and a light breeze than on the Adriatic Sea? Let’s wait and see what the Croatian government will decide.