Message 1: Great interest in opening the border, says the Minister of Tourism
Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli said on Thursday that there is great interest in many countries in opening their borders to tourists and that intensive talks are underway.
Over 100,000 inquiries to Croatia
Speaking to the press before a cabinet meeting, Cappelli said that over 100,000 inquiries had come from Italy in the past three days because its residents had bookings for August that they did not want to cancel.
“The Italians still hope to get to Croatia. Slovenians, Austrians, the Czechs even more,” he said, adding that there were no major cancellations for July and August, while half of the bookings for June were cancelled.
He said these guests could also “come back into play” if the borders were to open in the next two to three weeks.
Asked how the borders within the EU would be opened, Cappelli said that this would be agreed upon bilaterally.
Opening of borders with Bosnia and Herzegovina
He said the opening of the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina is being planned and announced that precise coronavirus measures for hospitality and tourism, which he believes are more than fair, will be presented at the press conference of the National Civil Protection Agency on Friday.
Message 2: Telephone conference with Italian Tourism Minister
Croatian Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli held a conference call with his Italian counterpart Dario Franceschini on Thursday and the two ministers discussed measures and plans for tourism and ways to make travel possible, the ministry said in a press release.
Common framework still COVID-19
Cappelli said, among other things, that Italy is one of the most important tourism markets in Croatia and that, due to the current situation, the cooperation of all EU countries is now more than ever necessary, especially between tourism leaders, in order to define better financial conditions for tourism and establish standards and procedures aimed at maintaining a balance between health and stabilisation of the tourism market in Europe.
“We have proposed to establish a common travel protocol at EU level, with mutually harmonised arrangements, with the possibility of bilateral agreements between countries. Taking into account current developments in the individual countries, we could consider when to open the borders and how to make the whole process more efficient and faster,” said Cappelli.
Hygiene regulations important
Minister Franceschini underlined that all countries are reflecting on how to find the best possible solutions to activate and stabilise the tourism market, both domestically and internationally. He emphasised the importance of finding a common solution at EU level for further measures that would contribute to security in tourism, which would primarily concern hygiene rules and the like.
According to the data of the eVisitor system, Italian tourists accounted for about 1.2 million arrivals and 5.5 million overnight stays in Croatia in 2019. In terms of overnight stays, Italian visitors were in fifth place after Germans, Slovenians, Austrians and Poles. According to the Central Bank, revenues from tourists from Italy in 2019 are estimated at around 1 billion euros.