At the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Minister Nikolina Brnjac held a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Tomáš Petřiček, as well as the Ambassador of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland to the Republic of Croatia, Andrew Dalgleish. Topics of conversation were about the upcoming tourist season and the Safe stay in Croatia project.
Bearing in mind that this tourist year will also be marked by the epidemiological situation in Croatia, but also in the surrounding countries, Minister Brnjac presented to Minister Petřiček the Safe stay in Croatia project which aims to position Croatia as a safe and desirable destination in our emitting markets. put on the protection of the health of tourists and citizens by introducing health protocols.
Both Brnjac and Petřiček believe that vaccinating the tourism sector is extremely important, as well as the possibility of testing tourists at several points. "Even in this pandemic period, Croatia is a desirable self-destination for Czech tourists. During 2020, we realized over 500 thousand arrivals of Czech tourists and more than 3,5 million overnight stays. The Czechs showed the greatest interest in Split, Istria and Zadar, as well as in private accommodation and camps", Pointed out Brnjac at the beginning of the meeting.
Ministers agreed that the pandemic had a significant impact on tourism and changed the paradigm of the travel industry forever. The meeting also discussed Green Digital Certificates, which should in no way discriminate against people who are unable to be vaccinated, but such certificates should facilitate and speed up travel. "Croatia and the Czech Republic continue to foster good relations and cooperation in the field of tourism and sports ", concluded Brnjac.
Open dialogue on facilitating the travel of British tourists to Croatia
At the meeting, Ambassador Dalgleish and Minister Brnjac exchanged information on the current epidemiological situation, the importance of continuing tourist trends, and discussed the European Commission's proposal to introduce the so-called Green digital certificates and positioning Croatia as a desirable destination for digital nomads.
According to the Ministry, Minister Brnjac informed Ambassador Dalgleish that the Government of the Republic of Croatia regularly coordinates positions regarding the conditions of crossing the border, having in mind the epidemiological situation in the Republic of Croatia, but also in the surrounding countries.
Minister Brnjac also presented the Safe stay in Croatia project, which encourages tourist stakeholders and all other stakeholders in the travel chain in the Republic of Croatia to adhere to epidemiological measures. She pointed out that all relevant information on the epidemiological situation in Croatia is available on the project's website in nine languages, including a map of the Republic of Croatia by counties with a 14-day incidence, as well as a telephone number in case of suspected infection. tourist testing.
Ambassador Dalgleish briefed Minister Brnjac on the epidemiological situation in the United Kingdom, the measures currently in force there, and the conditions for the return of UK nationals from third countries. He expressed satisfaction with the presented Safe stay in Croatia project, which provides additional safety standards in the tourism sector, and expressed hope that the United Kingdom will soon open for tourist travel.
Unfortunately, the pandemic last year had a negative impact on tourist trends between the United Kingdom and Croatia, among other things due to the fact that Croatia is an airline destination for the UK. It is extremely important for Croatia to ensure the conditions for the number of British tourists in Croatia to return to pre-pandemic levels as soon as possible, in which good vaccination and the return of tourists' confidence in air travel will play an important role. Clear and predictable rules for the entry of United Kingdom citizens into the Republic of Croatia will also be regulated.
The Minister pointed out that a dialogue between the two sides on travel facilitation was opened today, and that Croatia would be ready to receive tourists from the UK as soon as epidemiological rules in their home country allow it.
According to available data, Croatia is still perceived in the United Kingdom as a "high value" destination, UK tour operators and airlines still have a great interest in continuing to fly to our destination. In this context, it is especially important to point out that in early November 2020, Croatia was included in the top three world destinations in the category "Best Country Award 2020" awarded by one of the most prestigious UK newspapers The Times & The Sunday Times with over 16 million readers per month.
"We are pleased with the fact that Croatia's destination in the United Kingdom is still perceived as high quality, desirable and safe. Today, a dialogue was opened with the British side on the modalities of travel facilitation between the Republic of Croatia and the United Kingdom. Croatia will be open to British tourists as soon as they are able to travel, bearing in mind that the starting point for all tourist trips is the epidemiological situation in both countries.", Said Minister Brnjac and added that Croatia and the UK will continue to nurture and strengthen cooperation in the field of tourism and sports.