Can Croatia as a small destination have sustainable tourism if we lose accommodation with hosts?

Tourism happens to us because of all that, and what you don't manage, you manage.


16. September 2023.

A lot has changed since 2017, when Croatia was on Best European Holiday Home won in Brussels 4 categories out of a total of 8.

Although I am no longer in this business, I know a lot of people who continue to make a living from it, but this season they are slowly losing their enthusiasm, mostly due to the public perception that small renters are to blame for most of the problems facing domestic tourism - from high prices, lack of apartments for long-term rent , inefficient infrastructure and even sea pollution.

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It is far from the fact that there are no landlords who unjustifiably raised prices much higher than inflation rates, and in return did not raise the quality of service or additional facilities. Such people saw off the branch they are sitting on because tourists today are very well informed and will hardly return to the same host if they realize that they did not get value for money.

Photo: Danijela Čavlović, deputy president of the Family Tourism Association of HGK

But my experience is that the hosts work hard and invest a lot in order to provide the guest with a pleasant vacation and an authentic experience. I am not talking here about those who bought a building with 10 apartments and rent them to tourists without ever hearing or seeing them because today's technology allows them to do that.

I'm talking about my friend Maja Novak and her ilk who welcome each guest (often with some local product), tell them what is worth seeing in the destination, call the airport and check when their lost suitcase will be delivered, reserve a table for dinner, serve them breakfast, order a taxi or help them to find relatives in Croatia because they live on another continent, and they would like to restore broken ties.

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Can Croatia as a small destination have sustainable tourism if we lose accommodation with hosts who lives with his family in that house on the island for more than 100 years and constantly invests in it in order to surprise the guest with something new every year?

Hardly possible, but it seems that those who decide about it are not too worried. Strategies are adopted without the inclusion of those affected by these strategies, action plans do not exist, the Association of Family Tourism at HGK was abolished, whose greatest strength was the association and education of renters, urban planning and infrastructure investments rarely follow the needs of the local population and tourist development, and grandmother Mara with its two apartments in Prvić the same tax treatment as a foreign investor who does not live on the island, etc.

Tourism happens to us because of all that, and what you don't manage, manages you. This could best be seen this season, and it could happen again next year if we don't get some 'lessons learned'.

Author: Danijela Čavlović

Photos: StevPhoto by Josh Calabrese on Unsplash / illustration: hrturism


16. September 2023.