While the pandemic is still going on and the cannons are thundering, tourism is silent.
This is what the status report of tourist trends relevant to our country would look like on Sunday, 13. March 2022. This is a paraphrase of that famous Latin saying ''Inter weapon silent Musae ''. That is, in translation: "Among the weapons, the Muses are silent"By God, Croatian tourism has also fallen silent for a moment.
Is a new - geotourism order following us ?!
Tourism, our everyday - Croatian and European - is facing a new security perceptual obstacle. The whirlwind of war, which started on the historically fateful February 24, 2022, between the most widespread country in the world and the largest European country.
Thorough and well-informed Željko Trkanjec, commentator of Jutarnji list, in his article on the portal of Jutarnji list from March 13, 2022 announces an era of regulated chaos i new geoeconomic order as a result of new games of the big guys of the global scene. I am expanding - a new geopolitical, geoeconomic, geocultural order.
Going through my memories from the day when I was interested in macroeconomics, I wonder - isn't it time to talk about the new geotourism order.
Readers who follow me will surely remember that in my article published on January 3, 2022 (see: Edvin Jurin: Towards tourism in 2022 and - the codes of the tourist future) called for a new approach to tourism in general by modeling more thorough and in-depth scenarios for each tourist year as well as introducing and positioning the role of CFO (Chief Future Officer) in tourism companies and destinations.
The game is no longer harmless
Yes, the game is no longer harmless.
As a consequence of global monopoly political and economic games, first rising prices of fuel and energy and raw materials and raw materials. This is to be expected at some point, due to the total share of Russia and Ukraine in what experts claim is up to 29% in total wheat production, and the price surge in food and all food items needed for tourism.
Which, like the South American piranha, ruthlessly sharpens its sharp teeth and tears the foundations of the profitability of the domestic tourism industry at a frantic pace. Where is the solution?
Probably in bookings with a clause like the ones just practiced by manufacturers of raw materials and finished products: "Price levels are contractually indicative for 12 months in advance, finalized one month before delivery, read: departure of passengers."
Unthinkable? But completely realistic. "No more fairness & finesse!"
Survival formula reads now like a basketball tactical variant "Run & gun".
Not at all optimal, but realistic. If we want to save, popularly speaking, pants on a stick.
At the same time, there is an increase in prices for goods and services in Western European emitting countries, which consequently generates, in terms of specific booking, "uphill braking" effect. The effect of discomfort and thus insecurity is reflected not only in delayed booking due to the perception of neighborhood war but also in the current subconscious self-questioning of guests as to whether they will be able to afford a vacation in a period of potential inflationary rampage.
Russian guild or roulette
As for the Russian emitting market, as reported by Rory Goulding on the portal The Sunday Times, tourism was indeed an integral part of the Russian way of life.
In 2014, Russia, with a population of just over 140 million, recorded 50 million trips abroad. A year later, in 2014, after the annexation of Crimea and the then sanctions, it dropped to 30 million departures and, after Covid 19, began to rise again. And now it's crashing again.
For now, paradoxically, Croatian tourism has been "anointed with happiness", given the total share of several percent from these areas in total tourist arrivals.
Global tourism players have expressed a commendable dose of solidarity.
Wizz Air, which flies to a significant number of countries around Ukraine, has provided 100 free refugee seats and lower ticket prices on other flights to move war-affected people away from border regions, Goulding said.
Eurostar will also allow Ukrainian citizens to travel to the UK for free. It is up to the British government to grant them visas.
Airbnb has announced temporary accommodation for 100 Ukrainian refugees in countries across the region as well as a company fund to help its current Ukrainian hosts.
As for the pandemic, we are already used to it, as Dalmatians say, as a "burden of beatings".
But što .what do the announcements of the so-called a new protein vaccine for Covid 19 or a fourth wave of vaccination in the fall of 2022? Isn't that a "soft" announcement, God forbid, of a new pandemic wave?
I know that most will wave their hands, but I am convinced that we only need to prepare now so that we are not caught by new pandemic breakthroughs in 2022 and 2023 with education, new equipment and new technologies, more consistent protocols. We still have a lot to learn and do in the coming tourist years. Just for example, the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve in Puerto Rico conducts an ionization process of each room after guests check out for three hours to clean all the air of unhealthy particles, viruses and bacteria and odors. Not to mention UV-C robots.
New people in new places in a new nightmare
Simultaneously with announcing and conducting a new series of competitions for directors of offices of Croatian tourist boards, we came to the position that key stakeholders in destination promotion are primarily engaged in their self-preservation, not monitoring tourist (un) opportunities, devising and delivering appropriate communication responses and countermeasures.
What you will admit is not very promising. When the unwanted geotouristic "kitchen" happened to us, we added a little location stuff ?! Honestly, I hope this doesn’t have a significant impact. Regardless of the fact that the moment of re-election and new election of local destination management forces lay down just like "ace on the top ten", the card players would say. In a negative context, of course.
All this spontaneously leads me to the overall current perception of Croatian tourism like a nightmare of Allied forces of more than three hundred thousand soldiers in 1940 gathered in the French port of Dunkirk on the run from German tanks. They all "spun" in a circle of gaze fixed on the sea, waiting for transport of any kind - from a fishing hut, a sailboat, a requisitioned yacht to a stray merchant ship.
What and how
Let’s hope the whole or at least most of the war whirlwind ends by Easter.
That would be the optimal scenario. Then, as far as arrivals are concerned, we could count on 90% of the number of arrivals from 2019.
If the situation does not manage to normalize to some extent by the end of May 2022 - everything is open.
In that case necessary je crisis management of domestic tourism.
Goal is the one and only: Get the most out of it. Stand all as one behind one and a unique way of thinking and acting. The world has changed and continues to change. This is not the time to solo.
Fokus: Europe and emitting countries within reach. Key and exclusive priority.
Accent: Sustainable + transformative tourism
priority: adventure tourism + solo tourism + wellness tourism.
Yes, tourist come back comes, according to the latest research, with “travel in style”. Stressed by the events in the environment, our potential guests are looking for "something special" with wow effect.
And that in the end, foreign experts claim: "Travel agents are back! "
In times of uncertainty guests again reach for certainty - travel agencies.
They feel they need security. That someone advises them, if necessary, and follows. And return home safely if something unforeseen happens.
Perhaps the Almighty is giving a new chance to Croatian tourism. For who knows which way!
Author: Edvin Jurin. Read all the author's loud thoughts HERE