Mato Franković: Let the British who have been vaccinated come without quarantine

The UK is currently the focus of all tourist destinations. The UK is among the top three countries in the world in terms of vaccinated citizens, only Israel and the United Arab Emirates (...

The UK is currently the focus of all tourist destinations.

The UK is among the top three countries in the world in terms of vaccinating citizens, only Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have vaccinated more citizens. Until yesterday, at least the first dose of the vaccine was given to 21 million Britons, and about 400.000 citizens are vaccinated every week, which is why all tourist countries are turning directly to the British market. From Greece, the Canary Islands, Turkey, Cyprus, Spain and many other countries because it is in British tourists that they see the first target group that will travel more en masse due to high vaccination coverage.

The mayor of the city of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, is also thinking about this, who, after the recent initiative to airports enable testing on COVID, launched a new initiative aimed precisely at tourists from the UK.

/ / / Will Croatian airports allow tourists to test for Covid19?

Today, Franković sent a proposal to the competent ministries to conclude an agreement with the United Kingdom for British guests, according to which all Britons who received two doses of vaccine, who overcame COVID 19 or have a negative PCR test would be allowed to come to Croatia on vacation without restrictions. May 01.

"The UK market is the most important tourist market in the city of Dubrovnik, and since after the UK leaves the European Union, its guests are considered guests from third countries, the quarantine obligation is in force upon arrival at the destination. As such a measure could seriously jeopardize the season, this proposal was made, following the examples of Cyprus and Portugal that have concluded such agreements. " Franković points out and adds that the leading British media report almost daily in which European Union countries the British are allowed to come without the obligation to go to quarantine upon arrival.

The consequences of Dubrovnik's last year's inclusion of Croatia on the UK red list are most clearly shown by the numbers of arrivals, according to which Dubrovnik ended the year with 20% of the total number of overnight stays, compared to the number of overnight stays in 2019, concluded Franković.

Both initiatives are focused on air guests because the city of Dubrovnik is extremely dependent on air traffic, but they also show the proactivity and determination of the mayor to define some things much faster and start from scratch. As much time as there is until the summer season, so much time flies fast, and everyone is currently targeting the UK market with marketing messages. Quick reaction is key.

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The agreement is on the trail of a covid passport or certificate, although tourists from the UK are considered guests from third countries and are supported by more and more countries. Read more on this topic in the attachment, but it is important to emphasize that covid passports are not and should not be the only condition for travel, but only as one of the factors that will facilitate or accelerate the trip. Certainly so that the agreement with Great Britain would have a great positive impact and put the focus on Our Lady.

/ / / Obviously it needs to be repeated. Covid passports are not allowed and are not the only condition for travel!

When we talk about the European market, the European Union will 17.03. to present a “digital green pass”, ie to present the framework of the decision of the member states regarding covid passports and all other open issues regarding opening to tourism. It is also important to point out that according to Minister Brnjac, Croatia is considering a model that would allow tourists to be tested by rapid antigen tests, as well as PCR testing at several points, which will be decided in cooperation with regional tourist boards and the Croatian Institute of Public Health. If we want to position ourselves as well as possible, now is the time for us to arrange all the protocols ourselves, in my opinion we are already late, and we clearly present and communicate them to key markets.

Also, this should be the main promotional narrative, not so much about the sun and sea style mosaic campaigns. We have long known that security perceptions and communication will play an important role this year.

Also, on the topic of introducing digital green passports that would enable easier travel, and at the same time provide air destinations faster tourist recovery, Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković held a meeting today with the Director General of the European Region of Airports Council International Olivier Jankovac and the president of the Air Transport Association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Tonči Peović.

Olivier Jankovec informed Mayor Franković that 100 European airports have introduced COVID testing so far, but that he believes that the full implementation of the system requires urgent harmonization of recognition of rapid antigen tests between EU member states, which would also allow easier travel.

On the other hand, Mayor Franković presented the initiatives and protocols proposed by the City of Dubrovnik, which relate to travel from all countries, regardless of whether they are part of the EU or not. It is proposed that the rules be introduced according to the zones 'green', 'orange' and 'red' and in accordance with them, guests would have certain conditions for coming to Croatia. So the goal is not to stop travel but to make it possible for everyone, under certain conditions.

We need a little more of these proactive moves by our tourism leaders.

Photo:  Ivica Džambo from Pexels / City of Dubrovnik / Illustration HrTurizam

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