The first striking holidays, which trigger a mass of tourist trips before the summer, have shown that the willingness to travel on vacation is greater than ever. Easter is a true harbinger of hope, awakening, optimism.
The Easter holidays brought Croatia 493 thousand overnight stays, which is a result almost equal to the traffic achieved in the record 2019. The majority of tourist traffic was realized in Istria, Kvarner and Split - Dalmatia County. The tourist centers of Poreč, Rovinj, Umag, Dubrovnik, Split, Zagreb and Zadar also achieved good traffic. The most numerous were tourists from Germany, followed by domestic guests, followed by Austrians, Slovenes, Italians and Slovaks.
Most overnight stays were realized in hotels, 210 thousand overnight stays, followed by households, 112 thousand overnight stays in camps and 99 thousand overnight stays. Since the beginning of the year, 3,6 million overnight stays have been realized, which is at the level of 95% of traffic in 2019. In total, domestic guests are in first place, followed by Germans, Austrians, Slovenes and Italians. The most visited destinations are Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Rovinj, Split, Poreč, Opatija.
All of the above indicates that Croatian tourism is resilient to crises, that it is recovering very quickly from shocks. Of course, this is due to the strengthening of the share of domestic guests who have subordinated foreign travel to domestic ones and the increased interest from traditional markets towards which Croatia has been oriented for more than a century.
Despite the still "smoldering" pandemic, the war in Europe, in the not-so-distant Ukraine, and the already significant effects of inflation, tourism is not giving up.
It is good that we have remained oriented towards tourism, in fact, that we have increased our visibility in key markets and that we have managed the risks of the pandemic quite well in the pandemic years. Of course, it is also good that this viral pandemic, just like the flu, is seasonal, so this seasonality has contributed to tourism "staying in the game" in the summer.
Favorable geographical position, good access by road from the most important markets as well as a strong connection of the most massive hosts (family accommodation) with guests were and remain the decisive motive for last-minute arrivals. Such arrivals “carry” most bookings and therefore it is almost impossible to accurately predict tourist traffic in the future. However, the expectations of a good season are quite justified and now supported by the results achieved for the Easter holidays.
Life after the season
Optimism is a great thing, good results quickly suppress negative thoughts, but… This is the moment to remember the fable "The Cricket and the Ant". Even in the best of times, it was not easy to "bridge" those autumn / winter six months of low tourist traffic. For the past two years, we’ve barely “made ends meet”. Having in mind all the circumstances of the effects of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, this year we will have an uncertain autumn and a long and difficult winter. Revenues from the 2022 season could “melt” by the end of the year.
On the wave of optimism and preparations for the main tourist season, already now, one should think about life after the season. Just like a valuable ant, work and savings, investing “surplus” income in energy efficiency, a higher degree of self-sufficiency in food and water, can make it easier for us next winter. This is important to point out due to forecasts of rising prices of energy, food and utilities on the "wings" of inflation.
It is still not too late to plant, sow "nurturing" crops such as potatoes, chard, lettuce, zucchini, cucumbers… the king of summer and various cabbages, including our peach or roast "queen of winter cuisine". Cleaning old cisterns, wells, setting up rainwater collection tanks to irrigate plants is also a significant saving.
If we have income that we can invest in the facility, we start with carpentry, renovation of the outer shell with insulating materials, insulation of the attic, replacement of lighting fixtures with LED bulbs. If nothing else we install at least an outdoor, garden shower with a solar-heated hot water collector to save electricity for domestic hot water during the summer months.
We can apply “diligent ant tactics” in many ways but we need to think about it in time.
In any case, it is good to have a good income from tourism and to focus it on preventing energy waste and those activities that will save us money. We save where we can, in a smart way. In this way, we contribute to the sustainability of tourism, but also to the sustainability of business.
Author: Nedo PInezić, www.nedopinezic.com