Krapina-Zagorje County has provided funds for the award of grants to entrepreneurs in tourism in 2021, which relates to financing the implementation of rapid antigen testing and SARS-CoV-2 foreign tourists, who were provided with accommodation services in the Krapina-Zagorje County.
The right to free rapid antigen testing (BAT) is exercised by foreign tourists whose condition for returning home is a negative SARS-CoV-2 test and who obtain a minimum two or more nights in one of the accommodation facilities registered in the Krapina-Zagorje County during June, July, or August.
A great move, especially because it connects foreign tourists with accommodation, ie overnight stays. A move that Croatia should have made, because free testing is the best advertisement that could be this tourist season.
The move of Krapina-Zagorje County opens the question: Should Croatia have provided free testing for foreign tourists?
With everything done so far (Safe Stay in Croatia tags, Enter Croatia platform, implementation of Covid passports, guest testing points, vaccination of tourist staff) if we decided to test tourists for free this year we would certainly have the best possible advertising.
This year, the perception of security is the only and best advertisement. Of course with a stable epidemiological situation in Croatia, as a first prerequisite.
However, testing prices still vary from destination to destination, public procurement is expected to take place, according to which the Ministry of Tourism and Sports co-finances the procurement of tests with HRK 20 million, and we are still on the main relevant page at EU level - Re-Open.eu, divided through four regions, not by counties.
In conclusion, should Croatia have provided free testing for tourists?
In my opinion absolutely yes. That would be the best possible advertisement, and thus with all the above, we would have a huge free advertisement in all global media as a destination that is best prepared for this year's tourist season. The cost of testing should be seen through investment, not only through free global PR and advertising, but also as an additional motive for coming, and thus additional tourist spending in destinations.
On the other hand, do we know how much the state treasury depends on tourism? Let me repeat, covering the cost of tests is not a cost, but an investment.
Find out more about the details of the Krapina-Zagorje County Public Call at the link here.
PS By the way, more than 350 locations have been established throughout Croatia where tourists can be tested and checked for coronavirus infection. Find a list of locations here