17:48 / 03.04.2022.

Author: Branko Lozančić

Croatia top choice for Czech tourists



Foto: Illustration / Shutterstock

Although the people of Prague, accustomed to tourist crowds, will say that there have been almost no guests in their city since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, groups of tourists meet at every turn, as well as those who arrived in Prague on their own.

“We came as tourists and we like it, Prague is beautiful,” said Marica from Italy.

In good times, Prague is visited by about 18 million tourists a year, only two million less than all of Croatia. Now, due to the coronavirus crisis and fewer guests, the prices of accommodation and catering services have been reduced, so beer in the city center can be obtained for 49 crowns, or 15 kuna.

Residents of Prague, but also other Czech cities and towns travel more often than the European average. The country of about 11 million people makes up for almost 8 million tourist trips each year. A city taxi driver is a regular guest in Italy.

“My family loves pizza, and I love espresso,” said taxi driver Hayek from the Czech Republic.

“This summer we are going to Croatia to sail the Adriatic,” said Jana from the Czech Republic.

Croatia is the Czechs' first choice. They come to Croatia most often in the summer, with children, as soon as the school holidays begin. They were not absent last year either, there were almost 800,000 of them, or only 3% less than in the pre-pandemic year.

At a dinner of friendship between the two countries and in direct contacts with local tour operators, leading people in Croatian tourism presented what Croatia offers that could attract Czechs outside the main season.

“We also talked about the diversification of the tourist offer, starting with gastronomy, meaning food and wine, everything that Croatia offers, and Czech tourists are not familiar enough with our offer,” said Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Tourism and Sports.

“Our goal is to convey Croatia to younger generations who are mobile and travel several times a year. I believe that Croatia is on their list of priorities,” said Kristijan Staničić, the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board's Main Office.

Many Czech agencies have already started selling spring arrangements.

“I think it will be good for Easter because we have our own transport, which is our luck, especially for Istria because it is close,” said Sylvie Laštukova Zemkova, a tour operator from the Czech Republic.

Czech tourists in Croatia mostly stay in private accommodation and lower category hotels, but this has recently started to change.

“The most important thing is that the interest in 4 and 5 star hotels is growing. There are more and more guests of higher purchasing power who have traveled somewhere far away and are now discovering Croatia and we want the younger generations to be loyal guests like the Czechs have been so far,” said Dubravko Miholić, the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board office in Prague.

New investments in Croatian health resorts and other forms of tourism were announced in Prague, with the help of a non-refundable 2 billion euros. Part of it will also go to luxury accommodation.

“Hotels that are on the verge of moving to 5 stars should use the funds and thus nurture year-round tourism and sustainable tourism, where the Stories Group is an example of sustainable tourism,” said Nenad Nizić, the president of the luxury hotels group - Stories.

According to estimates, Czechs should arrive in large numbers by plane, train, and most often by car. The presentation in Prague was also attended by tour operators from neighboring Slovakia, whose citizens, however, due to strong economic ties with Russia, made little travel reservations.

“First, they are afraid to travel, and second, we have a lot of refugees. If they close the factories, they will have no money,” said Eva Samborska, a tour operator from Slovakia.

And most of those who will travel, from whatever country they are from, will surely be careful when spending every euro. At a time of rampant inflation across Europe and financial uncertainty, pricing policy will be more important than ever.

Source: HRT

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