A train carrying 500 tourists from the Czech Republic and Slovakia arrived in Rijeka today as part of an effort to revive the tourism industry, which has been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The train originated in Prague and after a 15-hour overnight journey with stops in Brno, Bratislava, and Ljubljana arrived in Rijeka this morning. The travelers then boarded buses taking them to destinations on the Croatian coast. Most were going to Istria and Kvarner, with only a small group headed south to Dalmatia.
Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli said Croatia is hoping the train, which will run three times a week through August, will help salvage the tourism season, a major generator of revenue in Croatia’s economy. Cappelli said Croatia already had around 350 thousand visitors and was welcoming thousands more each day. Some 30 thousand tickets have been sold for the train in just the first two weeks.
Croatian health authorities said they did not believe opening the border was a serious threat to the coronavirus situation, although cases have been increasing in recent weeks. Krunoslav Capak, the head of the Public Health Bureau said that as long as visitors practiced social distancing and followed other recommendations, things would be fine.
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