Illustration: Shutterstock / artem evdokimov
German public television ZDF aired a 12-minute article on the Auslandsjournal program, which talks about possible tourist season problems in Croatia and Montenegro.
The article begins with a reception about Captain Ivan Rakuljić, who greets the first tourists on his ship after 10 months. Rakuljic says last year saw a 95% drop in guests and does not want to think about the possible consequences of delta strains. He adds that guests now worry about booking “not at the last minute, but at the last second”.
Below are pictures of the half-empty streets of Split, where there are far fewer tourists than usual at this time of year.
“Many of them usually come to Split by plane, now they are afraid of it,” it is claimed.
It is stressed that tourism is “the engine of the Croatian economy and that another weak season could lead to a collapse”. “North of Split, the number of infected is growing, the delta is expanding and it is difficult to see groups of tourists in the city,” he said. Some enjoy it, like two tourists who came to Split by car. The coronavirus pandemic has changed its tourist habits; they used to always travel by holiday plane.
Next is the story of Tomislav Kova, who before the pandemic invested in luxury buses to transport tourists across the Adriatic, and they are now almost empty for 19 months.
“I don’t have more money to save, I just don’t have more money,” Kova says.
“Bankruptcy in paradise is not just a threat,” says ZDF, which recalls that many free carriers, despite protests against the government, have already gone bankrupt. ZDF sent a consultation to the Government on this issue, to which they received no response.
The ZDF team took a ferry to Korula, where they only met a few Slovenian tourists and locals. They arrive at the hotel run by Zlatko Fabris and currently have only one guest. Fabrice expects guests from the United States and Britain to arrive soon, who stayed with him in Korula before the pandemic.
“Right now, everyone is worried about the new wave, I guess the guests will come a little later,” Fabrice hopes.
Fabrice points out that just before the crisis he bought a demolished house for a million euros, which he wants to turn into a new hotel, and hopes Korula will continue to attract guests this year.
After that, the ZDF team heads to Dubrovnik, where the big cruisers are slowly returning. All guests are vaccinated or tested and cruise in groups and with masks so that they do not become infected while in Dubrovnik. It is said that tourists are delighted to be able to travel again.
But the problem with this concept is that cruise tourists are not allowed to sit in Dubrovnik’s cafes and restaurants or buy souvenirs in shops. However, coffee owner Pavica Urović says she is happy for tourists to come to Dubrovnik.
Below are images of empty streets in Dubrovnik and statements that “could not have been taken before the crown” because Dubrovnik actually suffered from the screams of tourists.
Also, some cruise tourists are not satisfied due to the strict rules, but it is assumed that there are 4 dacuzzis and 1,500 guests on the cruise and that only one person is allowed on the dacus. “It means we have to sail a few years to put everyone in line,” says one tourist.
The ZDF team also visited Montenegro, which is also facing similar problems.