What will travel and tourism look like after a coronavirus pandemic?
One thing is for sure: Tourism 2020 will not look like 2019.
The good news is that the coronavirus pandemic will end one day. The bad news is we don’t know when that day will come. The neutral news is that we do not know or can only assume what life will look like in general, especially travel and tourism once the pandemic has passed. What we know for sure is that tourism won’t look like it did in 2019. The part of the tourism industry that will recover first is leisure. We will all want to travel as soon as we feel safe. And the coming summer is a bright spot for us at the end of the tunnel.
Croatia is one of the safest countries in the world. Which means passengers should only take their usual precaution. It is easy to reach Croatia from all European capitals, and with its long and largely undiscovered coast it is in the perfect position for a quick recovery. Croatia must again tell the world stories like the one about the island of Hvar as literally a health sanatorium, where with the founding of the Hygienic Society on May 15, 1868, the first organized tourism in Europe was launched, focused on health and recovery, not stories about historical sites. Or the story of more than 600 wild medical, aromatic and honey plant species in Croatia, 120 of which are traditionally used in folk medicine, food, oils, alcoholic beverages and more. These are perfect stories to convey because they cover both promotional and preventative emotions, that is, they address both the health aspect, wellbeing and safety.
Corona virus epidemic will definitely affect Croatian tourism and we will all feel the consequences. Major tourist cities such as Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Rijeka suffer the most. Can part of the season be saved anyway? Whether the season will be saved by the most frequent and closest guests/tourists of Slovenes, Italians, Austrians, Germans or Czechs depends mainly on the measures of the Civil Staff which will then be in force. Given that Croatia is relatively close and quickly accessible to these markets by roads or highways it is believed that opening borders and normalizing the situation with a stop or significant pandemic would trigger at least some of the tourist movements from these markets towards Croatia this summer. Or is it better for us to trust ourselves and to enable Croats who want freedom and summer family holidays at great prices in their own country?!
If we all work together and persist in these rigorous measures for a while, we may have a chance to become the country of corona free zone.