In mid-February, the Croatian Ministry of Tourism and Sports will launch the “Safe stay in Croatia” label, through which domestic and foreign tourists will be informed that health and safety protocols are applied in Croatia, an extremely important aspect amid a pandemic, Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac announced.
Apart from tourism-related enterprises, the logo can also be used by others in the travel chain including airlines, gas stations, various tourist facilities, cultural and natural attractions, and so forth. The protocols will be harmonized with the recommendations of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ). Those will be communicated through a sticker with a QR code that can be displayed in a visible place in the building and will re-direct to a special website which will also be launched as part of this campaign.
“Along with the application of these protocols, important preconditions for achieving tourist results include a favorable epidemiological situation, a sufficient level of vaccination and perceiving the destination as safe. Croatia was deemed a safe destination last year and we will continue to work on it in 2021, during which the tourism sector will once again have to demonstrate creativity, adaptability, responsibility and cooperation, as a result of the pandemic-related challenges,” Brnjac pointed out.
The stickers-labels represent a national upgrade from last year’s “Safe Travels” labels of the World Travel and Tourism Council-WTTC for easier recognition of destinations and companies that respect global standardized protocols for health and hygiene. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Croatia immediately got involved in that initiative, with the harmonization of safety protocols for catering facilities, hotels, family farms, holiday homes, beaches, marinas, boats, travel agencies, rent-a-car businesses, tourist guides and more, also being one of the first tasks of the Council for the Rehabilitation and Development of Tourism and the improvement of the tourist offer.
Commenting on the information regarding the slow distribution of the vaccine, as well as the new COVID-19 strain and the growing number of infections in Europe and the world, she said this does not facilitate tourist movement, as this requires for the borders to reopen and the psychological barrier of fear of travel to be overcome, noting however that it is encouraging that the EU will insist on an agreement on the quantity and dynamics of vaccine delivery.
“We hope that in Croatia, as well as in other EU member states, the good initial vaccination rate will continue. Given the current situation with vaccines at the EU level, Croatia’s position is to insist on talks with pharmaceutical companies on the agreed quantity and delivery dynamics,” added Brnjac.
Regarding the introduction of measures for tourist arrivals and border crossings, the Minister recalled that the leaders of EU countries agreed at the informal meeting of the European Council on January 21 to work on a standardized form of evidence on vaccination, respecting the EU regulations on data protection and that this certificate would, for the time being, be used exclusively for medical purposes.
“For crossing the border of the Republic of Croatia, a decision is currently in force according to which a negative PCR test result no older than 48 hours should be presented upon arrival, or a PCR testing should be performed immediately upon arrival (at one’s own expense), with the obligation of self-isolation until a negative result is obtained. In the event testing cannot be conducted, the traveller shall remain in self-isolation for ten days. Further measures will be subject to the progression of the epidemiological situation in Croatia, but also in specific markets,” said Brnjac.
Under current conditions, the Minister considers good news that fact that people abroad are eager to travel, and even better news that Croatia is mentioned as a desirable destination from many markets, which is supported by proximity to and good transport connections, especially by road. /ibna