As part of the 6th regional Forum of family accommodation in Karlovac on the 12th of November, Lika Club portal panel discussion took place, with main subject “What will happen with (Corona) tourism in 2021?”
The panel, which was led by journalist Goran Latković, hosted four other famous names of Croatian tourism from territory of Lika-Senj and Karlovac County. In only one hour of discussion many interesting outlooks on the upcoming year were presented as well as numerous experiences from the year that is almost behind us.
Boris Šuljić, owner of the hotel and winery Boškinac from Novalja pointed out how this past year was one of the most challenging in tourism same as it was for him as an entrepreneur. As the lockdown began they kept all the staff and used the time to work on improving the company. Due to that, he highlighted, they have had a very successful season.
“Trends are changing despite the Corona virus and we have to keep adjusting. I’m an optimist regarding the approaching year of 2021 and believe that increase of flights, sea traffic and car-tourism is to be expected. We should be well prepared after this hard experience which we can use as a guide mark for the upcoming season and I advise everyone to get ready to offer outstanding service. We are already working overtime to come up with the new dishes”, he mentioned and added how he believes in regular continuation of tourism as well as returning to the “old normal”.
“Our traditional values will keep motivating people to travel. Some habits will change but in this industry, which suffered the most, I believe the traditional values are making their comeback”, concluded Šuljić.
Hrvojka Božić, director of the Museum of the Homeland War in Karlovac, which opened its door in 2019, mentions how they used digital channels throughout the year to achieve the return of the visitors.
“We turned to the digital marketing and our visitors returned quickly. During the summer season our visits paired up to 80% when compared to the previous year, therefore we have optimistic outlook for the upcoming year. We did need time to adjust but this new experience will come in handy. One of the key elements for our success is operation of the museums in the community just like connecting within the destination and here in Karlovac there is plenty room to grow. I am an optimist who believes that already in the spring we can start performing on full capacity, especially because we adapted the content that is attracting the biggest interest, in comparison to the content of the individual character.”
Krešo Rogoz, director of the company Croatia Open Land DMC, from Karlovac, also started this year with success after which everything was stopped. That motivated them to search for new resources and they used this season to prepare for different, individual tourism and smaller groups.
“It is interesting how increase of our prices resulted in smaller groups, which accumulated more money. The key is in working together, gathering content and excellence. The whole team is working on forming partnerships, offering new content and creating contacts with foreign agencies. We are all hoping for a regular spring and basing ourselves on car-tourists. It is time that we all sit down together and find a way to brand our destinations and step forward united in order to get more recognition because we have a lot more to show”, said Rogoz and added how in 2021 they are introducing a brand new attraction, scuba diving will be available in all four rivers surrounding Karlovac.
Mihovil Bićanić, deputy chief of Rakovica muncipality, which is usually rating high in the numbers of overnight stays, revieled that this year they accomplished only 25% of the usual overnight stays but he is hoping for these numbers to increase soon.
“I believe in stabilization during the next year but in 2021 we should still focus on our local guests. We should increase the awareness about the extra contents and strengthen our continental tourism. In Rakovica during the 2021 we are focusing on marketing and long-term strategic planning”, he highlighted.
Organisers of the Forum is Section of community of family tourism for county of Lika-Karlovac, that operates with ŽK Karlovac and Otočac in partnership with Prilika Group.
PHOTO: Josip Durdov