EU Nation Most Reliant on Tourism Mulls Ways to Save Summer

(Bloomberg) -- Croatia, the European Union nation most reliant on tourism, hopes to open marinas, some campsites and hotels in more-remote areas to generate at least some income from the summer tourist season.

“A modest recovery could start with these three targeted areas that could offer some isolation and privacy,” Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli told reporters in Zagreb on Thursday. “We are also looking at to allow foreigners who have properties or yachts in Croatia to arrive here.”

The Adriatic country of 4.2 million relies on revenue from tourism for about 20% of gross domestic product, the most in Europe. The income from tourism has broken annual records over the last several years, totaling about 10 billion euros ($10.8 billion) in 2019.

Tourism revenue is expected to decline by 75% this year, the minister said in an interview with Glas Istre newspaper.

In March, Croatia shut its borders and banned foreigners from arriving, except for members of rescue and science teams. All but essential businesses are shut and locals aren’t allowed to travel beyond their places of residence.

The nation has reported 33 coronavirus-related deaths, one of the lowest fatality rates per capita in Europe. The government has said some measures could be eased if the rate of new infections falls over consecutive days.

Any relaxation of restrictions could open a flow of tourists from neighboring Slovenia, whose residents make up the largest proportion of foreign-property owners in Croatia. More than a million Slovenians flock to Croatian beaches each year and some 100,000 own vacation homes or other property in Croatia.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.