Dalibor Cvitković, Mali Lošinj Tourist Board: We are much smarter and more prepared for the challenges that tourism brings in the time of coronavirus
It always takes two to tango. Great advice for all other destinations. Now we have time to prepare well for next year, and as Cvitković says, we are much smarter than at the beginning of the crisis. This year, Lošinj showed the way, the right way Dalibor Cvitković, director of the Mali Lošinj Tourist Board As I mentioned, it is a great pity that the “Ferry Free” action has not fulfilled its potential, in line with the epidemiological situation and the closure of the borders, because I am sure it would prove to be a full hit. “Insurance” policy for guests The lesson for next year is that it is difficult to plan anything, but we must be ready to react quickly, as this year, says Cvitković and adds: “The situation will change from day to day and that is why we will have more plans because we cannot know in advance what will happen, but we must be ready for all situations, says Cvitković and announces that the Lošinj Tourist Board is preparing more action protocols for next year. “We have to be ready to react very quickly and make decisions quickly. That is why synergy is important and that we have prepared several scenarios. From campaigns, communications to protocols. The 2021 season will not be significantly different than this one. Lošinj will continue to be primarily a destination for destinations and car destinations” Another proof that regardless of the system, which certainly needs to be thoroughly reformed, people make a difference. It’s always up to the people. This year, in a crisis situation, all the weaknesses of our system were clearly seen, who got lost and who proved it. One can have tourism with a coronavirus epidemic, we just all have to stick to epidemiological measures, emphasizes Cvitković, and among other things, this season has shown that. “Synergy within the tourism sector is important, and the Institute of Public Health is currently one of our main partners. We have to form teams to be ready to do the testing in a short period of time, so in less than 72 hours to get the test results. This is a key issue for guests. Also, we all need to network much better, to have a health care system behind us and to make tests and reservations on time – everything was ad hoc this year, but now we have the opportunity to plan the whole system and story in 2021. We are now much smarter and more prepared for the whole situation and the challenges that tourism brings in times of covid19 crisis”, Adds Cvitkovic. Cvitković: Now we are much smarter and more prepared for the whole situation and the challenges that tourism brings in times of covid19 crisis “In our main emitting markets, we have conducted, and still carry out in some, a marketing campaign “Lošinj – Your island oasis” with the action “Ferry Free” where guests who come in September and stay a minimum of seven nights, reduce the price of accommodation for a return ticket. ferry for vehicle and passengers”, Points out Dalibor Cvitković, director of the Mali Lošinj Tourist Board. And that is the key question, have we learned anything from this situation. Because as I am in a broader analysis of Fr. expectations for next year stressed, we must openly admit to ourselves where we have made mistakes and correct those same mistakes. This is the only way we can move forward. Because perception ssecurity, communication, as well as organized health system – will be one of the most sought after currencies and among the main motives for coming. Details that will make an important difference compared to the competition. Of course with the main assumption that we all strictly adhere to all epidemiological measures. Even more than the prescribed measures, precisely because of tourism and the perception of security. Personally, I think it was a mistake that we did not introduce the mandatory wearing of masks indoors much earlier, regardless of the fact that at that time the epidemiological situation in our country was stable. It was the first tourists who started arriving in Croatia, who complained that it was too relaxed in our country and no one was wearing masks, while in their countries the measures were much stricter. Although the current situation, ie the sudden closing of the tourist season due to the closure of borders, has of course disrupted the course and efficiency of the action, the action has borne concrete fruit in the current framework. Author of photos: Sandro Tariba “Sun and sea, outdoor, Wellness, gastronomy – this form of tourism is good for us, our emitting markets also recognize it, but I would like to dedicate more time to the domestic guest. Here, the State could turn Cro cards into Cro vouchers, not to put everything at the expense of the employer, but to co-finance in some or 100% part as in Slovenia. I think it would be a great opportunity for 2021, to raise the share of the domestic guest, because they have no limits with borders, and the domestic guest is more than a good guest. Also, the presentation of new cases from the national level should certainly be viewed in all regions, even destinations. For example, this year we had zero patients on the island, while in Rijeka, for example, the picture was different. And there were many more such examples. ” Cvitkovic concludes. Let us remind you, the Lošinj Tourist Board initiated the action FERRY FREE with the aim of attracting visitors in the month of September. So to the visitors who will be staying in September for more than seven nights, The Tourist Board co-finances return ferry tickets at facilities that have responded to the invitation. Namely, in case of suspicion of covid19, the guest does not go to the doctor alone but must contact the reception of the hotel or the owner of the accommodation. Then the questionnaire made by the Lošinj Tourist Board is filled in at the level of the entire destination, and the hotel or the landlord calls the doctor and the epidemiological service. Also, Lošinj is the first destination in Croatia that covers the cost of accommodation and meals for guests or their families in case of self-isolation. When asked how he comments on the summer season, Cvitković said that they were satisfied, in accordance with the initial announcements, but that the bitter taste of unrealized tourist traffic in the second part of the season remained. “We blame ourselves for the increase in the number of infected people, which of course reflected on the whole situation. The question is, have we learned anything this year? ”, adds Cvitković. In case one of the guests has symptoms or coronavirus, Mali Lošinj Tourist Board, in cooperation with everyone in the destination, has prepared clear protocols this year, as well as “insurance policy ” for guests. The Lošinj Tourist Board is preparing several action protocols for next year “For the first eight months, we achieved an index of 58 in overnight stays, but we hoped that the postseason would be in higher numbers. What makes us happy, both in the whole of Croatia, and also on Lošinj, were not covid cases in accommodation capacities. Also, the hotel accommodation, despite the large number of people and common rooms, did not have a single case of new patients nor were they hot spots. And we know how hotels are generators of consumption and employment and how important they are for every tourist destination”, Cvitković points out and says that on the other hand, the Headquarters must work on” quenching “some possible hotspots faster and more efficiently. Quick reaction, communication, synergy with the field, proactivity, courage and readiness for action are the qualities that adorned this year’s Lošinj Tourist Board, which certainly positively jumped out of the crowd and showed the way. Well done to Lošinj and congratulations to Dalibor Cvitković, we need such leaders. Here I must emphasize and praise the synergy and communication of the TZ office with local partners and tourism entrepreneurs or the quality relationship that should be the rule, not the exception. In almost every sentence during the conversation for this article, Cvitković emphasizes communication with everyone in the field. A relationship that obviously works, although it is never ideal and has different opinions, which is good, because only through constructive conversation and dialogue can we move forward. / / / THE QUESTION THAT EVERYONE IS ASKING: WHAT WILL THE NEXT TOURIST YEAR BE LIKE? HERE ARE SOME LOUD THINKINGS Yet even in these current frameworks, the action has proven successful. Because if we know that the average tourist consumption on Lošinj is around 100 euros, in the covid crisis it is slightly lower (approximately 80 eur), then we come to a simple calculation that thanks to the action in September generated tourist spending of 400.000 Eur – which is more than a great success . Of course, this is a rough estimate. And September is still going on and we have yet to get the final results of the action. “During September, in accordance with the” Ferry Free “campaign, we expect to achieve more than 5.000 overnight stays, which is a direct consequence of the campaign. Of course, we expected a greater economic effect, but our main markets are closed, so most of the guests who took advantage of the action were guests from Germany. According to everything, we can be satisfied and in cooperation with partners we plan to continue the action next year. On the contrary, we plan to expand it even more, through more terms; in the pre- and post-season, as well as focus especially on domestic guests”, Said Cvitkovic. In the end, as I have already pointed out, this year’s mistakes should be openly acknowledged, without any negative connotations, so that we can correct them and move forward. Because in the global tourism “match”Market rules apply and we all fight for the same tourist. No matter what, it’s all up to ourselves. This year, the Mali Lošinj Tourist Board jumped out the most positively in the covid crisis, from communications, campaigns, ideas and most of all proactivity. We have already written on several occasions about campaigns, covid protocols, guest insurance policies as well as the Ferry Free campaign that is currently underway.