August 15, 2020 – Two visits to luxurious Rixos Dubrovnik in a fortnight spotlight the brand new realities within the luxurious tourism market within the Pearl of the Adriatic. Tourism is such a fragile factor. A lesson so many have discovered on this most extraordinary 12 months. Croatia’s big fortune on this most unlucky of instances is that it has tourism markets on its doorstep which has little various if they’re searching for a fortnight on a seaside. With corona scares, restricted or cancelled flights, the most secure choice is to get within the automobile and drive virus-free to the tip vacation spot. Vacationers from Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Czechia and Slovakia might need chosen Croatia, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Egypt, Montenegro or Tunisia in a traditional 12 months, with the plethora of flights on provide, however this 12 months it’s in regards to the seaside you possibly can attain. And which means Croatia. There’s a big Croatian exception to this method – arguably Croatia’s high vacation spot and positively its most well-known – Dubrovnik, Kings Touchdown, the Pearl of the Adriatic, name it what you’ll. A vacation spot which is disconnected from the remainder of Croatia by the Bosnian Neum Hall, no less than till the Peljesac Bridge is accomplished in 2022. A vacation spot which has extra in frequent with Egypt, Greece and Turkey than the remainder of Croatia. For it’s a vacation spot which relies on air site visitors for its tourism. Driving from any Croatian border from Western or Jap Europe is no less than eight hours within the automobile. And with no flights, and with none of its well-known cruise ships, tourism was very a lot on the mercy of corona. I visited the town on the finish of July, initially as a visitor of Rixos Dubrovnik, an unforgettable keep which you’ll be able to examine right here. The resort is extremely spacious, the right social distancing resort in these unsure instances, however it was clearly not that busy. An estimated 25% occupancy in late July – exceptional in Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic confirmed as a lot in our assembly – from January 1 to June 30, Dubrovnik’s tourism numbers the place simply 12% of 2019. In a metropolis whose economic system is 80% tourism, this was a disaster. After which, one thing modified… The Brits have been allowed to journey with out the necessity to self-isolate for 14 days on their return. I returned to Rixos Dubrovnik on August 9 with my household. It was not my most well-liked date, however the resort was totally booked on that date, and so they might solely accommodate me on the ninth with rooms with out a full sea view (though the view was glorious). the resort was nonetheless spacious, however infinitely busier. Not solely busier, however completely full. The make-up of the company was very fascinating, and slightly completely different to years passed by. An indication of the corona instances, but in addition maybe a touch for the advertising and marketing departments for the longer term. Historically, Dubrovnik’s massive luxurious spenders come from the USA, UK and Russia. Not this 12 months, no less than till the final couple of weeks when flights resumed in earnest from the UK. The rise of flights from the UK has remodeled Dubrovnik’s season from a complete catastrophe to one thing way more acceptable, albeit effectively down on earlier years. The arrival of the Brits in big numbers has helped masks the absence of the opposite main gamers within the luxurious market – the People and the Russians. There have been greater than 720,000 American vacationers in Croatia final 12 months. That they had the very best day by day spend of all nations, whereas the Russians (who keep longer) have the very best common whole spend. Neither have are available in massive numbers this 12 months. The Russians have visa points, as Croatian embassies are at the moment not issuing visas, whereas American journey to Europe has been severely diminished. The much-lauded American Airways flight from Philadelphia to Dubrovnik – the primary direct connection in 28 years – can also be no extra. The current ABC Information particular (see the video above), together with a slot on Good Morning America and seen by 12.5 million folks, is a terrific advert for Dubrovnik 2021 (see video above).So within the absence of the People and Russians, who’s coming?The information is fascinating. Absolute primary (and confirmed with different main luxurious accommodations in Dubrovnik) is the UK market. Second is – surprisingly – Croatia, adopted by Germany, Ukraine and Poland, a rustic whose vacationers have arrived in higher numbers to Croatia this 12 months by automobile, but in addition by airplane to Dubrovnik from Warsaw. Ukraine is an more and more fascinating market, and one which is rising beneath the radar and worthy of some advertising and marketing consideration this winter. Who is aware of what the following month will deliver, however for now it could appear that the luxurious Dubrovnik market is lastly doing effectively for season 2020, and there are many seeds sown for season 2021.