Hvar – rising to the top in the eyes of domestic tourists

Hvar – rising to the top in the eyes of domestic tourists

Traditionally, Hvar has been a preferred destination for foreigners – but the coronavirus pandemic has changed that

The coronavirus pandemic has led to many changes – some for the better and some for the worse. For the Croatian island of Hvar, both can be valid, depending on the perspective. The impact of COVID-19 on the island’s tourism industry has created the perfect opportunity for it to quickly gain traction for domestic tourists, as foreigners increasingly prefer to not travel abroad.

Seizing the opportunity for change

Traditionally, Hvar has always been a more expensive tourist destination. Thus, it has become a preferred location for tourists coming from the US and the UK, with domestic visitors to Hvar accounting for barely 8% of arrivals, according to the Hvar Tourism Board.

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, that number has soared and more than doubled, reaching 18%. The sudden and drastic change can be attributed to two main factors that are intrinsically connected – the lack of foreign travel and the steep drop in prices that followed.

Businesses across the island were forced to adapt to the change in circumstances – and to the change in potential tourists- and slashed their prices to more tolerable levels so as to attract more visitors from the rest of the country. Some venues have even cut their prices by as much as 50%, while others are offering different kinds of promotions and discounts – including ones specifically targeting domestic tourists.

The results are evident. In its bid to shield itself from the disastrous consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, Hvar’s tourism industry has managed to offer something brand new to Croats – a visit to the island that offers very high-quality services at affordable prices.

According to local officials, the prices will most likely remain the same throughout next year as well, as the industry continues to recover from the pandemic and still relies on an increased influx of domestic travelers.



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