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Croatia

Croatia: Tourism workers awaiting vaccination

A large percentage of tourism workers in Croatia are awaiting vaccination in the hope that they may have a safer season this year.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that about 70% of respondents from the tourism sector expressed interest in getting vaccinated, according to a survey conducted by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Croatian Tourism Association.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports started collecting personal data of employees through professional associations to implement the Vaccination Program, which would identify the tourism sector as a priority group.

Priority within this Program is determined by following the epidemiological risks, benefiting not only employees with more frequent contact with guests, but also for example those who, due to the nature of their work, are unable to practice social distancing, especially those working inside the Kitchen.

The Croatian tourism workforce interested in vaccination includes two groups. The first includes operational staff (receptionists, waiters, drivers, guides, captains, etc.) and those who are in direct contact with them on a daily basis. The second group refers to “administrative staff” and employees who do not work in the field, who are not in daily contact with persons from the first group.

“The good news is that we are on a priority list. All captains will be vaccinated; end of discussion. This is of vital interest to us, especially if the clients will request it or if one of us is a member of a yacht crew, “says Vicko Ozretić, president of the Croatian Skipppers Association and a member of the Crosca yacht crew.

The association has not yet received information on when vaccination will start, hoping it will start as soon as possible. However, due to the current epidemiological situation and strict measures across Europe, their hopes that they will start working soon are quite low.

All indices, says Ozretić without hesitation, have dropped significantly.

“We believe in the peak season; hope it’s good. Since we have a strong pre-seasonal and post-seasonal maritime tourism, we will be the first to feel the loss and absence of this pre-season because the cards usually start slowly for Easter and are built in May. This is more or less where we are now. “Few of us will work this Easter, and maybe no one,” says Ozretic. The first bookings were registered only in June, but a new problem has emerged that further complicates the business in maritime tourism.

“These are coupons from last season. Some of these customers started asking for a refund, where tenants expect a big hit. This is one of the big problems we are currently solving. It is easy to have one or two cancellations, but twenty or thirty are hard to bear, ”explains Ozretić.

The problem with coupon cancellations has escalated as cases increase across Europe due to the rapid spread of new coronavirus strains.

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