The cost of holidaying in Croatia, the most visited tourist destination abroad for Czechs, is significantly higher this year than last. The expenses for an average family have increased by thousands of Czech korunas. Nonetheless, estimates suggest that one million Czech tourists plan to visit the country this summer, surpassing last year’s figure of nearly 850,000.
Tour packages have seen an average price hike of around fifteen percent, exceeding the price increases observed in most other destinations, where the rise usually remains in the single digits.
“The accommodation costs offered directly by providers or through booking systems have slightly increased. However, the strong Czech koruna helps offset part of the increase,” stated Jan Papež, a spokesperson for the Association of Travel Agencies.
Food and accommodation prices have notably risen since the introduction of the euro, with an increase of approximately twelve to fourteen percent, according to Jan Bezděk, a spokesperson for the NEV-DAMA travel agency. Despite this, Bezděk emphasized that Croatia remains one of the most desired destinations for clients traveling by their means, with interest this year roughly twenty percent higher than at the same time last year.
In Croatia, the prices of groceries and services have primarily increased by around twenty percent since January. This rise can be attributed partly to inflation exceeding 13 percent and the transition to the euro, prompting merchants to round prices upward.
According to Any Kneževičová, the chairwoman of the Croatian Society for Consumer Protection, the cost of coffee has experienced the most significant increase, with an average price hike of 6.44 Czech korunas per cup. Beer and baked goods have also become pricier. Other beverages and food items have risen, though to a lesser extent, yet still noticeably.
However, the increase in food prices this year remains lower than in the Czech Republic. On the other hand, restaurant prices have risen by approximately 20 percent, and in some places, even up to 35 percent.
Accommodation has also become more expensive, with hotel prices rising by approximately twenty percent. The same trend applies to private family apartments. “Last year, a typical apartment was usually rented for around 80 euros per night, whereas now it’s typically around 100 euros. We are keeping last year’s prices, but we are the exception,” said Denisa, a Czech apartment operator on the island of Vir in Dalmatia, who preferred not to disclose her full name.
The cost of traveling to Croatia by car has not significantly increased. Cars remain the most common means of transportation, and fuel prices in transit countries such as Slovakia, Austria, and Hungary have mostly remained stable or slightly decreased compared to last year. However, experts predict that prices will likely rise with the start of the tourist season.
Additional costs, such as highway tolls, could also impact travel expenses, but their increase is not dramatic. For instance, the ten-day highway toll sticker in Slovakia has increased from 10 to 12 euros (285 CZK). Austria’s price has moved from 9.60 to 9.90 euros (235 CZK). Prices in other countries have remained at last year’s levels.
Flight tickets, in general, have increased by approximately twenty percent compared to the previous year. However, the price hike for flights to Croatia is not as significant. It depends on the date, destination, and airline carrier. For example, with Smartwings, it is still possible to find flights from Prague to Split for just over three thousand Czech korunas. The connection with the low-cost airline Ryanair to Zadar is also popular, but the increasing demand makes its impact felt.
“Last year, it was possible to find a ticket for just over 300 korunas, and rarely did it exceed two thousand. Now, finding a ticket for under a thousand is a miracle, and prices of 3,000 korunas or more are common. Moreover, flight tickets are increasing literally from hour to hour as the season approaches,” said Marie, a forty-year-old who arranges flights for her extended family and friends throughout the summer.
Despite the increased costs, the allure of Croatia as a summer destination remains strong for Czech tourists, who eagerly anticipate their vacation experiences in this beautiful Mediterranean country.