“We expect an increase of tourists in Dubrovnik over the festive season by between 10 and 15 percent,” commented the director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Romana Vlasic. Will the Dubrovnik Winter Festival be able to attract enough regional tourists to the city to make up for the lack of international flights? If we are to believe the early indicators, then it would appear that bookings over the Christmas and New Year period are up on last year.
Croatia Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Vueling and British Airways are all operating flights to Dubrovnik this winter period. “Croatia Airlines with three flights a week to Frankfurt, low-cost Vueling with two flights a week to Barcelona and Rome and three flights a week to Zagreb with Croatia Airlines means that we have much better connections than last year,” said Vlasic. Adding that the tourist board has entered into a partnership with Turkish Airlines this winter for joint promotion of the flights from Istanbul to Dubrovnik.
Busy main street, Stradun, as Dubrovnik Winter Festival proves popular - Photo Tonci Plazibat
And the hotels are announcing great bookings for the festive season. Hotel Excelsior and Hotel Kompas, the two hotels of the Adriatic Luxury Hotels Group that are open this winter, have reported that they are almost fully booked for this Christmas period. The majority of the guests are from the UK, followed by guests from Ireland, Spain and Portugal. “In Hotel Excelsior we will organise our traditional New Year’s Eve party along with a varied entertainment program,” commented the spokesperson for ALH, Zrinka Marinovic.
And the five-star Hotel Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik is also reporting successful indicators, “The season has continued with a successful post-season and we are very satisfied with the bookings for the New Year and Christmas period,” commented the manager of the marketing department for Valamar, Nike Labas. Rixos Libertas is also singing from the same hymn sheet. Last Christmas period they recorded 95 percent occupancy and this year they are expecting 100 percent.
And it isn’t only the hotel business that is awaiting a busy festive period, the private apartments and villas of Dubrovnik are also reporting solid results. “So far there have been 269 reservations for private accommodation with the average length of stay a healthy 3.1 nights,” commented the Dubrovnik based agency Direct Booker. In total is offering 35 percent of the 2,340 accommodation properties that they manage in the city during this winter period. “Dubrovnik is competing as an attractive destination, not only in the summer but also in the winter,” added Direct Booker.
With all the indicators suggesting that this Christmas and the New Year will be one of the best on record for Dubrovnik’s tourism industry it would seem that the slogan of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board “A City for All Seasons,” is slowly coming true.