Visitor arrivals in Croatia drop 40 pct in June year-on-year

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ZAGREB, July 2 (Xinhua) -- About 6.6 million visitors arrived in Croatia in June, 40 percent fewer compared with the same period last year, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic announced on Thursday.

The southeastern European country depends heavily on the tourism industry, which accounts for almost 20 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said in its latest report published on Wednesday that Croatia is among the countries whose GDP might suffer the most from tourism losses.

According to the UN body, Croatia could lose eight percent of GDP, which puts it, along with Jamaica and Thailand, in the top three most affected countries.

Bozinovic noted on Thursday that there is a positive trend of foreign arrivals in the country after the easing of epidemiological measures. He said that there were 2.1 million entries in the country in May, so there is an increase of 210 percent in June. Meanwhile, 1.1 million tourists have registered so far at the government website "EnterCroatia" before their planned trips to the country.

Croatia opened its borders in May for citizens of ten European countries. On June 30, citizens of the European Union, as well as members of their families and third-country nationals who are long-term residents, can enter the country under the same conditions as before the COVID-19 pandemic, but still with epidemiological control and with the obligation to comply with general and special recommendations of the Croatian Institute of Public Health.

On Tuesday, the first tourists from the Czech Republic arrived in Croatia via a special train line between Prague and Rijeka in northern Adriatic. From July to September the train will run regularly and carry up to 560 passengers at a time. Media here reported that 30,000 tickets have already been sold.

Croatia has reported a steady growth of new COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks after an obvious decline. Eighty-one new cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours as of Thursday afternoon. Since the start of the outbreak in Croatia in late February, 2,912 cases have been recorded and 110 people have deceased, according to the Croatian Institute of Public Health. Enditem

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