Croatia has experienced significant changes since January 1 that will determine its future as a travel destination in the months to come.
In order to completely integrate into the European Single Market, the Adriatic hub has abandoned the kuna, the former Hravastki currency, and adopted the euro in addition to joining the Schengen Area, Europe’s border-free region.
Since Croatia joined the monetary union of Europe, kunas are no longer an accepted form of payment there. Despite widespread expectations that the price of goods would simply be transferred from kunas to euros at the moment of “Euroization,” this was not the case:
Since January 1, when the stronger euro abruptly drove the weaker kuna out of the market and “Euroized” all goods, services, and transactions within the nation, the cost of living in Croatia has increased precipitously. Unfortunately, neither the difficult transition time nor the inflation seen across the EU have contributed to lessening the burden.
The price increases were significantly harsher than anticipated, occasionally by 10 to 15 percent.
The financial strain is evidently felt more severely by middle-class Croatian families, but tourists were also impacted. According to Economy Minister Davor Filipovic, inflation is currently at 13.5 percent, with food and non-alcoholic beverage prices seeing the largest increases, though other industries were also hard hit.
The Minister pointed out that retail chains have been shamelessly attempting to “deceive” customers by rounding fares to the to the next 10 or even higher. It goes without saying that future price hikes for restaurants, hotels, guesthouses, and tourist attractions may range from modest to large. In conclusion, Croatia is no longer a more affordable option than Italy or Spain.
It’s also not a promising sign that 1,738 infractions of the rule on euro adoption were reported in just five days. The Minister was cited as saying that “all alternatives are on the table,” including black lists and a price freeze on “a wide array of products,” in order to prevent prices from out of control and safeguard Croats and tourists from unfair pricing.