The narrow alleys of the coastal city of Dubrovnik in southern Croatia are often crowded with visitors. It is high season but this year everything is different.
- We usually get crowded with tourists from the cruise ships, but now it is empty everywhere, says Darko Perojevic who owns a restaurant on one of the tourist lanes.18 million jobs at risk
According to a report from the WTTC, the industry organization for travel and tourism in the world, more than 18 million jobs in Europe linked to tourism could be lost already this year due to the corona pandemic.
In Dubrovnik, residents say their city has not been this empty since the war in the early 1990s.
- It feels like during the war, when we were besieged, says Darko Perojevic.
According to the UN, Croatia is the country in the EU whose economy is most dependent on income from tourism and at the same time one of the countries that is expected to be most affected in the world by reduced travel.
- Last year we had twenty employees and this year we have four. Despite that, I am worried about whether we will be able to earn enough to be able to give them a salary, says Darko Perojevic."Without tourism we can not survive"
In the coastal city of Dubrovnik, almost everyone lives in some way from money linked to tourism, there are no other large employers or industries.
- For us, it is crucial. Without tourism we can not survive, says Darko Perojevic.
In recent weeks, travel has recovered somewhat and some tourists have dared to return, but at the same time there is growing concern about a new wave of viruses in Europe.
- I just hope that it takes time so that we can survive the winter, says Darko Perojevic.