Plitvice Lakes National Park struggles to recruit staff, some facilities are closed

July 13, 2022 – The Croatian workforce continues to shrink due to ongoing demographic issues and the ease of simply traveling to another EU member state to find work, higher wages and economic stability more general. Even Plitvice Lakes National Park is suffering.

The global coronavirus pandemic has only forced the hand of this long-standing trend, seeing what used to be chefs, servers, bar staff and people in other qualified and skilled positions leave to work elsewhere or train for new careers as the virus saw what was putting food on their closed tables during lockdowns. Now that Croatia’s tourist season this year looks to be as good (if not better) than the record, pre-pandemic year of 2019 – you just can’t get the staff, again.

These problems do not only affect the coast, although this part of the country is undoubtedly the hardest hit. Plitvice Lakes National Park, the most well-known Croatian national park of all, is struggling to find qualified staff and some of its facilities have unfortunately had to remain closed due to these issues.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes that Plitvice Lakes National Park, known for its magnificent waterfalls and surreal hues of blue and green, is by far the most visited national park in the country, attracting hordes from all over the world.

This year there are forty percent fewer visitors than the peak year of 2019, so park management has decided not to open some facilities at all. They are also struggling to find employees, they lack the most waiters, cooks and sellers. The most visited in 2019, at the height of the summer tourist season, more than twelve thousand people entered the Plitvice Lakes National Park daily, writes HRT.

“It is actually in our interest that these excessive crowds do not happen again, and financially we are very close to reaching the numbers we have seen in these record years,” said Tomislav Kovacic, director of the magnificent park. National Plitvice Lakes.

This year, due to the absence of large return groups during the pre-season as well as the absence of some guests who usually arrive by plane, the park management has decided not to open certain facilities such as the Bellevue hotel and Borje camp. and its adjoining restaurant.

“It is mainly our assessment that the facilities are not needed for this summer season, but they are ready if the need arises in August, we will manage to open them in a few days if that ends up being the case,” said assured Kovacevic. .

Although they announced two tenders in which they would have hired seasonal workers for the summer of 2022, there were still not enough applications for the positions of cooks, waiters and shopkeepers in the grounds of the park. .

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Richard F. Gandhi