Survey of foreign tourist spending in Croatia

One of the main bits of today’s tourism news – as featured in Croatian newspapers and other sources – reveals the spending habits of tourists in Croatia, shown in a survey undertaken by credit card company Visa. In the survey conducted in August in Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Zagreb amongst 500 foreign tourists, it was revealed that most foreign tourists spend between €16 and €50 per day, which includes their spending on accommodation.

Of this, most respondents – 34% – stated that they spent between €31 and €50 per day, whilst nearly the same percentage – 33.5% – claimed to spend between €16 and €31 per day. Only 4.5% say they spend more than €100 a day; this leaves 28% of people surveyed, the majority of whom I suppose spend between €50 and €100 per day. (I cannot actually see this written in the news reports, however!)

The same survey also asked the holidaymakers their thoughts on why they chose Croatia as a holiday destination, and their experiences on holidaying in the country.

Over half of respondents said they decided to visit the country on the recommendation of friends or family (good going, friends and family!), whilst 22.5% suggested that they made their choice from researching on the Internet. 10.5% stated the influence of the media for helping with their holiday pick.

Over 50% of those that took part in the survey said they were holidaying in Croatia for at least a week; younger tourists were found to stay in one location for shorter periods of time, such as two or three days, whilst those aged between 45 and 54 were more likely to remain in the same resort for longer, in some cases for over twenty-one days.

Private accommodation was the most popular type of accommodation for those surveyed – 37% stayed in private rooms, apartments and so on, whilst 30% stayed in hotels.

The statistic I found the most surprising – but in a good way – was that 76.5% of those surveyed said that they organised their own holiday, with only 16% booking through a travel agency.

Sources: HRT, Vecernji

Croatian transport figures for the first part of 2011

In an interview with Croatian newspaper Vjesnik, Danijel Mileta, the State Secretary for Railway Transport in the Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, revealed some interesting statistics about the assorted types of transport used in Croatia for the first part of the year.

Of the different types of transport used, most saw an increase in passengers over the same period in 2010. Only rail transport decreased in 2011, with 32.1 million people using trains in the first half of the year; in the same period in 2010, 35.6 million travelled. By contrast, 3,149,071 people travelled by air within Croatia between January and July, up 11.77% on 2010.

Meanwhile, there was an increase in the number of people travelling on ferry and catamaran lines in the first sixth months of the year. 4,120,286 people travelled on the seas – a rise of 3.2% – and over 1 million cars where also transported during this period, also a rise of 8.6%. The main ferry company in Croatia, Jadrolinija, transported the most passengers – 3,507,321 – and vehicles – 875,208 – although these figures actually decreased on the year before by 2.9% and 4.5% respectively.

The ferry line that posted the best increase in passenger numbers was the Pula – Unije – Mali Losinj – Ilovik – Zadar route run by Linjska Nacionalna Plovidba; this particular line runs only during season, from the beginning of June to the end of October.

Mr Mileta believes that these healthy rises in sea transport numbers will continue for the rest of the year, so that overall statistics are sure to beat those of 2010, and may come close to the record figures from 2008.

Moving on to road transport statistics, 742,800,037 kilometres of travel were registered on Croatian roads between January and August this year, which is up 3% on both last year and the year before. 23,074,315 vehicles were recorded on the country’s motorways, 2.2% up on 2010.

Much of this interview with Mr Mileta focused on the expansion plans for Zagreb Airport. Bids are currently being submitted (up until the end of October) by companies for the building a new passenger terminal at the airport. The construction of a new passenger terminal should bring in new air routes with additional carriers, he says, and could see it become a hub for southeastern Europe.

Source: Vjesnik


Split a popular destination in July

Split is revelling in statistics that reveal very good visitor numbers for the month of July. With its great transport links by plane, train, bus and ferry, it’s no surprise that many travellers find themselves in the city – unfortunately for Split, however, many simply transit through on to other destinations. To this end, Split has worked hard to increase both visitor numbers and the amount of nights that vistors stay, and it these numbers show that it’s making steps in the right direction.

Statistics reveal that around 50,000 tourists came to Split during the month of July, staying for 155,000 nights in total. This is up 24% on the number of tourist arrivals from July last year, with the number of nights up by 16%. The number of tourist arrivals compared to the number of nights stayed points to the fact that the average stay is more than three days in length.


The director of the Split Tourist Board, Vedran Matosic, reveals that these healthy tourist figures hark back to 1989, the heady (pre-war) days of very large tourist numbers that Croatia longs to return to. As a comparison to more recent years, in July 2009 Split received 29,534 tourists (who stayed for 103,499 nights) which was an increase of 30% to July in the previous year when 40,726 visited (staying for 133,825 nights).

Taking a look at 2011 overall so far, Split welcomed 138,000 visitors who stayed for 350,000 nights, which is up 23% on arrivals and up 10% on nights stayed on the same period in 2010. For both July itself and the whole of 2011, the most frequent visitors came from Germany, and the number of Italian visitors rose by 5% for July and by 10% for January to July.

The Tourist Board director explains that the reason some tourists increased the number of nights they decide to stay in Split may be down to the range of events held in the city this summer. In particular, he points out the large-scale Discotheque Riva club event that takes place this evening, Friday 12th July (featuring famed British electronica band Faithless), as well as the 4-day Days of Diocletian event (held 19th to 22nd August) – a throwback to Roman times.

Despite all this good news in Split regarding visitor numbers, that main problem the city is now facing is a lack of beds. A total of 7,658 beds – plus a further 1,230 places in campsites just outside the city – are quoted as the capacity for the city, although despite fewer beds this year than before, the number of nights has clearly gone up. An increase in private accommodation offerings is said to account for this.

The average price per night for private accommodation in Split is said to be 250 Kunas, which is about £30/€33/$48.

Source: Vjesnik

Rovinj by night

July’s tourist numbers revealed

Another month ends, another set of tourism stats come out! Recently released statistics on numbers of tourists to Croatia for the first seven months of the year have hit the Croatian newspapers over the last few days, revealing some rather healthy increases over 2010.

Overall, from January to July 2011, half a million more tourists holidayed in Croatia than in the same period in the previous year. For the month of July alone, 3 million tourists visited the country, which is up 4.8% on the same month in 2010. Of this amount, 2.7 million were foreign tourists – an increase of 5% – meaning that 255,000 of these tourists were domestic, also an increase on July last year of 0.6%.

Tourists stayed for 19.8 million nights this July, which is up by 3% on the previous July. As to be expected, the majority of these were by foreign tourists – 17.5 million, up 3% – whilst 2.2 million nights were by domestic tourists, up 4%.

Despite the many delights of Croatia’s coast, Zagreb in fact achieved the highest increase in visitor numbers, with 10% more this July than last year. This can surely be attributed to the fact that Zagreb – whilst not quite as popular – is clearly gaining ground on Croatia’s Adriatic towns, cities and resorts.

After Zagreb county, Split-Dalmatia posted an increase in visitors of 7.8%, followed by Zadar county (7%), Lika-Senj – home to the Plitvice Lakes National Park (6.3%), Dubrovnik-Neretva (5.7%), Istria (3.4%), Primorje Gorski-Kotar county (2.5%) and Sibenik-Knin county (1.3%). However, of these, Istria recorded the greatest number of visitors and overnight stays during July – 775,000 visitors and 5.8 million nights.


In terms of guest nationalities, the greatest increase was seen amongst Hungarian visitors, with 13.5% more arrivals and 12% more nights stayed. This is followed by Austrian visitors, with 10.6% more arrivals and 9% more nights, and Slovenians, with 5% more arrivals and 6% more nights.

For the first seven months of 2011, Croatia received 6.2 million tourists in total, up 8% on 2010, with these tourists staying for 33 million. For January to July, Split-Dalmatia county received the biggest increase in visitors, with 10.7% more tourists, followed by Lika-Senj (10.3%), then Zagreb (10%) and the county of Zadar (9%). Istria once again was top for visitor numbers and nights stayed – 1.7 million and 10.6 million respectively.

Sources: Vjesnik, Jutarnji, HRT, Vecernji

Visitor numbers for the first half of 2011 revealed

Recently revealed statistics for the first six months of the year show show visitor numbers to Croatia and the number of nights that they stayed for, as well as showing some surprising increases in the nationalities of these visitors.

Overall, 3,228,401 tourists came to Croatia in the first half of 2011, which is an increase of 11% on the same period last year. Of this number, 518,776 were domestic tourists – up 6% on 2010, which is a decent upturn after some wobbles for this particular group. The number of foreign tourists visiting the country, meanwhile, rose by 12%.

In total, all tourists stayed for 13,717,095 nights in Croatia, up 12% on 2010. Of this figure, domestic tourists made up 1,672,520 nights, up 11% on the same period in the year before.

These stats also reveal some of the more unusual nationalities visiting Croatia – unusual in the sense that their visitor numbers overall are relatively low, but still growing! (And outside what is considered the “big five” of German, Austrian, Italian, Czech and Slovenian tourists.)

Between January and June of this year, Croatia was visited by 10% more Albanian visitors (6,760 visitors in total), 64% more Brazilians (7,184 visitors), 20% more Montenegrin visitors (4,535 visitors), 2% more Greek visitors (10,334), 22% more Indian visitors (1,522), 17% more Chinese visitors (8,178), 19% more Koreans, 57% more Portugese (8,927), 29% more Spaniards (55,096), 49% more Turkish visitors (13,889), 4% more Serbian visitors (25,405) and 33% more Americans (56,180).

What must no doubt be pleasing for Croatia is not only the increasing amounts of these visitors, but also increasing amounts of visitors from countries further afield (meaning, not the kind of travellers that can simply jump in a car and cross a border or two to get to Croatia) – and in what is off-season. (Although, yes, the period in question is up to the end of June meaning just before the start of peak season, the months of July and August.)

Turning to the more “traditional” visitors, the month of June saw 278,131 German visitors (up a whopping 65%); 169,179 Austrian visitors (up 15%); 121,172 Italians (up 15%); 169,765 Slovenians (up just 1%); and 106,448 Czech visitors (up 6%). Just outside that main contingent, still for the month of June, were 43,219 Hungarian visitors (up 14%); 22,685 Bosnian visitors (up 19%); 71,606 Polish visitors (up 14%); and 35,877 Russian visitors (up 15%).

Source: Vjesnik

Photos of Split - View of Marjan Hill

Split’s visitor numbers already much higher than last year

Split is already receiving some very healthy visitor numbers – even during the current pre-season period. Over 16,000 tourists visited the city in April, up a third on numbers in the same month last year. In the month this year, most visitors stayed for 2 days on average – and, perhaps surprisingly, most guests were from Spain (1,332), then America (1,077), followed by Germany (1001) and France (817). Visitors stayed for 34,020 nights in total – far outstripping the 22,776 nights stayed in April 2010.

Photos of Split - View of Marjan Hill
Split – Looking out towards Marjan hill

A number of hotels also report excellent occupancy levels for April, as well as stating that bookings for the season itself are going well. Vedran Matosic, director of the Split Tourist Office, is one person that isn’t surprised by the good visitor numbers so far, as this season has long been predicted to be the best season yet. The one concern, however, is whether Split can actually accommodate all the guests it will receive in the height of the season, particularly in August – currently, the city has 7,490 beds.By 2015, the city hopes to have upped this to 10,000 beds which will help it achieve the magic number of 1 million overnight stays by visitors in one year.

Split is often thought of as a transit place, with tourists passing through on their way to the islands or elsewhere along the coastline – although this isn’t all that surprising, given its excellent air, bus, ferry and even train links! Although its size (it’s the second largest city in Croatia, behind Zagreb, and the largest on the Adriatic coast) and bustling nature mean it’s not to everyone’s taste, hopefully its main attractions will not only bring in the visitors but encourage them to stay longer this year!

Source: Slobodna Dalmacija

Top Ten Destinations in Croatia - Zagreb

More tourists in Zagreb

An article from Croatian daily newspaper Jutarnji from the end of last week featured an interesting look at the numbers of tourists that Zagreb receives, and the experiences of those visiting Croatia’s capital.

Top Ten Destinations in Croatia - Zagreb
St Mark’s Church in Zagreb

It’s often been commented (by ourselves and others!) that the city is overlooked as a tourist destination in favour of the coast – perhaps understandably, given the charms and obvious delights of the towns, cities and islands on the Adriatic. However, Zagreb is certainly increasing in popularity as a place to visit. Last year, 602,186 tourists came to Zagreb, a figure which was up 4% on the year before. Of these visitors, most came from Germany (37,715), followed by America (29,769), Italy (29,201), Spain (29,002) and then Japan (23,611).

This increase in visitor numbers may well continue into 2011. During the Easter weekend, Zagreb welcomed 5,800 tourists, which is up by a a huge 48% on Easter 2010. (Although, of course, Easter fell earlier in the year in 2010.)

On average, most foreign visitors come to Zagreb for three nights and stay in a hotel or hostel. Those that stay in hotels are typically 43 years old and will spend €144 per day. Those that stay in hostels, meanwhile, have an average age of 28 and will spend €51 per day. The majority of visitors to Zagreb come for business, a short holiday, or to attend an entertainment or sporting event. (Seeing as Zagreb’s calendar of events is rather jam-packed this year – including concerts from a number of world-famous stars – that’s hardly surprising!)

Of course, visitors to Zagreb have a number of positive and negative comments to make about the city. In general, tourists find that taxis are expensive and also comment on the unnecessary parking restrictions in the centre of the city. Zagreb’s airport also comes under fire for its provincial “feel” with only one terminal building, whilst the graffiti that appears on some buildings in the city centre is understandably disliked. Some visitors also comment that they are disappointed in not being able to buy many souvenirs, whilst the short museum opening hours is also commented on.

Happily, visitors do also comment on a number of positive things about the city. They say that Zagreb’s cleanliness and safety are two major pluses, whilst also praising the city’s friendly people and atmosphere. Many also enjoy the rich history of the city.

Let’s hope that Zagreb’s visitor numbers increase further and many more come to enjoy this city!

Source: Jutarnji

Tourist numbers over Easter indicate a good start to the season

Over Easter weekend in Croatia, many areas of the country welcomed their first large influx of visitors, perhaps pointing to indicators for the proper season ahead. Initials reports suggest that around 75,000 tourists visited the Croatian coast alone, with good weather prompting a number of last-minute arrivals.

Istria received around 30,000 tourists, mainly from nearby countries such as Slovenia, Italy, Austria and Germany, which is 15% up on Easter weekend last year – though Easter fell earlier in the year in 2010. This coming weekend – which includes the Labour Day holiday – is expected to bring around 70,000 tourists to the county. 70 hotels were open over the Easter weekend, as well as – unusually – a few of the best campsites there (which normally only start opening in May), as bookings were up 10-20% this year.

In the Kvarner Riviera, 110 hotels were open during Easter weekend, in which 18,500 guests stayed. Meanwhile, 15 hotels in the Makarska Riviera welcomed around 7,000 visitors. Plitvice Lakes received around 2,000 visitors, with most foreign visitors from Japan, South Korea, Italy and Germany.

Dubrovnik received 6,000 tourists, with foreign visitors mostly from Britain, France, Spain, Scandinavia and Germany – similar to last year. About 1,000 tourists stayed in Split, although numbers of visitors in the city each day reached 10,000 with additional tourists arriving on day trips from cruise ships and by bus from other locations in Dalmatia. In total in the area of central Dalmatia, 90 hotels were open.

Vjesnik reports that Zadar may have had the best Easter of all, in terms of visitors numbers. They report that evenings in the town often looked as busy as they would be at the height of the season, and one hotel group even having to stop taking bookings for Easter weekend.

Slobodna Dalmacija, meanwhile, also states that Bol on the island of Brac had a great weekend, where apparently all hotels were open and filled to capacity.

Sources: Vjesnik, Slobodna Dalmacija

Croatian travel agents brought in more foreign tourists in 2010 than in 2009

Newly released statistics show that 5.4% more foreign tourists came to Croatia via the country’s tour operators in 2010 than in the previous year, amounting to about 100,000 more foreign holidaymakers – with 1.83 million tourists booking through Croatian travel agents in total. These holidaymakers stayed in the country for 12.6 million nights, which is about 1 million nights – or 9.3% more – than in 2009.

As 9.11 million foreign tourists visited Croatia during 2010, the above figures mean that Croatian travel agents brought in about 20.1% of all foreign holidaymakers. Likewise, the number of nights stayed by foreign tourists totaled 51 million, which means that these travel agents accounted for 25% of such bookings.

On average, tourists booking through Croatian travel agencies stayed for seven nights in total. German tourists stayed for the most nights booked through travel agencies – 25.4% of the total – followed by those from Italy (9.2%); Poland (7.4%); Czech Republic (7%); Slovenia (6.3%); Great Britain (5.2%); France (5%) and Russia (5%).

Croatian travel agents also reported an increase in the number of bookings made by domestic tourists (up 8.5%), in contrast to overall figures of domestic tourism in Croatia, which reveal a fall in the number of these tourists holidaying in 2010 compared to 2009.

Meanwhile, these agencies also reveal that more Croatian tourists travelled abroad during 2010 than compared to the previous year – 4.6% more travelled abroad, staying for 6.1% more nights. The most popular countries for Croatian tourists – booking through domestic agencies – were Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Tunisia – and on average, these tourists stayed for 5 nights.

Overall, therefore, these statistics show that Croatian tour operators performed much better in 2010 to 2009, but are still down on the bookings taken in all sectors in 2008. 899 agencies operated in Croatia in 2010, 25 less than the previous year.

Source: Vjesnik


Split looking forward to a great season

The city of Split can expect its best ever season, according to the Director of its Tourist Office, Vedran Matosic. This is as a result of initial findings from local hotels, hostels and private accommodation places, as well as figures from online reservation websites. In fact, the one major failing that Split may encounter this season is that it may not have enough beds to accommodate all of its guests, as was the case in July and August 2010.

Split, Croatia

Easter time expects the first influx of significant tourist numbers, although the winter months of 2011 have already seen decent crowds of tourists, up on last year. For the first two months of 2011, Split received 9,978 visitors, 6,685 of which were domestic, mostly business visitors. During these two months, visitors to Split – both domestic and foreign – stayed for a total of 22,750 nights.

In comparison to last year, when Split received 7,000 visitors during January and February (with visitors staying for 14,712 nights), 2011’s figures are about 30% up.

Top place of the list of foreign visitors to Split in the first two months of this year goes to the Slovenes, followed by Italians, Germans, Americans and Japanese.

Source: Slobodna Dalmacija