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

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

10.6m tourists in Croatia in 2010

Croatian Television today reported on some interesting tourist statistics for last year, revealing that 10.6 million tourists enjoyed a holiday in Croatia during 2010, up 3.2% on the year before. These tourists stayed for 56.41 million nights in total, which is also an increase – of 2.6% – on 2009.

These figures include both foreign and domestic (i.e. Croatian) tourists, although the number of the former far outweighs the latter. 86% of tourists – or 9.11 million – were foreign visitors, who stayed for 90.4% of all visitors nights, amounting to 51 million nights. These figures for foreign tourists are up 5% and 3.6% on 2009 respectively.

Although domestic tourist make up only a small proportion of visitor numbers, their numbers actually declined in 2010 compared to the year before. Croatian tourist numbers went done by 5.3% in 2010, and they stayed for 5.8% fewer nights.

Judged by the number of nights they stayed in Croatia, visitors from Germany were the most active tourist group, staying for 22.5% of the total amount of foreign tourist nights. They were then followed by visitors from Slovenia (11.5%); Italy (9.3%); Austria (8.7%); the Czech Republic (8.2%); Poland (5.7%); the Netherlands (4.4%); and Slovakia (4.1%).

Russian visitors posted the greatest increase in numbers, with 165,000 arrivals (35.3% up) in 2010, staying for 1.37 million nights (30.8% up). There were also healthy increases in visitor numbers from Ukraine, Turkey and China. Interestingly, however, Japanese visitor numbers fell by 9.8% from 2009 to 2010.

Source: HRT

Low cost airlines help Zadar Airport grow

Yesterday’s Slobodna Dalmacija featured an interesting article on passenger numbers at Zadar Airport, with 2010’s seasonal flight timetable coming to an end this past weekend.

This article reveals that this year, 270,000 passengers passed through the airport, which adds up to a very healthy 28% increase on 2009 – and a massive jump from 2006, when only 65,000 passengers travelled through.

64% of travellers arriving at the airport flew with Ryanair, which has links from eleven European cities in England, Scotland, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, Sweden, Italy and Norway to Zadar. Germanwings flights from four cities accounted for 17% of passenger traffic at the airport.

In total, 80% of passengers at Zadar Airport arrive with low-cost airlines, which has helped the airport considerably over the years; only six years ago, the airport was threatened with the possibility of closure due to low usage. Benefits to the area are easy to imagine – and, in fact, a study was conducted last year that showed how 80,000 tourists arriving with Ryanair and Germanwings  earn the local economy €40 million.

Low-cost flights to Zadar Airport are due to start up again on 28th March 2011, though routes are yet to be confirmed. Lufthansa, however,  has stated that it will increase the number of flights it operates to the Dalmatian airport up to three flights per week.

Source: Slobodna Dalmacija

Tourism stats for September revealed

Earlier this week, a number of Croatian newspaper covered the release of tourism statistics for Croatia for the month of September – and therefore also the stats for the first nine months of 2010 overall.

For September, Croatia received 1.1 million tourists, an increase of 3% over the same month last year. Meanwhile, these visitors stayed for a total of 6.6 million nights (6.2 million of which can be attributed to foreign visitors), an increase of 6% over 2009.

A number of regions received a healthy increase in overnight stays this September from last year, with Split-Dalmatia the most successful, achieving an increase of 20%. Zadar and Sibenik-Knin also fared quite well, with increases in 15% and 14% respectively. Dubrovnik-Neretva, perhaps unsurprisingly due to the popularity of Dubrovnik, also reached a healthy increase of 12% whilst it’s also rather pleasing to see that Zagreb – sometimes overlooked as a visitor destination in favour of the coast – achieved an increase of 13%. On the other hand, the region of Kvarner – home to resorts such as Opatija and Crikvenica, and the islands of Krk and Cres – didn’t fair anywhere near as well, with an overall decrease in overnight stays of 2% from 2009, whilst Istria and Lika-Senj, in which Plitvice Lakes are situated, reached the same levels as last September.

In terms of visitor arrivals, Split-Dalmatia received 16% more visitors this September and Zagreb 10% – whilst Sibenik-Knin (despite its healthy increase in overnight stay numbers) and Istria received 4% fewer visitors and Kvarner 3%.

Visitors from Russia were the most numerous this September – they accounted for 43% of arrivals and 41% of nights stayed – although there were also good numbers of visitors from American, Spain and Poland.

All of this means that overall for 2010, there have been 9.8 million tourists and 59 million overnight stays (53 million by foreign visitors) in Croatia, with tourism Damir Bajs saying that another 1 million tourists are expected by year end.

In terms of visitor nationalities for the year as a whole, there have been increases in tourists from “primary countries” of Slovenia (up 6%), Czech Republic (5%), Germany (3%), Austria (2%), whilst there has been quite a sharp fall in visitor numbers from Italy (down 9%) as well as a fall in visitor numbers from the Netherlands (down 4%). As with September, there has also been a big rise in visitor numbers from Russia for the whole year – up 34% – with 18% more Spaniards in 2010 and 8% more visitors from Poland.

Source: Vecernji & Vjesnik

Zadar Tourist Board reveals its visitor numbers for 2010

Yesterday’s edition of the Dalmatian newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija reported on statistics provided by the Zadar Tourist Board on the number of tourists in Zadar so far this year – and it’s a little bit of a mixed bag in comparison to 2009.

The tourist board has said it predicts that there will be over one million overnight stays in the town by the end of the year – and seeing as January to August this year already saw 918,343 stays, that’s not a bad prediction. This figure is a rather considerable rise of 13% over the same period last year. However, the number of overnight stays is split into 134,583 stays by Croatian guests (a fall of 3% from 2009) and 783,760 by foreign guests (up 16%). There were 217,030 guests in Zadar during the same period – 36,276 domestic tourists and 180,754 foreign – which is just 1% greater than in 2009.

However, there was actually a fall in the number guests for August alone. 63,182 guests came to Zadar during last month (6,141 domestic, 57,041 foreign) which is a drop of 4% from August last year. Despite the fall in the number of tourists visiting, there was still a rise in the number of overnight stays by 12% to 330,069.

Overall, therefore, the number of guests visiting Zadar is just above last year’s level, though the town’s guests are staying for quite a bit longer.

Top nationalities visiting Zadar were Italians and Germans – despite recording an overall fall in their numbers by 33% and 4% respectively. In the ranking of visitor numbers after these two were guests from Spain, France, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, and the UK, with a healthy increase in numbers from the first two and last country reported. An increase in guests from Russia, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Australia and the US has also been noted.

Croatia’s tourist numbers, January – August 2010

Further to my post last week on tourism numbers in Croatia, and the tweets yesterday, many Croatian media sources have reported on the most up-to-date tourism numbers or the country for 2010 so far, which were presented at a meeting on tourism in Opatija this week. Over all, it’s good news – prompting Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, who was present at the meeting, to declare this year the best tourist season ever.

Overall figures for the year show an increase of 3% in the number of arrivals to Croatia, as well as an increase of 6% in overnight stays. (Numbers are compared to 2009’s figures.) This equates to 8.2 million tourist arrivals so far this year, and 51.7 million overnight stays.

All of the Adriatic counties have recorded increases in the number of overnight stays this year, between 4% and 12%. Dubrovnik-Neretva county has been the most successful, recording an increase of 12%. Most visitors were from Germany or Austria, whilst there was a healthy 30% increase in the number of Russian visitors – no doubt helped by the fact that Croatia suspended visa requirements for Russian citizens for the duration of the tourist season. There was, however, a rather severe drop of 13% in the number of Italian visitors.

Croatian Tourism Minister Damir Bajs also stated that every 50th tourist in Europe came to Croatia this year, whilst for the third year in a row, Croatia has been above the European average for tourism numbers.

Sources: Vjesnik, VecernjiHRT