A recent report in Croatian daily newspaper Jutarnji unveiled some interesting statistics about the tourist season so far in Croatia. As often mentioned in the press, Croatia has had a successful July and August, with tourist growth in some regions in the double digits. Dalmatia and its towns and cities – such as Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik – had the best growth, particularly in August, but areas such as Istria and Kvarner which have struggled during the year, have also seen better results during August but far less than in Dalmatia.
Looking at various destinations, Hvar Tourist Board suggests that the island achieved a rise in visitors by 15% in July 2010 to the same month the previous year, whilst figures for August should be even better. Overall, the first seven months of the year saw a rise in visitor numbers by 16%; there was a vast increase in visitors from certain countries, including 34% more from Norway and 25% more from Spain.
Split, however, saw a 30% increase in the number of overnight stays during July, partially due to the fact that more and more people are choosing to stay in the city itself rather than just visit on a day trip. (The average length of stay has increased to 3.5 days.) The director of the tourist office there, Vedran Matosic, stated that there was an increased amount of visitors from England, the USA, France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
Dubrovnik, meanwhile, achieved 1.6 million overnight stays from the beginning of the year to 26th August, which is 12% greater than last year, whilst this statistic for the month of August could be between 10-15% higher than 2009. There’s an interesting increase in visitors from Spain (up 25%), Australia (35%) and Russia (30%), with 300% more visitors from Turkey and Greece – though, of course, visitors from these countries are still comparatively low in number.
The tourist association of Rovinj says that in terms of the number of overnight stays, their July is at the same level as 2009, whilst August was 2% better than the previous year – and for the year to 27th August, the number of overnight stays has also risen by 2%. So far, they’ve achieved 2.2 million stays, with 2.65 million expected by year end. The director of tourism in Rovinj, Odeta Sapac, believes the slower growth in Rovinj than in some Dalmatian resorts is a a result of the Istrian town having already nearly reached its capacity – and given the rise in popularity of the region even soon after the war, that may well be true.
Overall, Croatia has achieved 3% more visitors and 5% more overnight stays for the first seven months of 2010. By comparison, the Jutarnji article suggests that many European countries, such as Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Greece – are expecting a drop in the number of the visitors for the first months of this year.