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