Photos of Croatia - Photos of Split

Tourist stats for January to May are in…showing more visitors to Croatia!

Tourist stats Croatia - Split Riva

The Riva in Split

The Croatian National Tourist Board yesterday revealed the latest set of tourist figures for the first five months of 2012 – showing that, happily, the number of visitors coming to Croatia is increasing this year too.

Taking a look at the overall stats first, 1,780,688 tourists visited Croatia from January to May this year. That’s an increase of 9% in visitor numbers on the same period in 2011. Of this amount, 1,439,676 were foreign tourists (up 13%) and 341,012 were domestic tourists (down 4%). The number of nights that tourists stayed in the country is, of course, another important statistic – and for the first five months, tourists stayed for 6,047,318 nights in Croatia (up 13%), of which a rather large 5,140,959 were foreign guests (up 17%) and 906,359 by domestic ones (down 4%). So not only are more foreign tourists visiting Croatia this year so far, they’re also staying for longer!

Taking a look at the main tourist spots in Croatia, Istria proved to be was the most popular county, bringing in 487,805 tourists (up 13% on the year before) who stayed for 2,055,855 nights (up 17%). The Kvarner region, meanwhile, attracted 335,028 guests (6% up), who stayed for 1,093,484 nights (9% up).

All the Dalmatian counties put together drew in 664,603 tourists in total (8% up), who stayed for 2,346,267 nights (11% up) – breaking this down into the individual counties, Split-Dalmatia county attracted the most guests (231,521, 8% up) followed by Dubrovnik-Neretva county (214,025 guests, 13% up), then Zadar county (136,965 guests, 12% up) and finally Sibenik-Knin county (82,092 guests, which is 6% down on last year).

Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, also posted an increase in visitor numbers for January to May this year, with a healthy 226,291 tourists visiting – 5% up – who stayed for 424,580 nights (11% up).

The figures from the Croatian Tourist Board also split the statistics down into nationalities – at least, in terms of how many more of each nationality visited and the increase in the number of nights they stayed, rather than actual totals. These show growth from all nationalities, which is wonderful, of course…although perhaps any nationalities that posted negative percentages just weren’t listed!

Of most interest is that there was a very healthy 54% more visitors from Japan in the first five months of the year, who stayed for 49% more nights than last year. Polish guests also arrived in increasing numbers – 49% more this year so far, staying for 53% more nights. Even German guests (who already visit the country in relatively high numbers) also upped their numbers – 40% more visited.

As we’re a UK-based site, we should also highlight that there were 14% more British tourists during January to May 2012, who stayed for 17% more nights!

The month of May alone also posted an increase in visitor numbers – 881,726 tourists in total arrived (17% more on May 2011), staying for 3,414,883 nights (24% up). Of this, 760,472 were foreign (21% more), accounting for 3,080,851 nights stayed (27% up).

It’s the Germans that posted the best increase for the month of May – a staggering 64% more arrived in May 2012 than in the same month last year, staying for 65% more nights. I guess those reports we’ve read about healthy booking levels for Croatia amongst German tour operators and the fact that more German guests are considering visiting Croatia – either for the first time ever, or returning for the first time after the war – are true! And good on them!

Sources: Croatian National Tourist Board, Vecernji,