Sunday, 5 June 2022

Brits and Germans Dominate Dubrovnik-Neretva County Overnight Stays

June the 5th, 2022 - Northern European tourists including Germans and Brits have dominated in terms of the number of Dubrovnik-Neretva County overnight stays so far this year.

The pre-season has been absolutely excellent so far, with tourists coming from far and wide to spend time up and down the country now that the vast majority of European countries, including Croatia, have scrapped their coronavirus-induced epidemiological restrictions following two very stale and toilsome years.

With the very height of the boiling summer tourist season now very rapidly approaching, it seems that the country can finally count on reaching the figures of the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019 and filling its pockets once again. Tourism is by far Croatia's strongest economic branch, accounting for as much as 20 percent of its overall GDP, so floods of tourists and high numbers being recorded within the eVisitor system can't come soon enough for the enfeebled sector.

As Morski writes, when it comes to Dubrovnik-Neretva County overnight stays, foreign guests from European countries such as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Germany, France, and the rest of the Republic of Croatia realised the most overnight stays, with guests from across the pond in the United States also adding to that, local portal eDubrovnik writes.

From the beginning of the year to the end of May 2022, 964,761 Dubrovnik-Neretva County overnight stays were realised. When compared to the same period back in 2021, there were 343 percent more overnight stays achieved, which is very encouraging indeed.

Most overnight stays from January to the end of May were realised by tourists from the rest of of Europe, including neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, Great Britain, Croatia, Germany, and France, followed by guests from the United States of America.

When compared to the record year of 2019, there was an increase in overnight stays from the domestic market and from Ireland, while 77 percent of overnight stays came from the United Kingdom, 67 percent from Germany, 78 percent from France and 62 percent came from further afield in the United States.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Friday, 3 June 2022

May 2022 Sees 178% More Croatian Tourist Arrivals Than May 2021

June the 3rd, 2022 - Croatian tourist arrivals are showing some very refereshing numbers following two pandemic-dominated years in which things were extremely slow and concerning for all stakeholders in Croatia's strongest economic branch.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, more than 190,000 tourists are currently staying across the Republic of Croatia, continuing the good trend from May with 1.3 million arrivals and 4.9 million overnight stays, which is 178 and 155 percent more than was recorded back during same month in 2021.

Of the current 190,000 tourists in Croatia, about 175,000 are foreigners, most of them Germans, Austrians and Britons. Tourists from Croatia, Poland, Slovenia and the USA follow, according to data from the country's eVisitor and eCrew systems.

When it comes to the most recent Croatian tourist arrivals, most visitors are staying overnight in hotels and camps, with slightly less staying in private accommodation, while in May most overnight stays were recorded in hotels, 1.8 million of them to be precise, followed by private accommodation with 1.1 million, in camps more than a million overnight stays were recorded, and in the nautical charter, 326 thousand overnight stays were officially realised.

Back during the month of May 2022, with a total of 1.3 million Croatian tourist arrivals and 4.9 million overnight stays realised, the level of 78 and 86 percent of the traffic from May 2019, considered by all to be a record year, was successfully and very encouragingly reached.

During the first five months of this year, there were almost 10 million overnight stays recorded, or 153 percent more than in the same period last year, during which Croatia officially recorded 2.9 million overnight stays. When compared to the pre-pandemic, record year od 2019, that’s 77 percent of the results in terms of Croatian tourist arrivals and 88 percent in terms of realised/recorded overnight stays.

Croatian tourist arrivals throughout the height of the summer season are expected to continue to be excellent, as long as nothing drastic changes in regard to the coronavirus pandemic, which is barely being considered as an issue at all anymore, and as long as the ongoing war in Ukraine doesn't escalate even further.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Thursday, 2 June 2022

Asian Tourists Returning to Croatia, Numbers May Reach 2019 Levels

June the 2nd, 2022 - Asian tourists are likely to make a return to Croatia this year following two pandemic-dominated years. Could we see the figures we enjoyed back during the record year of 2019? Some believe so.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, after a two year halt, the first group of guests from South Korea this year have arrived in Croatia, organised by the Uniline agency. This is a market that was especially responsible for the tourist boom here in the City of Zagreb over the last few years before the pandemic struck.

Boris Zgomba, President of the Management Board of Uniline, expects great interest and the return of Asian tourists to Croatia in a relatively short time.

"The arrival of the first Asian tourists in Croatia is a good announcement for this year's tourist season, as evidenced by the increased interest from this market in the last two weeks, which has confirmed a number of groups that will visit this country during the months of June and July. Given the interest and the state of reservations, we can already expect the return of the level of tourist traffic from South Korea to the level of 2019, and potentially even higher numbers,'' said Boris Zgomba.

Uniline is the first destination management company in the Republic of Croatia and the country's immediate region to begin to primaril focus on distant Asian markets more than 10 years ago, opening its own branches in Seoul, among other locations, in order to grab the potential of the fastest growing tourism markets.

"Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, tourist traffic from Asia has been almost completely interrupted all over the world, including in Europe and Croatia. However, this weekend, after a two-year pandemic period, the first group of tourists from South Korea landed at Zagreb Airport, and they'll visit Zagreb, Plitvice, Sibenik, Split and Dubrovnik. Asian tourists are known for touring destinations in several countries as part of their travels.

At the same time, Asian tourists use the services of restaurants, public transport, museums, cultural and archaeological institutions. They show a lot of interest and curiosity and are very active when they're here. They're not the type of visitors who come solely for the sun and sea, they want to get to know the area,'' said Zgomba, adding that Asian tourists bring significant traffic in the pre-season and post-season in Croatia.

The programmes of Korean and other Asian tourists whose arrival in Croatia has been announced this summer include several Croatian destinations that will be visited in seven to ten day periods. Back during the record, pre-pandemic year of 2019, more than 400,000 tourists from South Korea came to Croatia, spending more than 511,000 overnight stays here.

Until the pandemic struck, and when focusing on Zagreb, guests from South Korea were second in the number of foreign guests visiting the capital. There are announcements now circulating that as long as no new problems with the pandemic occur and as long as the ongoing war in Ukraine doesn't escalate, Croatia could have a better tourist year than the record year of 2019, and it seems that distant markets will finally contribute to that once again.

For more, check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Czech Tourists in Croatia Could Dominate This Summer Season

May the 25th, 2022 - Czech tourists in Croatia throughout this year's rapidly approaching summer season could be a ''hit'', at least according to the current indicators of Croatia Luxury Rent's sales statistics.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the number of bookings in luxury private accommodation from individuals living in the Czech Republic is growing significantly according to the share of the total number of bookings, and has approached the number of arrangements sold from nearby Austria and neighbouring Slovenia. This is an increase of as much as 23 percent compared to last season, which could put Czech tourists in Croatia in 2022 very high on the list when it comes to foreign visitors.

"On the other hand, it seems that due to the impact of the war in Ukraine, instability and the influx of large numbers of refugees, the markets of Poland and Slovakia are recording a decline in reservations," the aforementioned agency said.

With that said, economic growth and gradually deepening pockets which are strengthening the Czech market have caused a significant increase in the number of requests, bookings and overall interest in coming to the Republic of Croatia this summer from that country.

The Czech Republic is otherwise one of the fastest growing economies in all of Europe, and their positive economic results of course bring an increase in wages and, consequently, purchasing power and general consumption. Those factors were visibly declining back during the beginning of the global coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but have thankfully returned to a higher level over the last year.

The fact that the Czech Republic has one of the lowest unemployment rates within the entire European Union (EU) should be especially emphasised when it comes to spending power, and as such the likelihood of Czech tourists in Croatia being very numerous this summer. Last year, Croatia recorded an impressive 775,000 arrivals from the Czech Republic with 5.2 million overnight stays also realised, about 50 percent more than back during the previous year, and it was Croatia's fifth largest emitting market of all.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Huge Sums Secured for Post-Pandemic Croatian Tourism Recovery

May the 25th, 2022 - A massive 1.3 billion kuna has been secured for Croatian tourism recovery following to unprecedented pandemic-dominated years in which very little, if anything, was realised at all.

As Dora Koretic/Jutarnji/Novac writes, according to the Ministry of Tourism, for the first time, a significant amount has been secured for Croatian tourism recovery in the next Multiannual Financial Framework, from which the sector will have access to 1.3 billion kuna.

These are funds from within the Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Programme and the Integrated Territorial Programme for the period from 2021 to 2027, of which most of the money should be available to small and medium enterprises which operate in the field of tourism.

As has since been learned from the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, companies will have 689.4 million kuna available under the allocation for Croatian tourism recovery, which will be made available through financial instruments.

"The money is intended for investment in smart technologies, innovation and development, job creation, for the growth of competitiveness and new products, such as the construction of small hotels, renovation, digitalisation or the green transition," the competent ministry revealed.

Wellness tourism

In addition, 40 million euros/302 million kuna were provided for tourism - twice.

The first part of this cash refers to "improving the role of culture and sustainable tourism in economic development, social inclusion and social innovation", where money is being provided for investments in public tourism infrastructure, primarily healthcare, wellness and wellbeing tourism, then follows active tourism, that is, sports infrastructure and the valorization of natural and cultural heritage.

According to the ministry, this is a grant, while a new 302 million kuna has been provided through the "Integrated Territorial Programme", which is responsible for the development and implementation of the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds.

"These investments are focused on public tourism and sports infrastructure in urban areas, hilly and mountainous areas, as well as the islands. All of the investments, as well as those financed by the National Fund for Recovery and Resilience (Croatian: NPOO), focus primarily on the digital and green transition,'' they said from the Ministry, which noted that the ultimate goals should be to reduce the impact of tourism on the environment, reduce energy consumption, increase the production of clean energy and reduce costs in general.

This week, the Croatian tourism sector finally welcomed the announcement of the full and detailed criteria for the possibility of using the money earmarked for tourism under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, under which, the plan for Croatian tourism recovery will have access to money amounting to a massive 2.1 billion kuna.

You can find out more about how Bjelovar is planning to utilise these huge sums by clicking here.

Tourist infrastructure

Details for applying for the first tender, intended to finance tourist infrastructure, after much anticipation, were finally announced at a public consultation this week. These are the details of the call worth 930 million kuna, intended for local and regional self-government units, but also with the possibility of applying to private investors, mainly through public-private partnerships.

Half of the money is actually intended for publicly owned spas, ie for the purpose of wellness and health tourism, while the rest relates to visitor infrastructure and active tourism infrastructure.

However, most of the sector, ie its private part, is most looking forward to the publication of all of the details and criteria for applying for the second call within the NPOO, worth 1.2 billion kuna in total.

The Tourism Ministry revealed that most of the money will be used for hotels, worth 720 million kuna, mainly for investment in accommodation facilities, including ancillary facilities such as bars, restaurants, congress halls or amusement parks.

For more on post-pandemic Croatian tourism recovery, make sure to keep up with our dedicated politics section.

Monday, 23 May 2022

Croatia Full of Lifestyle & Safety, Croatia's Tourism Jewels

Several years ago, a friend of mine on Hvar who runs a luxury tourism agency on Hvar told me about the moment he discovered the secret of Croatian tourism.

"I was in an olive grove with a group of rich New York clients," he explained. "Olive tasting, peka lunch, the standard. One of the guests came over to me and motioned to a lemon tree and its abundant fruit nearby. He asked if it would be ok to pick one. Pick ten, I replied, and off he went. At the end of the week, he came up to me to thank me for an incredible week, but he just wanted me to know what the highlight had been for him."

"Picking those lemons," he said. "I grew up in New York and have only seen lemons in a store or on a dinner plate. To pick one as nature intended was just wow."

The secret of quality tourism, my friend concluded, was understanding the things we take for granted but that have a high value for others, and then putting the two together. 

 A lot of lemons have been picked for tidy sums over the last 10 years on Hvar. A fair exchange for the authentic experience. 

Growing up on Hvar, there is no reason to think that picking a lemon from a tree could be an exceptional experience for someone else. It is human nature for people to take their surroundings for granted and to assume that others are aware of them too. But I have always found that listening to visitors and tourists helps to show where the gaps in knowledge and understanding are. And if we are aware of those gaps and can address them, then there is benefit all round. 

It is natural for people in Croatia to assume that tourists coming to visit know where Croatia is on the map, but many really have no clue. After the World Cup heroics of 2018 in Russia, 'Where is Croatia' was one of the most-searched terms out there. People knew that it was over 'in eastern Europe' somewhere, but many could not pin it on the map. 

Croatia's geography has been looming large in Google Search again recently, with one of the most-searched terms finding TCN in recent weeks - Is Croatia near Ukraine?

The reality is that what was the former socialist bloc in Central and Eastern Europe still confuses many in the West, and a bit more clarity on Croatia's geographical position would be useful, plugging one of those gaps in knowledge by potential tourists and assumed knowledge by locals. 

ukraine-croatia.JPG

I decided to write an article on the subject earlier this month - Is Croatia Near Ukraine? Some Answers to Tourist Google Searches. It was one of the most popular of the year so far. So how to plug that information gap? A simple message, reinforced often, to pinpoint Croatia's Central European location, could be done with a combination of these two facts:

Croatia, just 25 km from Italy, and with a capital city which lies west of Vienna.

The assumption that Croatia is somewhere vague in eastern Europe is gone, as is the tantalising prospect of adding it to western European itineraries. 

This article was prompted by a phone call from Croatian television last week, inviting me to appear on the national evening news to comment on a new campaign from the Croatian National Tourist Board, in particular its new slogan, Croatia - Your life, Your time, Your experience. The accompanying byline on the official YouTube channel is Our Life is defined by the memories we create, and our life goal should be to indulge ourselves and the people around us.

I politely declined the invitation, given that I currently have two ongoing lawsuits from the Croatian National Tourist Board (new episode coming soon, but you can catch up on the first two years in Diary of a Croatian Lawsuit), including one for satirical comment on their slogan.  

A little like the current Croatia, Full of Life, I am not sure how this new slogan applies to Croatia or showcases its USP or strengths and attributes. You could replace the word Croatia for pretty much any country on the planet and they would come up with a version of the same thing. 

I thought back to the episode of the lemon tree. What were the things that we take for granted here that surprise and impress our visitors?

I have spoken to a LOT of tourists, digital nomads, and expats over the years here. They all have their reasons for visiting - and staying in some cases - but there are a number of factors which are key to them, several of which are a surprise, as they were not aware of them before they visited. And a little like the lemon tree example, if we can listen and plug those information gaps, the brand of Croatia and what it really offers will be all the stronger. And the good news is that, unlike Full of Life and Your Life, Your  Time, Your  Experiences, they cannot be applied everywhere.  They include:

Safety. Croatia is one of the safest countries in the world. I am not talking about COVID-safe (or any associated campaigns claiming that with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the EU), but safety from a security perspective. I have met so many expats and diaspora who are here because it is a safe place to bring up families. My own personal experience raising two little ones on Hvar was magical. Many are stunned at the safety at night in the big cities, where young women walk home alone and unhindered. In an increasingly uncertain world, the safety of Croatia compared to other countries, is a great marketing tool, especially when coupled with everything else on offer. 

Lifestyle. Croatia really does have about the best lifestyle in Europe, and there is a lot more to it than 2-hour coffees on the riva. As more people are going down the remote work route, lifestyle is one of the key factors in choosing a destination. Imagine how popular a beautiful destination which had the best lifestyle and was one of the safest places in Europe might be. I am not a fan of the Croatia, Full of Life slogan, but one of its advantages is its flexible usage - Croatia, Full of Culture, Croatia, Full of Wine etc. And yet - according to Google - Croatia, Full of Lifestyle has never been used. Until this article. It could and should be a cornerstone of Croatia's message to the world. 

Croats speak excellent English.  This was a real surprise to me, but I have lost count of the number of visitors who have been stunned by the level of spoken English in Croatia (I just assumed people knew). Croats speak English as well as any country I have lived in (and significantly better than in Newcastle and Glasgow...), and much better than other tourism competitors, according to the many tourists I have talked to about this. Knowing that there is no language barrier to overcome is a definite factor in destination decision-making, particularly for those looking to stay a bit longer. 

The WiFi is great. This is more regarding feedback from digital nomads, but many have expressed surprise at how good the WiFi is in general in Croatia. Of course, there are more remote places where it is patchy, but the knowledge that getting online is not going to be an issue is reassuring. 

Authentic experiences. It feels like the West as it once was, with so many local traditions and authentic experiences. I hear a version of this sentence a lot. For the very simple reason that it is true. Croatia is arguably the authentic experience capital of Europe, with something happening 365 days a year, all over the country. I have never experienced so many weird and wonderful festivals and traditions elsewhere in the world as I have in Croatia, one of the reasons we are creating our new CROMADS platform. In an increasingly standardised world, destinations known for authentic experiences will become more attractive. 

How about a message of Croatia, Your Safe, Authentic, Lifestyle Destination, with a byline including English spoken, fast WiFi, just 25 km from Italy sound?

Read more: 10 Things Croatia Does Better than Anywhere Else 

 

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Dalmatian Coast Particularly Vulnerable to Fluctuating Tourism Trends

May the 19th, 2022 - It's not exactly news that Croatia as a whole is heavily dependent on tourism, with the sector being this country's strongest economic branch. The Dalmatian coast, however, is the most vulnerable location of all in this country when it comes to tourist trend fluctuations.

As Morski writes, the Institute of Economics in Zagreb recently conducted the first comprehensive study called: "The vulnerability of local self-government units of the Republic of Croatia to tourism activities" which reveals interesting trends related to the exposure of the Croatian economy and local units to tourism activities and trends. The study was implemented as part of the Mastercard project Uplift, which is intended for the development of micro, small and medium enterprises with a focus on tourism.

The results of the study, made as a step in promoting sustainable tourism and integrating tourism into the broader context of the country's overall economic development, were presented at a panel discussion.

Croatian tourism and the country's GDP

Tourism is the most important Croatian economic sector. Back in pre-pandemic 2019, tourism activity in Croatia directly generated 11.8 percent of the country's total GDP. At the same time, the gross value added of tourism activities in that year amounted to a massive 82.8 billion kuna, which is 24.4 percent of the total gross value added that year. Croatia is also much more dependent on tourism revenues than its Mediterranean competitors are. As such, tourist revenues back in 2018 and 2019 amounted to as much as 18.3 and 21 percent of GDP, and in 2020 and 2021 were reduced to 8.9 and 15.8 percent of GDP due to the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic on tourist and travel demand. Even such reduced revenues from tourism in the two pandemic-dominated years were still, when expressed as a share of GDP, by far the largest in the entire European Union (EU).

A study by the Institute of Economics in Zagreb further analysed the situation as it was from 2012 to 2021.

Some of the interesting data from the study shows that a comparison of the values ​​of the seasonality index in 2021 compared to 2012 suggests that the shortening of the tourist season was recorded by local units in the Dalmatian hinterland that have started to engage in tourism more intensively during the summer tourist season.

When the value of the index of vulnerability to the concentration and seasonality of Croatian tourism is observed, it grows across most local units in the analysed period. This is happening because the demand for Croatian tourist products is growing intensively, so the concentration of demand in a large part of local units is increasing. The most vulnerable are the local units of Zadar County, followed by Split-Dalmatia County, Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Sibenik-Knin County and Istria County. With only Istria County standing out, it's obvious that the Dalmatian coast is extremely vulnerable to any alterations when it comes to tourism.

In addition, the study shows that the share of private accommodation in terms of total accommodation capacities has increased significantly in the vast majority of local units, while the share of accommodation in hotels, hostels and camps is declining. The most unfavourable structure of accommodation capacities is recorded by Split-Dalmatia County, which has 87.8 percent of private accommodation capacities, and the most favourable is the City of Zagreb, with 52.7 percent of accommodation capacities in hotels, hostels and camps.

Compared to the competition, the demand for Croatia is stronger

Compared to 2012, the number of beds per capita increased by 38.3 percent, which is the largest increase in the concentration of accommodation facilities among Mediterranean countries. At the same time, the number of tourist overnight stays increased by 38.2 percent in the period from 2012 to 2019, reaching 7.05 million overnight stays in 2019.

"The good news is that, compared to the competition across the rest of the Mediterranean, Croatia is also recording a significant increase in demand for its tourism. If we analyse this increase in intensity by counties in more detail, we come to an interesting conclusion: the wave of interest in Croatia spilled over from the usual coastal destinations to the interior, to locations not so much engaged in tourism - such as units in Istria, Dalmatia, Lika and Gorski Kotar, and even in the continental part of the country,'' pointed out Maruska Vizek from the Institute of Economics in Zagreb.

"We're aware of the challenges in the structure of accommodation focused on private renters and the further development of tourism should go in the direction of building accommodation facilities of this type that will allow the extension of the tourist season and create additional value. In coastal areas, the emphasis should be on quality, while in areas that are becoming increasingly interesting for tourism, such as Baranja, Lika and Gorski Kotar, we need both quantity and high quality of accommodation,''said Slavko Steficar from the Ministry of Tourism and Sport.

For more, make sure to check out our travel section.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Croatian Luxury Tourism Becoming More and More Popular

May the 17th, 2022 - Croatian luxury tourism is becoming more and more popular with visitors from across the globe owing of course to Croatia's stunning coastline, but also because of one other important factor.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Eastern European agents now consider rich and untouched nature, as well as fresh clean air a huge advantage when it comes to luxury tourism and what those with deeper pockets are on the lookout for. Croatian luxury tourism is, as a result, very much on the radar globally.

The segment of so-called luxury tourism has proven to be the most resilient to the crisis which the unprecedented global coronavirus pandemic caused. Although it occupies only a small share in the total traffic, the revenues from this type of tourism are very noticeable, as reported by HRT.

"We noticed that not only Dubrovnik but the whole of Croatia is becoming increasingly popular as a place for luxury holidays. We realised that this is the right time to promote it as a luxury destination,'' said Alexander Vanyukov, the organiser of the Adriatic Luxury 2022 event.

"For this luxury segment, we're still not an expensive destination, we're still cheaper than Italy, I don't know, Sardinia, Spain, the French Riviera, we're still cheaper than all these destinations," said Iris Domazet, the owner of a travel agency in Dubrovnik.

"Safety, comfort, good service, this is what our clients most often ask for and they can find it all in Dubrovnik. In addition, Azerbaijan has its own sea, but it is completely different from this beautiful one here,'' said Rufat M. Hajiyev, President of the Board of the Association of Travel Agencies in Azerbaijan.

Back in pandemic-dominated 2020, a significant increase in the number of Ukrainian guests was recorded in the Republic of Croatia, especially those with higher purchasing power. Clients of Ukrainian agencies may have now left the war zone that Ukraine has tragically become since February, but not the habit of travelling.

"Most of them, mostly women and children, have now left Ukraine. They found accommodation elsewhere in Europe. Certainly, when the school year ends, they will want to go somewhere on holiday somewhere because this is something which is completely normal for all of them during the summer,'' said Anastasia Netrebchuk.

Meetings of hoteliers and travel agents as part of the Adriatic Luxury 2022 conference, which will be held in Istria next year, could soon open some new markets to see Croatian luxury tourism as a lucrative segment for the future.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Monday, 16 May 2022

American Interest in Croatian Customs and Tourism Increasing Each Year

May the 16th, 2022 - It appears that the interest of American citizens for Croatian customs and tourism is growing year on year, with the number of people lining up outside the Massachusetts Avenue Croatian Embassy increasing.

As Morski writes, after a two year break caused by the unprecedented global coronavirus pandemic, which saw international travel, at least for tourism and leisure purposes, almost grind to a halt, embassies in Washington are now open to the public on Saturdays in an attempt to arouse US citizen interest in visiting various different countries across the globe.

This popular event is called "Passport DC'' and sees the many countries that have diplomatic missions located in the capital of the United States present themselves to people there in order to attract and interest them further when it comes to travel and tourism throughout 2022.

There are more than 175 foreign embassies and consulates in Washington alone, and European Union (EU) countries opened their doors to American visitors this Saturday.

Judging by the long line in front of the Croatian Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue, the interest of Americans in Croatia and as such Croatian customs and paying a visit to this country is growing every year, as reported by HRT.

In the first part of Saturday alone, the Croatian diplomatic mission was visited by more than a thousand US citizens who wanted to learn more about Croatian customs, cities, food, history and the country's very rich tourist offer.

For many people, a visit to the Croatian Embassy in Washington as part of the ''Passport DC" event is a prelude to going to the Republic of Croatia on holiday, so for a lot of those visiting, a decision has likely already been made to cross the ''pond'' and arrive in Croatia in the coming weeks and months.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Opatija Tourism Figures Make it Most Successful in Kvarner Region

May the 10th, 2022 - Opatija tourism figures are encouraging indeed so far, placing this beautiful coastal town dominated by stunning Austro-Hungarian architecture at the top as the most successful destination in Kvarner.

As Morski writes, so far, the year 2022 has marked by domestic guests, but also visitors from nearby Austria and neighbouring Slovenia, which recorded a significant increase in terms of the number of overnight stays compared when to 2019. Overall, every fourth night in Kvarner over the past four months was realised in Opatija, which is fantastic news for Opatija tourism figures this year.

The best tourist results in all of Kvarner in the first four months of this year were achieved by Opatija, which was the most frequent choice for people wanting to spend holidays in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. From January the 1st to April the 30th, Opatija recorded 71 thousand arrivals and 190 thousand overnight stays, which is 23 percent of the total number of overnight stays spent in all of Kvarner. In other words, so far in 2022, every fourth night in Kvarner was realised in Opatija, as reported by the local portal RIportal.

Of the total number of overnight stays, 58 thousand or 30 percent were realised by domestic guests, who, according to this criteria, are in the first place. Compared to pre-pandemic 2019, the number of overnight stays realised by domestic guests increased by 13 percent. Foreign guests realised a total of 132 thousand overnight stays, and the largest share in this number were visitors from Austria. Having realised 43,300 overnight stays, they "improved" their 2019 result by 6 percent.

After the Croats and Austrians, the neighbouring Slovenians came third in share with 19,000 overnight stays realised and growth of 16 percent when compared to the same period of the last "pre-pandemic" year (2019). A significant increase in the number of overnight stays for Opatija tourism figures was achieved by guests from the USA with growth of 33 percent, Switzerland with growth of 11 percent and neighbouring Hungary with growth of 10 percent.

When it comes to the choice of accommodation, Opatija's guests mostly chose hotels, which hold an impressive 83% share in terms of total overnight stays realised, equal to a massive 158 thousand overnight stays. With 28,000 overnight stays realised, Opatija's private accommodation "incorporated" a 15 percent share into the town's total score, while the rest fell on non-commercial accommodation.

''We can be more than satisfied with the current part of the tourist year, which has shown that Opatija is a sought-after destination and one which operates throughout the year. The interest of guests, along with our natural beauty and rich cultural and historical heritage, we've managed achieved through targeted promotional campaigns, as well as already known programmes from Advent, Valentine's Day, and then Easter. We're optimistic about the summer season, because the announcements so far are good, and the abolition of epidemiological measures has allowed us to reorganise large and well-attended events such as RetrOpathy, which is set to return in late June,'' said the director of the Opatija Tourist Board, Suzi Petricic.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

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