Monday, 3 January 2022

Croatian Tourism in 2021: 14 Million Tourists Who Spent 84 Million Nights

January 3, 2022 - Last year was a great one for Croatian tourism: there were 13.8 million arrivals and 84.1 million overnight stays in Croatia, that is 77 percent more arrivals and 55 percent more overnight stays than in the same period in 2020.

At the same time, foreign tourists realized 71.9 million overnight stays, while domestic tourists realized 12.3 million overnight stays, reports These are the first data from the eVisitor system, which contains tourist traffic generated in commercial and non-commercial facilities and nautical charter.

Most tourist overnight stays were realized in Istria (23.5 million), Split-Dalmatia (15.5 million), and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (15.3 million). It is followed by Zadar County (12.7 million overnight stays), Šibenik-Knin County (5.9 million), and Dubrovnik-Neretva County (5.4 million).

The destinations that attracted the most visitors were Zagreb (638,000 arrivals), Rovinj (549,000), Dubrovnik (543,000), Split (529,000) and Poreč (431,000 arrivals).

According to the type of accommodation, most overnight stays were realized in households (32.1 million), camps (17.4 million), and hotels (15.7 million). In the nautical, the charter segment of nautical, 3.1 million overnight stays were realized. Compared to 2020, the highest growth in traffic was achieved in hotels (+124 percent), camps (+92 percent), nautical (+87 percent), and household facilities (+45 percent). 

In the end, the comparison with the 2019 results speaks best of how successful we have been. Thus, in 2021, 67 percent of arrivals and 77 percent of overnight stays from 2019 were realized. 

In terms of markets, in 2021 most arrivals were made by Germans (2.9 million, 84 percent growth compared to 2020), domestic tourists (2.3 million, growth of 41 percent compared to 2020), Slovenes (1.2 million, an increase of 18 percent compared to 2020), Austrians (1.1 million, an increase of 180 percent compared to 2020), Poles (1 million, an increase of 50 percent compared to 2020) and the Czech Republic (775,000, up 50 percent from 2020).

Also, compared to 2020, there were 78 percent more Italians, 100 percent more Hungarians, 168 percent more French, and as many as 324 percent more Dutch. Let us add that, compared to 2019, Poles achieved 8 percent more overnight stays, Germans equaled overnight stays from a record 2019, Czechs achieved 97 percent of overnight stays, while Slovenes and Austrians achieved about 82 percent of 2019 overnight stays. 

"Congratulations to all tourism stakeholders on a great tourist year. During 2021, Croatian tourism built the image of a safe and responsible destination, which was recognized by our tourists. In addition to the importance of safety, modern tourists, especially in this pandemic era, are increasingly recognizing the importance of the sustainability of the destination, which is becoming an additional motivation for them to travel. In order to further highlight the new strategic direction of Croatian tourism, the Ministry is launching a comprehensive web portal for sustainable tourism in Croatian and English, which will provide information on important documents, funding sources, projects, sustainable practices, and eco-certification, as well as training, seminars, conferences, and events and stakeholder actions in the field of sustainable tourism. We will also have a publicly available display of Sustainable Tourism Indicators on the platform", Said the Minister of Tourism and Sport Nikolina Brnjac and added that in the framework of this project created and mark the sustainability of Croatian tourism, Croatia your natural or Croatia Naturally Yours, which will be recognizable to tourists, as well as stakeholders in the sector. 

"Behind us is the second pandemic year in which Croatia, despite all the challenges, achieved the best tourist result in the Mediterranean. This is a consequence of the dedicated and quality work of all tourism workers who, through their togetherness, quick reactions, and coordinated action, have ensured the status of a quality, safe and well-prepared destination for our country. We are entering this year with great optimism, but also with plans that include the realization of 90 percent of traffic from the record 2019 and further positioning of our country as a sustainable and safe destination. We plan to realize this through the implementation of targeted and innovative marketing and information campaigns, which will be carried out throughout the year, taking into account the epidemiological situation in each market," said the Director of the Croatian Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić, emphasizing that good trends in tourist traffic are confirmed by financial indicators, such as revenues from tourism.

Let us remind you that in terms of tourist revenue, Croatia achieved the best summer so far.

According to the Croatian National Bank, in the first nine months of 2021, revenues from foreign tourists amounted to 8 billion and 268 million euros, which is a growth of 90% compared to the same period in 2020, with revenues of 3 billion and 929 million euros more. Compared to the first nine months of 2019, 88% of the revenues at that time were generated.

For more, check out our dedicated travel section.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

More Than a Million Tourists in Croatia At the Moment

July 29, 2021 - The latest report from the eVisitor system gives an impressive and hopeful number for Croatian tourism: one million tourists are currently in Croatia!

According to current data from the eVisitor system, there are currently more than 1 million and 6 thousand tourists in Croatia, of which 866,000 are foreign tourists and 140,000 domestic tourists, reports HrTurizam.

Most tourists currently stay in Istria (273,000), Split-Dalmatia (191,000), and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (187,000). It is followed by Zadar County (168,000) and Šibenik-Knin County (77,000) and Dubrovnik-Neretva County (62,000). Most tourists are currently in Rovinj, Vir, and Porec.

In terms of markets, the largest number of foreign tourists currently in Croatia come from Germany (203,000), Slovenia (140,000), Poland (86,000), Austria (75,000) and the Czech Republic (61,000).

"There are currently more than a million tourists in Croatia, which is 220,000 more than at the same time last year. These figures are the best confirmation that all previous activities and preparations of the tourism sector for this year were of high quality and that our guests recognized it. We are still in the period with the largest influx of tourists in the year and I call on everyone to remain responsible, adhere to epidemiological measures and recommendations, and thus protect ourselves and others, "said Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac.

Also, a new ECDC map is expected today, for which we all hope that the Adriatic will remain in orange. In the event that the Adriatic turns red, it will certainly immediately affect the reservations, but still, it should not be as drastic a situation as last year. The biggest problem will be if the states put the need for quarantine to return from Croatia, in case the Adriatic ends in the red.

For more on Croatian tourism and destinations that you might want to pay a visit to in the near future, make sure to follow our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Croatia's eVisitor Reports in .pdf Format Are of No Use to Anyone

Ivan Brezak Brkan, an online strategist, journalist and editor-in-chief writes for about the manner in which tourism data is made public in Croatia.

When he presented the results of the visits based on the national eVisitor system for the recording of tourists in Croatia, Minister Gari Cappelli explained why the Ministry has decided to make the results public three times in a year instead of once a month:

"I want to approach tourism in an as overall manner as possible. The way we appreciate tourist results and tourism globally chages, and it's difficult to follow the results from one Thursday to another and keep objectivity in those analises, as that data can often not be compared, because of the holidays and similar factors. That's not fair towards those working in tourism, nor is it air to the guests, either. That's why we won't be comparing day-to-day, rather, we'll present "the laps", the results at the end of the pre-season, the main season and during full tourist season,'' Cappelli explained.

At the same time, the minister promised that the media will still be able to request the data and that they will receive it, although since May that has not been possible. The results for May were published two months later, on the Croatian Tourist Board's website.

Ever since the announcement was made, it was obvious that it made no sense, as commented by Goran Rihelj for HR.turizam, but also that it's a PR decision that could harm Croatian tourism in the long-term. Marko Rakar, the analyst, explains that it's public data that needs to be published:

"The reports from the systems like these should be automatised, and published at the moment we believe that we have full and precise data; there's no reason to have it any other way. It's not the ministry's job to decide what is or isn't the relevant period of publication, that's the media's or the expert's job to decide.

The data needs to be accessible, as it was acquired through the publicly funded system of taxes, as well as be open and available without procedures, announcements, or a waiting period. The proposal to present the data three times in a year is an intellecutally limited view of an "uhljeb", as always, who doesn't have the capacity to see the bigger picture, or work for the betterment and the development of this country. Rather, as any other gatekeeper, they've decided to collect the data and make it available to whomever and whenever they want to, while maintaining the inability of any kind of independent control and the discovery of false data."

The only advantage of the reports every three months would be for the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian Tourist Board to present the data in a manner that works for them, "packaging" any bad results more easily. Media portals such as Index or Telegram would find it more diffidcult to use arguments about the problems during the tourist season if they had no data to support their ideas. Some media portals have the tendency, of course, to give in to the dramatic titles and speculation instead of a proper analysis and critical opinions, but open data is the best basis for the independent analysis of all viewpoints.

Less than a week later, the Ministry of Tourism reversed their decision and decided that everything will be as it was, and that early in every month, the statistics from Croatia's eVisitor system will be published on HTZ's website in PDF format.

Image by Netokracija

It would appear that someone warned Minister Cappelli that on July the 16th, 2019, the new European directive on open data and the re-use of public sector information came into force. Its goal is exactly to prevent what was proposed just a few days ago in the Ministry and the Tourist Board.

Melisa Skender from GONG commented: "The EU directive on open data puts the statistical data, and the data from HTZ is in that category, in the group of special, highly valuable sets of data that need to be available in machine-readable format. PDF is certainly not that type of format. In the other words, despite what HTZ has said, everyone who wants to demand the information in an open format, such as on an Excel table, should get the data."

The Ministry of Tourism might hope that changing their minds about when the data is presented solves at least one reason to be criticised. However, we must at this moment understand that the monthly reports in PDF format are simply not enough. As they're not machine readable and according to the standards set by the EU Directive, the consequences are:

  • It makes it more difficult for the rare types of media in Croatia that has the capacity and the desire to perform data investigative journalism to perform the data analysis;
  • To the people working in tourism, it makes it impossible to analyse the data for their portion of the market, or to compare data from various sources;
  • New entrepreneurs are not given the opportunity to use the open data to find the new ideas to create new value and jobs on the market;
  • It makes it more difficult for people in hotels, renters and those in the hospitality business to use the data to bring better business decisions.

Rakar makes a point that the Ministry of Tourism and HTZ should take it a step further: "They should be providing the sets of data with rich historical information and more precise localities of where tourists chose to stay, so that the aforementioned people in the tourism business could make business decisions on time and be able to create plans based on real data, and make decisions on investments and new content."

Cappelli does not need to re-invent the wheel. The global tourist market is filled with the examples of how to present the data contained within the eVisitor system. The town of Glasgow, for instance, hosts a website which is a dashboard, where you can see both the big picture and the segments. Unlike HTZ, Glasgow allows you to see the data for specific types of tourists, such as for instance, the foodies.

Image by Netokracija

Probably the best example, which should be the role-model for Croatia, is New Zealand, which is an overall role-model on how to do branding and tourist positioning. You can access all of their tourism data on Stats NZ, and it's even possible to analyse the data and even download it if you want to. To make it easier for the public and the media to find their way to the data, their Ministry provides you with the comprehensive series of links, which will take you to the specific segments.

Image by Netokracija

One of the examples of what could be done with the data was given by Professor Bela Stanić from the Griffith Institute of Tourism, as he announced the work on the project Human Sensor, showing that using analyses in real time can lead to more relevant information for tourism using social networks, blogs and tourism websites. The announcement of this logical step came in 2016, and now in 2019 we're dealing with PDF format, which limits access as well as not publishing at all. Considering the fact that even the banks will be forced to open up in September of this year, there's no excuse for the Ministry of tourism and HTZ!

If they really want Croatian tourism (and the economy; as tourism makes up 20 percent of Croatia's economy, which is the highest percentage in Europe), Minister Gari Cappelli needs to make sure that in the autumn, in preparation for the tourist season 2020, Croatia's eVisitor system is open through the actual internet dashboard and an API available not three times in a year or once a month, rather - the data should be available in real time. Nothing less will suffice.

Follow our dedicated travel page for much more.