Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Vir Tourism Records Being Broken Throughout First 5 Months of 2022

June the 8th, 2022 - Vir tourism records are being broken left right and centre with some outstanding results so far this year. The island is more than likely to surpass its figures from the record, pre-pandemic year of 2019 and we aren't even at the very height of the season yet.

As Kazimir Skrbic/Morski writes, excellenty arrival and overnight stay numbers during the first five months of 2022 have been a real boost for Vir. Overnight stays are 26.3 percent better, and arrivals are 21.7 percent better when compared to the record set three years ago.

If this extremely positive trend of recorded growth for Vir tourism traffic is maintained, it is very likely that at the end of 2022, we'll be able to talk about a new record season and better numbers than those recorded back during 2019. Here is a summary of the statistics of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ):

With 111,362 overnight stays recorded from the beginning of this year to the end of May, Vir tourism numbers exceeded those recorded back during same period last year by as much as 113.8 percent (52,080 overnight stays), while with 6,698 arrivals of domestic and foreign guests, figures for the island are 85.2 percent better than they were back in 2021, when 3,616 arrivals were recorded.

Foreign tourists - mostly made up of Slovenes, Germans, Austrians, Bosnians and Herzegovinians and Hungarians - accounted for 55.1 percent of all overnight stays realised on Vir, and were even more pronounced in terms of tourist traffic measured by arrivals - 61.8 percent. Arrivals were also dominated by guests from neighbouring Slovenia with growth of 102.7 percent, Germans with a growth of 26.2 percent, Austrians with growth of 208.2 percent, Bosnians and Herzegovinians with growth of 148.9 percent and Hungarians with growth of 183.3 percent.

The Czechs, Slovaks and Swiss are still in the top ten in the current Vir tourism ''top 10 per night'', while for the first time, guests from Great Britain, as well as Ukrainians, were also among the top ten. In the first five months, Swedes (1,108 overnight stays) and Poles (1,003) were slightly more modest in terms of overnight stays than the leading nations, but they were ahead of the British and Swiss in terms of arrivals. Domestic guests also recorded a large increase, and during the first five months of 2022, Croats realised 49,908 overnight stays (as opposed to 25,694 a year earlier), which is growth of a very significant 94.2 percent. The situation is similar in terms of arrivals so far (2,557), which exceeded the number of arrivals from back in 2021 by 69.8 percent, when 1,506 tourist arrivals of Croatian guests were recorded.

Vir tourism's results for 2022 are also better than 2020, with 24.5 percent more overnight stays and 41.5 percent more arrivals. Here are the figures: three years ago, there were 88,194 overnight stays recorded in Vir, which means that 2022 is 26.3 percent better; In 2019, there were 5,503 arrivals of both domestic and foreign guests, meaning that this year's 6,698 arrivals represent impressive growth of 21.7 percent when compared to the record set three years ago.

Germans contributed the most with growth of 59.1 percent in terms of overnight stays and 23.7 percent in terms of arrivals, especially given the large numbers with which German tourists participate in tourist traffic on the island (14,576 overnight stays currently, 9,160 three years ago). The Slovenes are on approximately the same number of overnight stays and with 20.6 percent growth in arrivals this year, a significant shift was made by the Austrians with 91.6 percent growth in terms of overnight stays and 31.5 percent in terms of arrivals, the Hungarians with 65.9 percent growth in terms of overnight stays and 132.9 percent in terms of arrivals, and finally the Czechs with growth of 176.4 percent growth in terms of overnight stays and 284.9 percent growth in terms of arrivals.

British citizens have also been arriving en masse to the island of Vir. Last year during the same observed period, British tourists realised only 9 overnight stays, the year before, they realised 14, and the record year of 2019 is still very modest with a mere 131 nights, while this year they recorded as many as 1,203 nights. This is an increase of overnight stays compared to 2019 by as much as 818.3 percent.

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

Monday, 18 April 2022

Vir Tourism Figures Like Never Before in 2022's First 3 Months

April the 18th, 2022 - Vir tourism numbers have been reaching never-before-seen heights during the first three months of this year, much to the delight of the local economy which was, much like everything else, struck terribly by the coronavirus pandemic.

As Morski/Kazimir Skrbic writes, with a record number of tourist arrivals recorded from January the 1st to April the 15th this year, and significantly better numbers when it comes to overnight stays than last year, the island of Vir is rubbing its hands in hopes for another great summer tourist season that should surpass last year.

In less than four tourist months, 1,485 arrivals of both domestic and foreign guests and 23,181 overnight stays were recorded on the island of Vir, which is 109.1 percent better in terms of overnight stays and 58.9 percent better in terms of tourist arrivals when compared to last year.

''We're more than satisfied with the current numbers of Vir tourism arrivals and the number of overnight stays realised by guests. This is especially true when it comes to the arrivals of guests, which are the largest since we've been monitoring the statistics of tourist traffic. We also have better data on overnight stays on average than we did back during the record year of 2019, when we had 2.6 million overnight stays, which is a serious indicator of the success of the upcoming summer season,'' explained the director of the Vir Tourist Boardm Srdjan Liveric.

The highest Vir tourism numbers when it comes to arrivals from the first day of January to mid-April was recorded by the neighbouring Slovenes (26.4 percent of the total number of arrivals of foreigners), Germans (19.1 percent), Bosnians and Herzegovinians (14.9 percent), Austrians (9.71 percent), and Hungarians (9.61). These five nations accounted for approximately 80 percent of all arrivals and overnight stays on this Dalmatian island, representing a tourist ''big five'' of sorts, but by the end of the month they will be joined by Czechs and Slovaks who've been coming to that island in increasing numbers.

''We're only expecting their explosion at the end of April and at the beginning of May, because we've been recording dozens of transfers of ownership of holiday homes on Vir, and most of them are being purchased by Czechs, Slovaks and Hungarians,'' explained Liveric.

When it comes to the comparison of Vir tourism figures with last year's pre-season, the current number of 23,181 overnight stays and 1,485 tourist arrivals is stronger by 109.1 percent in terms of overnight stays and by 58.9 percent in terms of arrivals. At the same time, current overnight stays are around 80 percent of the record number of overnight stays in the pre-season of 2020, but current statistics also reveal a significantly higher share and number of foreign guests. As such, two years ago, foreigners realised 9,978 out of a total of 28,980 overnight stays (34.4 percent share) in three and a half months, while now, 13,848 overnight stays out of a total of 23,181 (as much as 59.7 percent share) have been recorded.

The difference was created by Slovenian visitors with a fantastic growth of overnight stays of 383.9 percent (now 3,843, where as the former number was a far smaller 816) compared to last year's pre-season, then with 110.8 percent growth compared to 2020 and 32.4 percent growth compared to 2019. Hungarians recorded 136.9 percent growth from last night, Slovaks 96.7 percent, Austrians 84.9 percent, Germans 68.5 percent and Bosnians and Herzegovinians 63.1 percent growth. With a slightly lower number of overnight stays, Poles, Swiss and Swedes still grew significantly.

If we statistically go back to pre-pandemic 2019, which was a record with the total annual numbers of overnight stays and arrivals, and the last one outside the context of the global coronavirus crisis, this quarter seems to announce spectacular numbers. Recorded overnight stays are 35.5 percent better than they were in 2019, when 17,105 tourist overnight stays were realised, while arrivals are 24.1 percent higher (1,197 three years ago).

For more on Vir tourism, check out our travel section.

Sunday, 23 August 2020

PHOTOS: Secluded And Beautiful - Vir Island A Safe Choice For Late Summer

August 23, 2020 – Croatian Tourism minister Nikolina Brnjac's recent visit to Vir island highlighted it's safe epidemiological record. Pictures show what to expect from a peaceful and secluded Vir.

Croatian Minister for Tourism, Mrs. Nikolina Brnjac, was welcomed on Vir island by the Mayor of Vir Kristijan Kapović, President of the Municipal Council of Vir, Rajko Radović, Deputy Mayor Antonio Vučetić, Director of the Vir Tourist Board Srđan Liverić, Director of the islanders' own tourism company Vir Turizam Kristina Perić, Head of Vir Turizam Mate Čulina, director of Tourist Board of the City of Zadar Mario Paleka © Virski List

Mrs. Nikolina Brnjac was not the first Croatian Tourism Minister to visit Vir island, located north-west of Zadar. Her three most-recent predecessors had also taken the short journey via bridge from Privlaka and Nin to reach the nevertheless peaceful and secluded island. However, Brnjac was the first to do so in August, at the peak of the tourist season. And, she had good reason for doing so.

Though connected to the mainland by a short road bridge, Vir island manages to retain a peaceful seclusion

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Vir island has plenty of beaches to choose from and lots of space © Anton Unković / Tourist Board Municipality Vir

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Some of Vir island's beaches are remote, but easily accessible by boat © Zvonko Kucelin / Tourist Board Municipality Vir

As reported in TCN earlier this season, Vir island is one of 2020's success stories. In a challenging year for tourism, Vir island had bucked all trends and actually improved on last year's visitor numbers. It was the first Croatian destination of 2020 to reach one million overnight stays. The island is keenly observing epidemiological guidelines, has positioned itself as a safe place to visit and has reaped the rewards.

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Even on Vir island's more popular beaches, there's still lots of room for everyone © Vir Turizam

With over a month left to tour its beautiful, spacious beaches and clear, turquoise seas, these images give an idea of what you can expect from a visit to Vir.

Venetian fortress Kaštelina is one of the island's most significant landmarks © Tourist Board Municipality Vir  

Vir island is perfect for walking and exploring. Often, you'll find yourself alone on its many kilometres of shoreline © Tourist Board Municipality Vir  

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Boats in the harbour on Vir island at sunset © Zvonko Kucelin / Tourist Board Municipality Vir

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Sunset over the Adriatic, as seen from Vir island © Sanja Grgić Ćurić / Tourist Board Municipality Vir

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Want to Pay for Your Stay with Cryptocurrency? Head to Vir Island

December 3, 2019 - With ninety-six apartments offering advance payment and reservations via cryptocurrency thanks to the blog Ostrov Vir, and given the size of the island, its population, and the number of accommodation units, Vir has become one of the world's leading providers of crypto services.

HRTurizam reports that this story was recently published by the Czech portal Arbolet, whose internet team provides consulting and work in the crypto market. Arbolet member Václav contacted Miriam Kelečić, who runs the Slovakian blog Ostrov Vir and mediates apartment rentals on Vir to tourists from Slovakia and the Czech Republic, so the island's crypto market is almost immediately open to members of this community.

“I thought for a long time about using cryptocurrency payments, but did not know the area well enough. This is where Mr. Václav helped me the most,” says Miriam, thanks to whom accommodation on Vir can now be paid by cryptocurrency, that is, by booking through Ostrov Vir. Those 96 apartments paid in cryptocurrency represent 2.51 percent of the total Vir accommodation capacity, consisting of 3,819 accommodation units. In fact, the percentage in foreign exchange is higher because the number of apartments is an absolute figure of 100% occupancy with payment by card or cash, which means that the share of cryptocurrency in foreign exchange by the summer season will surely be even higher.

Miriam is the most influential promoter of Vir in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, and through her work and bringing the Travel Channel television team to Vir, the island has opened to the booming Slovakian tourist market. The Vir influencer and blogger at the same time represents the Slovakian and Czech apartment owners associations on the island of Vir, some of whom have already started receiving payments for cryptocurrencies BTC, BCH, LTC, ETH, and USDC. According to Arbolet, the service is connected to the Coinbase Commerce system, whose user interface is simple, intuitive to use, and extremely easy to understand.

Cryptocurrencies, known as virtual or digital currencies, only exist online; it is not issued or controlled by any central bank. Bitcoin is the most well-known cryptocurrency, also known as digital gold, and is globally accepted for online payments. There are several bitcoin ATMs in Croatia today - in Zagreb, Split, and Rijeka, and the popularity of bitcoin usage is also being contributed by entrepreneurs, such as those on Vir, who accept it in online payments for tourist accommodation or other services.

Apart from cryptocurrencies being used for online payments, they are traded like any other currency. Thus, the value of bitcoin nine years ago was $0.003 USD, and more than $9,000 last year. Today, there are hundreds of other cryptocurrencies and new ones are emerging almost daily. Some survive and grow, some fail, but the growth of the crypto market is persistent. Thus, more and more online stores are offering cryptocurrency payments, while digital wallet owners are looking for deals where they can exchange their cryptocurrency units for products or services.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Vir Becomes Record Holder: Dalmatian Island Skyrockets in Popularity

As Novac writes on the 12th of November, 2019, there have never been better figures for the tourist season for the island of Vir. With 127,085 overnight stays realised in October alone, it outshone many other destinations across the country.

The total tourist turnover in overnight stays in the period from January the 1st to the end of October saw the island of Vir acheive 2,587,930 overnight stays in total, finishing in seventh place in the list of Croatia's top 10 destinations for 2019.

Dubrovnik achieved better results in October with the figure of 407,722, Zagreb with 234,703 and Split with 181,058. Zadar, Rovinj, Opatija, Poreč, Labin and Konavle remain behind Vir, Croatia's new record holder, writes Zadarski list.

Vir is also the new Croatian record holder in another statistical segment of tourist traffic monitoring, which is overnight stays realised in non-commercial accommodation, and the figures for that in October amounted to 125,216. In the same categories, Vir is the ''traditional champion'' of Croatian tourism in terms of the total figures realised so far in 2019.

The figures for October also show something else - that 98.5 percent of the tourist traffic on this island during the aforementioned period was achieved on the basis of individual traffic, which indicates an increasing number of ''weekenders'' and property owners during the post-season on the island.

In terms of sporting events, the favourable weather in October brought 127,285 overnight stays to Vir, an increase of 25.1 percent, of which 83.3 percent was generated by Croatian guests. When looking at the picture of foreign arrivals, Slovenians realised the most overnight stays, while the highest growth was recorded by guests from Germany. In addition to the Slovenians and the Germans, Austrian, Slovakian and Czech passport holders also recorded solid figures in October.

With regard to the total data so far, out of 2,587,930 overnight stays realised on Vir since the beginning of the year, 1,435,520 overnight stays were realised by domestic tourists, ie 55.5 percent of them, and 1,152,410 were realised by foreign guests, which is 44.5 percent, with total growth of four percent. The highest number of overnight stays was recorded by Slovenian citizens with 295,345 such stays acheived, followed by Germans with 223,415, followed then by Hungarians, Slovaks, Czechs, Austrians, Poles, Bosnians, Swedes and Swiss citizens.

These figures have further strengthened Vir's position, not only on the list which showcases Croatia's top 10 national destination elite, but in a general touristic sense. This positive trend has also been confirmed by the higher number of tourist arrivals in general, which was expressed in October by significant growth of 16.4 percent.

In October, 458,710 overnight stays realised by tourists were recorded at the level of Zadar County as a whole, making it the fifth Croatian county in tourist terms behind Split-Dalmatia, Dubrovnik-Neretva, Istria and Kvarner.

Make sure to follow our dedicated travel page for much more.