Croatian Tourism Champion This Year is Island of Vir

By 28 November 2020
Island of Vir - this year's Croatian tourism champion
Island of Vir - this year's Croatian tourism champion Source: Pixabay

November 28, 2020 – The island of Vir earned the title of this year's Croatian tourism champion due to the largest number of overnight stays in October, but also a total of more than 2 million overnight stays from 1 January to 31 October.

As reports, the island of Vir brings this tourist and championship season to an end without uncertainty about the outcome. During October, Vir again achieved the largest number of tourist overnight stays, as many as 137,649. It also significantly exceeded all other domestic tourist destinations from 1 January to 31 October with a total number of overnight stays of 2,237,229.

At the end of the turbulent 2020, Vir will be chasing the tourist laurel wreath as the only Croatian destination that has realized more than two million overnight stays and probably one of two or three domestic destinations that will have more than 1.5 million overnight stays in an unprecedented travel crisis.

This number, along with Vir and Rovinj (which counted 1,823,764 overnight stays), may be reached only by Medulin (1,441,472), while for Poreč, Mali Lošinj, Crikvenica, Umag, and Novalja it will be a difficult and almost impossible task. Krk and Zadar are also in the top 10 domestic tourist destinations, for which the success will be a million overnight stays at the end of the year.

As much as Vir seemed to unexpectedly sit on the domestic tourist throne, this fact is not a surprise. Vir has been in the 20 best tourist destinations in Croatia and the best in Zadar County for a whole decade, while this year it will record its fifth consecutive year in the top 10 domestic destinations.

Therefore, Vir is not a tourist surprise. The corona crisis only revealed the general weaknesses and shortcomings of most elite Croatian tourist destinations.

Based on the daily or so-called city break experience (three to four nights on average), or dependent on cruise traffic and major festival events, this summer these destinations signed a capitulation in July and August.

That is why 86.8 percent share in the record numbers of overnight stays from 2019, how much was achieved on Vir, is an impossible mission for all the best in Croatian tourism, except for classic but much smaller weekend destinations – Dobrinj (85.9 percent), Vodnjan (77.9 percent), and Rogoznica (66.4 percent). Their success, as well as Vir’s overall triumph, draws attention to a new fact.

"There is a large number of foreigners who own family houses, cottages, apartments, and suites on the island, so their arrival, despite the pandemic, was less uncertain than the arrival of tourists in any other destination. The moment opening the borders was uncertain, Vir quickly took the leading role in Croatian tourism with the first arrivals of foreigners on the Adriatic," Vir's local government explained, adding that Vir had about 700 thousand overnight stays in July and a record 770 thousand overnight stays in August, even though Croatia was marked in red on the corona map of Europe in the last week of August.

"September confirmed Vir's leadership with more than 300,000 overnight stays and cemented it in October when Vir had almost twice as many overnight stays as the closest companion Rovinj. The stamp for the whole year is imprinted with the decorative data that this year's 137.6 thousand overnight stays in October are even 8.9 percent better than last year's (126.4 thousand), which is a fact that only Pirovac, Sveti Filip i Jakov, and Funtana can boast of, but in the top 10 – no one else," says the Vir local government.

Mali Lošinj had only a 47.5 percent share of last year's traffic in October, and this is the second-best result of one destination within the Croatian top 10, after this year's Croatian tourism champion, the well-known island of record – Vir.

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