In 2017 Croatia welcomed a total of 18.5 million tourists, the most ever in a single year in the nation’s history. According to Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli, the new record was 13% more visitors than in 2016. According to Eurostat, Croatia, Latvia, and Slovenia have recorded a substantial increase in the number of nights in 2017. On the downside, the industry reports governmental support for family tourism being wanting.
Also in the news, these tourists generated some 102 million overnight stays, which was 12% more than in 2016, and over €11 billion euros were generated by the record tourism. The destinations most visited January – December 2017 were Istria (28 million overnights), followed by the Split-Dalmatia County (19 million overnights) and Kvarner (18.6 million).
Next on the list was; Zadar County (13.7 million), followed by Dubrovnik-Neretva (8.5 million), Sibenik-Knin (7.1 million), Lika-Senj (3.2 million) and Zagreb (2.3 million). Germans generated the most overnight stays, according to the minister’s report, followed by Slovenes, Austrians, Poles, and Czechs. The most overnights from visitors outside Europe came from Americans (1.4 million), followed by Australians (667,000), South Koreans (533,000), Canadians (415,000) and Chinese (237,000).
As expected, the most popular destinations for overnight stays were Dubrovnik, Rovinj, Poreč, Medulin, and Umag. Meanwhile, Croatia registered the highest growth in total tourism nights right behind Latvia and Slovenia. Other news from Croatia’s Tourism Ministry, initiatives to attract more tourists from Spain, Poland, Italy, and China speak of the ministry’s successes. Also, more favorable Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development loans, better treatment by state institutions and turnover growth are the key expectations for expected growth for the private tourism sector. One of the only negatives in this regard, complaints officials are not supporting family tourism initiatives tops the list of hurdles for further growth to happen.