Is Jelsa finally coming back as a popular tourist destination? The numbers are starting to speak…
Named the top destination in all former Yugoslavia back in 1983, tourism was decimated during the Homeland War in the 1990s, and things did not improve much after the war, with Jelsa’s once popular hotels devastated after years of long-term living by Croatian refugees and internally displaced Croatians from war-affected parts of the mainland.
Things are changing, and the numbers are pointing to a very rosy future for this delightful little town on Hvar’s northern town. Major infrastructure works are now in their final stages, and this year’s season should be relatively uninterrupted by the works which have blighted previous seasons. I, for one, am excited to see the changes when I come back for Easter.
Figures available from the Jelsa Tourist Board portray a very rosy picture indeed, with tourist arrivals almost doubling since 2014, with the majority of the increase coming in the last two years, with 2015 arrivals 46,668 dwarfed by over 80,000 last year.
Overnight stays are also up almost 50% since 2014, the vast majority of which has been achieved in the last two years – up from 359,616 in 2015 to almost half a million last year.
There is not a lot wrong with these graphs, above.
Most encouragingly, perhaps, is the fact that the rise seems not to be due to one individual factor, but all sectors of accommodation seem to be contributing. Jelsa’s hotels continue their slow but steady improvement, with 6,000 more overnight stays last year, with a solid improvement in numbers also reported in the campsites. Jelsa’s new focus on its harbour and efforts to attract sailors seems to be paying early dividends, with a 17% increase in nautical overnights on the 2016 figures. The biggest increase of all, some 40,000 overnights extra, occurred in private accommodation.
Good news all round, and let’s hope that graph looks even better this time next year.
Want to learn something about Jelsa – 25 Things to Know about this little Adriatic gem.