Despite Popularity, Croatian Tourism Has ”Two Weak Links”

Lauren Simmonds

Croatia has a better position than its competitors when it comes to natural beauty, the courtesy of hotel staff, the level of overall safety and the atmosphere, but there are some downfalls…

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 7th of February, 2018, along the Adriatic, there are new, more demanding, educated and more wealthy guests spending more and more money. There are generally more big spenders and fewer families with children, and along with the basics of the sea, sun and relaxation, these tourists are are increasingly interested in other activities, such as gastronomy, natural and cultural beauty, as well as other forms of entertainment, including shopping.

A lack of new content and unbridled crowds are the weakest links in Croatia’s tourism package, despite the general growth of guest satisfaction and the huge numbers last year, these two factors remain the absolute weakest points of Croatia’s tourist offer, at least as far as the coast is concerned.

The results of research conducted by Tomas from July to October 2017 in seven coastal counties, in 67 major locations along the coast and on the islands, on a sample of 5,950 respondents from 18 broadcasting markets, were presented on Tuesday by the Croatian Ministry of Tourism.

Compared to the last Tomas results back in 2014, Croatia has seen a significant increase in the number of guests with higher incomes and higher education rates last year, with 50% being made up by regular guests, 32.5% of the recorded tourists visited Croatia for the very first time last year, which is why they don’t stay in only one destination, but are travelling to others, spending more money as they go.

The average daily consumption of tourists per survey is 79 euro per person, including overnight stays, which equals about 19% more than it was back in 2014. In the structure of average daily expenditure, 49% refers to accommodation services, 17% to food and drink services outside of the accommodation, and 34% to all other services. While accommodation expenditures increased by around 7%, expenditures on all other services rose by an impressive 33%. On average, guests from the United States (158 euro), the UK (139 euro), Spain (126 euro), Russia (121 euro) and guests from Scandinavia (119 euro) spent the most.

Last summer, tourists visiting Croatia were most satisfied with the country’s abdunance of natural beauty, the courtesy of staff in accommodation facilities, the level of security and the general atmosphere, subsequently giving Croatia better ratings than competitors, such as Portugal, Spain, Italy, Turkey, France, Greece, Slovenia, and Montenegro.

They were also pleased with the beaches, traffic accessibility, accommodation comfort and quality of food in accommodation facilities, as opposed to restaurants outside of hotel facilities, with which they’re less satisfied with the quality than they were before. As more and more people travel to Croatia to enjoy good food and spend their holiday by the sea, they’re less and less satisfied with the richness of the gastronomic offer, and the lowest scores are given to the richness of sports facilities (more specifically, in their opinion, the lack of them), the variety of cultural events, shopping opportunities, and, of all things, bicycle paths.

The most dissatisfaction Croatia has received from tourists is the lack of programs in the case of poor weather conditions, and in many places, crowds and traffic jams have been a major issue. Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli admits that the crowds were a problem last year in many destinations, and that it came as a surprise in some respects. In 2019, he announced a new concept for Tomas research, which will be carried out throughout the year throughout the country, including continental Croatia, which is slowly being discovered by tourists from far and wide, and not just on the Adriatic.

“Who’d have believed that we’d be talking about having too many tourists four years ago? This couldn’t have been predicted in Europe either. Some destinations didn’t respond or react quickly enough, or they had no strategy in place, nor did they have quality and spatial plans to accommodate so many guests,”

Capelli concluded that when we get a year-round, full survey of Croatia, the results for such parameters will be much better.


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