The real figures are even higher if non-commercial accommodation facilities are accounted for, and this year there are nearly half a million beds in 102,000 such facilities.
As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 5th of August, 2018, if we count only commercial facilities that rent to tourists on the Croatian Adriatic, population growth in August rises from 40 percent in Split-Dalmatia County, to a massive 129 percent in Istria County, and in various other places, the population is growing by more than five times, according to data from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).
For 2018’s tourist season, the HGK made an estimate of the increase in the number of inhabitants based on a conservative estimate of the number of overnight stays of 5 percent compared to last year’s season, and according to the number of inhabitants according to the 2011 census. August is expected to see an increase in the number of inhabitants by 11 percent in Split, which is a relatively small increase due to the large number of permanent residents living in the city.
In Medulin, which has about 6,000 permanent inhabitants, the expected increase in population is an enirmous 469 percent, Nin, with less than 3,000 inhabitants, will increase its population by 447 percent, Mali Losinj will see an increase of 265 percent, Rovinj’s population will increase by 261 percent, and Crikvenica by 200 percent. Considering that over 60 percent of all overnight stays realised by tourists take place in July and August, and 91 percent of overnight stays are realised in six coastal counties, HGK have concluded that such information speaks volumes about the territorial concentration and weather/climate dominated limitations of Croatian tourism.
The aforementioned limitations become even more transparent if the number of realised overnight stays made by tourists in January and August are compared, the increase in summer is of course large, around 60 per higher. It’s worth remembering that many tourists stay in private accommodation, some of which isn’t registered, meaning many such tourists do not register themselves as they should either, therefore the number is likely to be even greater.
For further comparison, the first neighbouring country in the European Union at the height of this same ratio is the old tourism king, Greece. The aforementioned estimates of high population growth in the tourist season, which are periodically limited to about two months per year, emphasise the need to better deal with overall infrastructure in tourist destinations, provide seasonal retail supply and tailor the entire tourist offer to an increasing number of residents arriving in the warm months, warn analysts from HGK.
Most of the overnight stays in commercial accommodation facilities during the year take place in the most popular months of the year, July and August. In 2017, 49.2 million overnights, which is equal to a massive 95 percent of the total number of overnight stays, were realised in six coastal counties during these two summer months.
First place was taken by Istria County (Istarska) with 15.2 million total overnight stays, followed by Split-Dalmatia County with 10.6 million, followed by Primorje-Gorski Kotar County with 9.3 million, Zadar County with 6.5 million, and Dubrovnik-Neretva County and Šibenik-Knin County with 3.8 million overnight stays.