Unlike Foreign Tourists, Croats Barely Travel Anywhere

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Last year, more than half of Croats did not go to a single trip longer than a day.

While Croatia regularly records year-on-year increases in the total number of foreign tourists and tourism-based earnings, with more than 78 million overnight stays last year, which was nine percent more than a year ago, when it comes to tourism activity of the local population the trend is just the opposite: last year, the number of trips longer than one day fell by more than a third compared to 2015, reports Jutarnji List on 2 July 2017.

According to the data of the Central Bureau of Statistics published this week, 1.6 million citizens of Croatia older than 15, or 44 percent of them, went on at least one trip which included an overnight stay somewhere in 2016. This includes all travel – to commercial accommodation facilities, to family members or second homes. The number of non-business multi-day trips stood at 3.8 million, with 23.1 million overnight stays and 6.5 billion kunas spent. A year earlier, in 2015, the same number of citizens travelled, but they went for a total of 5.7 million trips, with 37.6 million overnight stays and 10.3 billion kunas spent.

In other words, the number of citizens travelling has not changed much, but they travel substantially less frequently and spend much less money. “This is a large decrease in the number of multi-day trips in just a year. We did not expect it, nor can we explain it with reasons like a decline in the standard of living, since it did not happen in 2016 compared to 2015,” says Neven Ivandić, from the Institute for Tourism.

According to the Eurostat data, since 2007 – which is the first year for which data exist – Croatian citizens have never spent so little money on tourist activity as in 2016. They spent the most in 2010 – 12.6 billion kuna (twice as much as in 2016).

Croatia is among EU states with the lowest percentage of citizens who go on multiple-day trips. The EU average is 61 percent, and in six countries – Finland, Luxembourg, Sweden, the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Denmark – the share of residents who go to private multi-day trips at least once a year is over 80 percent.

The main reason why 56 percent of Croatia’s population aged 15 and over did not go on a single multi-day trip, even to visit their relatives, was money. Depending on the year, between 60 and 70 percent of those who did not travel anywhere say that the lack of financial means prevented them from going on a journey.

The second most often mentioned reason is health (24.3 percent). This mainly refers to part of the population who – because of their financial situation and their health – hardly ever decide to travel. The age structure of Croatian citizens who went to at least one multi-day trip shows that just one-tenth of them were older than 65. The largest share of people travelling were those aged between 15 and 24, who in 2016 travelled twice as much as those older than 65.

As expected, the destination of the majority of Croatian citizens travelling was Croatia itself. Of the total number of 3.8 million trips, 2.5 million were to other parts of Croatia. Almost three-quarters of all citizens travelling – 72 percent – stayed in non-commercial accommodation, meaning the accommodation which they did not have to pay for (relatives, friends, second homes).

As for foreign travel, more than one-fifth of people (21.3 percent) travelled to Bosnia and Herzegovina, followed by Italy (13.7 percent), Germany (12 percent), Austria (11.3 percent) and Slovenia (9.1 percent).


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