June 22, 2023 – Croatian tourist season records are predicted for this summer. It seems Dalmatia is in trouble, though. And before the usual July gap, there is a June gap this year. Many beaches in the central and southern Adriatic are empty. At the same time, Istria and Kvarner are full of guests.
Makarska, one of the flagships of Dalmatian tourism, had 25 percent fewer overnight stays than last year by mid-June. Furthermore, the prices of apartments on Hvar or Brač are dropping by 20 to 30 percent to patch up the June gap. In Primošten, there are half as many tourists as last year. The renovation of the only large hotel in operation took a long time, and it only opened its doors a few days ago, RTL/Poslovni write.
“Everything else is rising – yachting, apartments, campsites, daily visitors. However, the hotel opened its capacities late this season due to renovation and new condition,” says TZ Primošten director Mia Pešić.
Overall, from the beginning of the year to today, 17 percent more tourists visited Croatia than in the same part of last year. Only three coastal counties have better June results than last year, though. They include Dubrovnik-Neretva, Lika-Senj, and Split-Dalmatia.
“The first decade of June beat ’22, while the second decade was maybe 2-3 percent below last year. We are entering the third decade when we expect significantly more tourist arrivals and traffic in Croatia. For some, the school holidays are starting, as is the case in neighboring Slovenia. We expect the first major overflow of tourists around that time. It should exceed half a million daily”, said the director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristijan Staničić, for RTL.
Not All Will be Happy with the Croatian Tourist Season 2023
Although the rest of the county does not follow this pace, Zadar broke its last year’s record for June. It did even better than in pre-pandemic 2019. However, although there are more tourists, the question is whether all accommodation capacities will be filled.
“This year, there are 2,800 new requests for categorization; last year, there were 2,600. So with this trend, about two and a half thousand new renters appear every year. I think a lot of them will be unhappy with their occupancy rates. Filtering will happen slowly. So, those who are bad will leave, and those who can’t do it will leave. The better ones will remain, and that’s it,” says the president of the Association of Private Renters of Zadar County, Klaudio Grdović.
In Istria, this weekend will be a turning point and the actual opening of the season. Many tourists from Slovenia, Austria, and Germany are expected to arrive.
The number of tourists in June is 11 percent lower than last year in Istria. Considering the beginning of the year, though, they are up 8 percent. Not to be dismissed because, due to the expansive accommodation capacities, one and a half million tourists have already stayed in Istria.
“Precisely in these pandemic years, May and June turned out to be an extended July or the beginning of it. At the end of May, we had a daily visit of guests at the level of July”, says the director of the TZ of the Istria County, Denis Ivošević.
This year, due to inflation, tourists will be comparing the prices of summer holidays with competing countries in the Mediterranean even more than before.