Sea Star Festival In Umag Has Brought In 33.7 Million Euros So Far

Lauren Simmonds

umag sea star
Srecko Niketic/PIXSELL

March the 26th, 2024 – The Sea Star festival in Umag attracted a massive 33.7 million euros in direct benefits to the Croatian economy from 2017 to 2023.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Mladen Miletic writes, from 2017 to 2023, Exit’s Sea Star festival in Umag brought in a huge 33.7 million euros of direct benefits to the Croatian economy. The sheer success of this event is actually even greater because it is the only major music festival in Croatia held outside of the height of the tourist season. This was particularly emphasised as part of the research undertaken by the consulting company Hotelis, which is specialised in tourism and hotel management.

In five editions, the total value of the promotion of the Sea Star festival amounted to 23.7 million euros. This includes promoting the destination, focusing on the branding of Umag, Istria and the entire Croatian coast, as well as on the domestic and a number of foreign markets.

The analysis pointed out that music festivals have evolved from specific gatherings to mainstream cultural phenomena, attracting diverse audiences from around the world.

The research shows that the total spending on Exit’s Sea Star from 2017 to 2023 amounted to 29 million euros. A visitor to Sea Star spends about 40 percent more than the average tourist in Umag, while their non-boarding spending is often twice as high as the average sum.

The organisers of the festival hire a large number of employees of various professions, and the total number of employees hired before and during the festival is estimated to stand at more than 700.

In the past five editions of the Sea Star festival in Umag, more than 200,000 visitors have been counted, 40 percent of whom are foreign visitors. The total number of individual visitors stands at 88,000, and 180,000 tourist overnight stays were realised.

According to the results of this research, around 95 percent of visitors in that period came to Umag exclusively for the Sea Star festival. 98% of respondents improved or maintained their opinion about Umag itself, from which the research concludes that the festival has a very positive effect on the branding of the destination.


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