Kvarner’s tourist traffic numbers continue their upward trajectory. The Kvarner region, located in Northwestern Croatia, finished 2019 with 3.1 million arrivals and 19.1 million overnight stays. Compared to 2018, there were 2% more arrivals and 1% more overnights. Overnights also increased by 3% compared to 2017, 13% compared to 2016 and 50% compared to 2010.
During peak season, overnight stays remained at last year’s levels, with an average occupancy of 25 days, and 30 days at hotels. That means that there wasn’t a lot of room for growth during the the busiest season of the year, according to MorskiHR on January 8, 2020. Therefore, it is important to emphasize that overnight more stays increased by 1% during pre-season, while the post-season overnight stays increased by 4%. The increase in overnights during pre and post-season is more significant when compared with results from 2010, and it shows that overnights during these times of the year increased by 90%, according to the tourist board.
Germany Traditionally Strongest Market
In 2019, 630,000 German guests visited the Kvarner region, resulting in almost 4.7 million overnight stays. This figure has certainly been influenced by the large number of promotions directed toward the German market. In addition to Germany, three more markets have reached more than one million overnights: Slovenia (3 million), Austria (1.8 million) and Italy (1.3 million). The share of foreign traffic for these four countries is nearly 70%.
Kvarner’s inclusion on group tour routes which take guests from distant markets to Europe has also resulted in a large increase in traffic from these markets. In the last 3 years, guests from China have almost tripled their number of overnight stays while US citizens have increased their overnights by 50%.
Guests from the United Kingdom are also worth mentioning. They spent 137,000 overnights in Kvarner which is 25% increase from 2018, and 44% increase from 2016! Foreign tourists account for 85% of overnight stays and domestic tourists 15% (3 million nights, an increase of 5%).
Most Guest Overnights on Island of Krk
Among the subregions, the island of Krk is in the lead, with an increase of 1% and 7 million overnights (and has a 36% share of total overnights in Kvarner).
The Crikvenica-Vinodol Riviera ranks second (3.2 million) followed by the island of Losinj (2.4 million). The number of overnight stays continues as follows: the Opatija Riviera and the island of Rab (2.2 million), the island of Cres (1.1 million), the Rijeka area (925,000) and Gorski Kotar (110,000). The highest percentage increase in overnight stays (14%) was recorded in the Rijeka area.
Mali Losinj (2.4 million nights) and Crikvenica (2.2 million nights) are among the “best” destinations.
Guests Prefer Croatia Family Accommodations
Family accommodations accounted for 40% of recorded overnight stays (7.7 million). Campsites and hotels recorded almost the same number of total overnights: 3.7 million each with individual shares of 19%.
The highest increase in overnights was recorded in upper-category accommodations:
- Hotels generally realized 1% more overnights. However, 4 and 5-star hotels enjoyed a 6% increase.
- All family accommodations experienced a 1% increase in overnight stays, but 5-star family accommodations enjoyed a 38% increase!
- A similar scenario applies to campsites: there was an overall 1% decrease in overnight stays, but overnights at 5-star camps are up 22%.
Regardless of the type, 5-star facilities have seen 15% increase in overnight stays during the past year and 70% increase overnight over the last 3 years!
Nautical Tourism Overnights Up Thirty-Two Percent
These figures do not include 24,500 arrivals and 156,000 overnight stays due to nautical traffic, which in has increased by as much as 32% the last year alone. There are about 20 nautical tourism ports in Kvarner, and Marina Punat alone accounts for more than half of nautical overnights.
Kvarner Third to Istria and Split-Dalmatia in Accommodation Capacity
As of 2019, there are 190,000 permanent beds available for tourists in Kvarner which represent a 17% share in accommodation capacity within Croatia. The Kvarner region ranks third in terms of total available accommodation, which is behind Istria and Split-Dalmatia counties in Croatia.
Irena Peršić Živadinov, Director of the Kvarner Tourist Board, emphasizes that the primary goal is to strengthen the pre and post-seasons, because one cannot always count on a record “peak” season.
Kvarner Tourist Board Expects Long-Term Increase
“In recent years, the Kvarner region has definitely succeeded in strengthening the pre and post-seasons. Compared 2010 to 2019, we have seen a huge increase in overnight stays during both seasons – almost 90%! Over the past 10 years, we have invested in the quantity and quality of the regions’ offerings. We have also focused on joint branding and activities and recognized our strengths regarding products and offerings.”
“These steps probably won’t yield immediate results but will take a longer time to have an effect. Taking that into consideration, for example, 12.7 million overnight stays were recorded in 2010, it is clear that in a period of 9 years we have realized 6.3 million more overnights, or the total number of overnights in Kvarner ha increased by almost 50%,” Peršić Živadinov points out.
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