Croatian Tourism: Country Marks Fifth Year of Record Tourist Nights

Lauren Simmonds

As Morski writes on the 10th of February, 2020, according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics, as of December 2019, there were 372.2 thousand tourist arrivals and 776.7 thousand tourist nights in commercial accommodation, which is 6.5 percent and 5.9 percent more than in the same month of 2018, which is excellent news for Croatian tourism.

In 2019, 19.57 million tourist arrivals and 91.24 million tourist nights were realised in commercial accommodation, which is 4.8 percent and 1.8 percent more (respectively) than back in 2018. Structurally, last year’s growth in tourist nights resulted from an increase in the number of overnight stays by domestic (9.5 percent) and foreign (1.2 percent) tourists.

In the structure of overnight stays made up by foreign tourists, the most overnight stays were recorded by tourists from Germany (19.94 million), Slovenia (7.50 million) and Austria (7.06 million), with tourists from Germany (-0.2 percent) and Austria (-0.1 percent) realised almost the same number of nights, while tourists from Slovenia recorded an increase (3.1 percent). Tourists from these three countries alone accounted for as much as 41 percent of overnight stays realised by foreign tourists.

This continues the concentration of Croatian tourism, which, apart from the above, can also been seen in the data that about 65 percent of all overnight stays are spent in only three Croatian counties (Istria, Split-Dalmatia and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County) and that about 60 percent of all nights will be realised in just two months (July and August).

With the revival of many other Mediterranean countries which have always been traditional rivals of Croatia with their own, often cheaper offers, it wouldn’t be surprising that the country eventually ”comes down” from riding the record tourism wave. For this year, however, Croatian tourism can likely expect a continued increase in the number of tourist nights realised by foreign visitors.

Over the last five years, there has been a noticeable increase in the share of overnight stays realised by tourists from the United Kingdom, and British citizens ranked fifth in terms of tourist spending in the first three quarters of 2019. Foreign exchange income from tourism is also expected to increase this year.

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