French Tourists Should be Targeted to Extend Season, Says HTZ France

Daniela Rogulj

France has seen a steady increase in visitors to Croatia in recent years, at an annual difference of between 5-10 percent. This year is no different, with 300,000 arrivals and more than a million overnights in the first seven months, which is up 6 percent from the same period last year, says HTZ France.

As Goran Rihelj of HRTurizam writes on July 30, 2019, the positive trend continued in July, with French tourists making 121,000 arrivals and 477,000 overnight stays, which is up 7 percent on arrivals and 10 percent on overnight stays compared to July last year.

“We are extremely pleased with the positive impressions of the French who, upon their return from Croatia, emphasize our hospitality and authenticity, preserved nature, beautiful coastline and islands, quality gastronomy and rich cultural heritage. The results achieved are even more significant if we consider that the French market is very complex, primarily because of their well-known trend of staying and spending their holidays in French destinations, that is, the strong promotion of domestic tourism,” said Danijela Mihalić Đurica, Director of the HTZ Office in France. Đurica added that French guests are ideal for extending the season precisely because of their many school holidays, national holidays and public holidays and on average a shorter working week.

Most French tour operators are delighted with the bookings and results, especially for July and August, but also for September and October, the HTZ said.

This is confirmed by the statistics of the Association of French Travel Agencies Les Entreprises du Voyage, according to which Croatia ranks fourth in the list of France’s top-selling foreign mid-range destinations, which is up 11 percent compared to the same period last year.

Thus, the proportion of French travelers organizing their holidays abroad using travel agency services this year has increased by 4% for long-haul destinations and 2% for medium-haul destinations, representing more than 3/4 of their summer vacation.

Interestingly, according to a report from Les Entreprises du Voyage, Turkey, which was a hit last year, returned to normal visitation levels, with Tunisia and Egypt reaching visitation levels before the “Arab Spring”. These destinations are returning to the detriment of European destinations such as Spain, Greece, Italy, and Portugal. Otherwise, Turkey expects to achieve 50 million arrivals this year.

When it comes to longer stays, although the US and Canada lead, the French prefer seaside holidays: the Dominican Republic, Mauritius, and Mexico are the top three French destinations when it comes to longer trips.

“Active tourism, nature, culture, and gastronomy are certainly motives with which we can interest guests from France, especially in the pre and postseason. Otherwise, the French are known as the world champions in using their holidays and number of days off. Every seven weeks, French schoolchildren have two weeks of school holidays. That means they have two weeks off in April and two in October. Also, these are not guests who will be comfortable with lying on the beach and the sun and sea; they are extremely curious. They need a little more effort because they are very aware of the value for money,” Mihalić Đurica pointed out.

In announcing this tourist season, Mihalić Đurica revealed that Dubrovnik had been the most popular destination in Croatia for French guests for decades, and now Split is becoming more and more popular. Furthermore, French guests are increasing in numbers to Kvarner, Istria, and Zagreb.

“Positive trends from the French market are the result of expanding the offer and numerous promotional activities and quality cooperation with partners such as Ovoyages, Travel Europe, Top of Travel and Voyamar, which offer Croatian destinations, and every year new charter flights and direct flights to Split, Pula, Dubrovnik, and Rijeka are introduced from, for example, Lyon, Marseilles and Bordeaux,” said HTZ Director Kristjan Staničić, adding that he is especially looking forward to a continuous increase in the turnover of French guests, not only in traditionally strong destinations such as Dubrovnik or Split, but also in new ones like Zagreb, Slavonia, Kvarner and Istria.

The publications in the most prominent French media with a focus on Croatia’s continental also contribute to the positive results. 

In Vukovar-Srijem County, the famous culinary show “Cuisine impossible” was successfully filmed, and a report about Slavonia is expected to be published in one of the most read French magazines Le Figaro. On the national television station TF1, last week’s “Croatian Week” broadcasts reported on Krka National Park, Šibenik, Korčula, Hvar, Split, and Dubrovnik.

And finally, the national TV station France 2 saw more than 17 million viewers during a four-week promotional video about Croatia, concluded the HTZ.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment