In a Mix of Growth and Stagnation, Can Post-Season be Relied Upon?

Lauren Simmonds

At the end of the year, the economic effects of this year’s tourism season will be known thanks to the implementation of a new method.

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 8th of September, 2018, during this tourist season, Croatian tourism has further strengthened the direction in which it has been going during the last three, quite successful years, with the stagnation and an (almost) decline for the hotel segment, with the trends leaning more in favour of family accommodation and non-commercial accommodation, coupled with the further strengthening of family tourism.

Croatia still finds itself very much within the ever-tighter chains of a ”sun and sea” destination with a continued disadvantage towards the continent, except for the City of Zagreb, which proved to be an even bigger exception than it did last year when it comes to tourism. Additionally, August’s data, which was released yesterday by the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) confirmed the speculation that Croatia had been suffering from stagnation during the very height of the tourist season this year, and the growth recorded in total annual turnover was owing purely to the pre-season.

Namely, in the period from January to the end of August, 15.7 million arrivals (+5 percent) and 88.5 million overnight stays (+4 percent) were recorded in Croatia, according to eVisitor’s data. After July, which repeated the general level of last year’s traffic, there were 4.6 million arrivals and 32.1 million overnight stays realised in August, when compared with August 2017, this is a 3 percent increase in arrivals and 1 percent increase in overnight stays.

Although Croatia has been taking account of ”physical indicators” when it comes to its tourism performance for years, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli has recently pointed out that it’s time to stop such being so reliant on such trends. He also announced that at the end of the year, a method which will showcase the economic effects of tourism on the economy will be developed.

“I hope we’ll stop counting arrivals and overnight stays which just can’t be a benchmark for success,” Cappelli stated.

The largest growth in traffic on the Adriatic has been seen in Split-Dalmatia and Dubrovnik-Neretva Couty (7 percent) and in Zadar County (5 percent) from the beginning of the year to the beginning of September. During eight months, most of the overnight stays were realised in Istria (24 million), thanks to the largest number of campsites being located in that region. On the continent, not including Zagreb, 1.6 million overnight stays were realised, which is still not even a mere two percent of the total number of overnight stays realised within the entire country.

Zagreb approached one million arrivals by the end of August. Since the beginning of the year, Zagreb managed to acheive 1.6 million overnight stays, which is 11 percent more than was recorded for the capital last year.

On the continent, which also includes the wider Zagreb County, there was a significant 29 percent jump (133 thousand overnight stays). The Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) has pointed out that such a level of growth can be related to the close vicinity of Zagreb, the opening of new hotels in nearby Velika Gorica and Jastrebarsko, as well as the opening of the new Designer Outlet in Rugvica, close to the already popular IKEA. From HTZ, it has been learned that more than 50 percent of the guests during the first eight months of this year are young people, and those between the ages of 30 and 50, which are age groups quite specific to the family tourism category.

The group of tourists of an age group of up to 60, including a good part of the so-called “empty nesters” (parents with adult children traveling alone), acheived 12 million overnight stays this year, about 11 million overnight stays more than those who are older than 60. Statistics show that hotel business in Croatia this year stagnated, with the largest growth being in private accommodation and in non-commercial accommodation.

There were 5.3 million arrivals in hotels, which is about 33.6 percent of the total number of arrivals, and 19 million overnight stays, which is slightly more than last year and represents 21 percent of the total number of overnight stays.

In the family accommodation segment this year, a significant 37 percent of the total number of overnights was realised, which is one percent higher than it was just two years ago.

Camps and campsites represent the third segment in terms of tourist traffic, with 16.3 million overnight stays having been realised this year when compared to last year, which is generally almost at the very same level as it was last year.


Click here for the original article by Marija Crnjak for Poslovni Dnevnik


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