Tourism Season 2017 Predicted to Break Records

Total Croatia News

Predictions for Croatia cite a 3.3 percent rise in overnight stays which positions it among countries with higher growth rates

Croatia was declared the best global destination for 2016 by the readers of the renowned American tourism magazine Travel & Leisure. Also, with this latest in a line of recognitions for Croatia, the main office of Croatian Tourism Board (HTZ) stated for on November 18, 2016, that the current year was exceptionally successful for the Croatian tourism sector.

Latest data from the State Statistics Bureau cites a rise in tourism in the first nine months by about 8 percent in arrivals and overnight stays, while HTZ expects that percentage to be true for the entire year in commercial accommodation.

Specific figures for 2017 are still not concrete, but first predictions of Oxford economics cite a tourism growth rate of 4.2 percent in the world, while the European level is predicted at 3.2 percent, specifically 2 percent for the Mediterranean.

Predictions for Croatia cite a 3.3 percent rise in overnight stays which positions it among countries with higher growth rates.

“Last year we were a country with the largest relative and absolute growth, while this year we will also be among the leading countries. This shows Croatia is perceived as a tourism destination which offers something new and this is one of our main advantages,” HTZ stated.

They point out most tourism traffic in Croatia is made from the European markets, while this year was marked by tourists from distant markets. In November, along with Slovenian, Austrian and German tourists, many came from distant markets such a Korea and USA. They are certain the Travel & Leisure award will additionally position Croatia as a desirable destination on the American market.

HTZ London office director Ivona Grgan said expectations for 2017 are very good. They predict the British will take many overseas trips, mostly to safe destinations, among which is Croatia.

“Croatia is currently a very popular destination on the Great Britain market. This can be primarily seen in the interest of partners, broadening of tour operator programmes, many new flights and demands from journalists for press trips. Currently the most important factor in choosing trips is safety. Due to the geopolitical situation and terrorist attacks in the past year, Brits have turned to only safe destinations. Hence the number of trips to Turkey, Egypt, Tunis but also France have greatly declined, while a rise of travellers was seen to countries of the west Mediterranean like Spain, Portugal and Croatia, perceived as safe destinations. We expect the rising trend of arrivals by British tourists to continue with double figures,” said Grgan.

The Italian market in 2017 is also expected to bring in good results, which was confirmed at an important tourism fair in Rimini, as Branko Curić, HTZ Milan office director stated.

“In the coming year we expect to repeat good results made in 2016 in which the Italian market is among the top five with most overnight stays. Our focus is to make better results on the shoulder of the main season. In general, the goal is to increase the number of Italian tourists by 3-4 percent. We will emphasize enogastronomy, cultural heritage, national parks. Health and nautical tourism as well,” said Curić.

Index also spoke with HTZ Paris office director Danijela Mihalić Đurica who pointed out the largest competition to Croatia is France itself as the French are known for their strong domestic tourism.

“Although the French market brought a rise in arrivals and overnight stay, there is room for further growth. Until recently an obstacle was a lack of flights, but this year nine direct flights were established from Nantes, Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse and Marseille, which covers most of the French territory. For 2017 some additional flights from Strasbourg and Marseille are confirmed. It is too early to speak of numbers and prognosis as the French decide on travel rather late, but considering new programmes, Croatia can expect further growth from this markets at an average rate of five percent,” said Mihalić Đurica.

For several years Croatia is the most visited and popular destination for Polish tourists. There are several motives for their arrival: guaranteed weather conditions, safety, unspoiled nature, rich cultural heritage, hospitality and destination availability, meaning good traffic connections,” said Bojan Baketa, director of the HTZ Poland office.

Croatia is equally popular in the German market. This growth, as Romeo Draghicchio, director of the HTZ Frankfurt office said, is tied to the brand strength of Croatia which helped position it as the fifth international destination for vacation in Germany.

“The positive trend should continue in 2017. The interest so far is higher than last year, while we expect Croatia to keep a leading position in the German market, where we are perceived as a leading destination, said Draghicchio.


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