Croatia Records Half as Many Tourist Overnight Stays in 2020 Compared to 2019

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Copyright Romulić and Stojčić
Tourist facility in Istria to illustrate tourist overnight stays in 2020 in Croatia
Tourist facility in Istria to illustrate tourist overnight stays in 2020 in Croatia

According to the eVisitor system data, in 2020, there were 7.8 million arrivals in Croatia, which is 37 percent of the results from 2019, and 54.4 million overnight stays, namely 50 percent of the results from 2019.

Of that, foreign tourists realized 43.1 million overnight stays (45 percent of the results from 2019), while domestic guests realized 11.3 million overnight stays (82 percent of the results from 2019), reports Croatian National Tourist Board.

Focus is on safety, preparation, and quality

Despite the pandemic and challenges, Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac emphasizes her satisfaction with the results achieved in 2020. The figures of 54 million overnight stays, she says, prove that the tourism sector has quickly and efficiently adapted to the new circumstances.

“Due to good epidemiological conditions, Croatia was recognized as a safe destination. We must continue to work on that in 2021 to extend the peak part of the tourist year and ensure the tourism sector’s resilience. We need a further increase in quality, the development of new value-added tourism products, and the responsible and sustainable management of tourist destinations and infrastructure,” said Brnjac.


With 1.8 million tourist overnight stays, Rovinj takes second place on the tourist map of Croatia / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

She adds that this year, with the vaccine and adherence to epidemiological measures, but also with the previous experience, we can expect the desired tourist achievements.

Croatian National Tourist Board Director Kristjan Staničić pointed out that Croatia has achieved one of the best tourist results in the Mediterranean despite all obstacles.

“An important period is ahead of us in which we will carry out activities to position Croatia as a safe, well-prepared, and quality tourist destination,” said Staničić.

Istria and Vir – last year’s tourist winners

During 2020, the highest number of overnight stays was realized in Istria – 13.5 million, and in Kvarner – 11 million overnight stays, while in Zadar County, 9.8 million overnight stays were realized. They are followed by Split-Dalmatia County, Šibenik-Knin County, Dubrovnik-Neretva County, and Lika-Senj County.

The City of Zagreb recorded 807 thousand overnight stays in 2020, while 1.1 million overnight stays were realized on the continent last year. The most overnight stays on the continent were realized in Karlovac, Krapina-Zagorje, and Osijek-Baranja Counties.

Last year, Croatia was mostly visited by tourists from Germany, Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Austria. Most overnight stays were recorded in households – 22.3 million overnight stays, camps – 8.8 million overnight stays, and hotels – 7 million overnight stays.

Photo: Vir Municipality

From January to October alone, Vir was the only destination with more than 2 million overnight stays. Even then, it was clear that Vir would take the lead with the most tourist overnight stays in 2020. Rovinj followed it with 1.8 million overnight stays, then Medulin, Poreč, Mali Lošinj, and Crikvenica.

Zagreb – most visited during the holidays

During the Christmas and New Year holidays, there were 33,924 arrivals and more than 140,000 tourist overnight stays in Croatia. Compared to 2019, that is only 17 percent of arrivals and 26 percent of overnight stays.

Most overnight stays were realized in household facilities and hotels. Domestic tourists accounted for 64 percent of total overnight stays in that period, followed by tourists from Germany, the United States, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Slovenia. Most overnight stays were realized in Zagreb, followed by Rovinj, Split, Opatija, and Poreč.

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