The Croatian National Tourist Board announced overnight stays in Croatia in August have reached 93 percent of the figure from the record breaking 2019. Although the season started with doom and gloom with some experts predicting that Croatia would do well to reach 60 percent of tourist arrivals of 2019 it would appear that these predictions were far too conservative.
And the very height of the tourist season, July and August, have been well above expectations, both in terms of overnight stays and tourist arrivals. “The trends in tourist traffic in the peak of this season are excellent, according to the eVisitor system in August alone about 1.6 million tourist arrivals and about 12 million overnight stays were achieved in Croatia in August so far. Compared to the same period in August 2019, that is 80 percent of the results in tourist arrivals and 93 percent in overnight stays,” stated the Croatian National Tourist Board. More than a million tourists, of which the vast majority are foreign tourists, are staying in Croatia on a daily basis.
And Dubrovnik, very much the jewel in the crown of Croatian tourism, has seen a bumper start to August. In fact, the city now has a problem with overbooking. Hotels and private accommodation that decided not to open their doors to tourists this year are probably regretting the move as tourists are discovering that finding an empty room in the city is near impossible. With the Brits, traditionally Dubrovnik’s most numerous tourists, now able to travel abroad for their summer holidays and the arrival of daily flights from the US have meant that August is extremely busy in the city. “I can’t see much difference between this August and two years ago, it’s great to see café bars, restaurants and hotels full again,” stated one tourism worker.
“All the results so far are the result of very good preparation and implementation of the season by the entire tourism sector and government measures, but also the fact that our country is the safest tourist destination in the Mediterranean,” stated the Croatian National Tourist Board. And even though Covid-19 figures across Croatia are far from stable they are indeed much less than the main competitors. A new Covid-19 map produced by the European Centre for Disease Control still has the entire Dalmatian coastline in the orange listing. However, the same map has most of Spain and Greece as red. Even though this map is purely used as advice for European Union members some countries add the data into their Covid regulations and travel measures.
And the post-season looks just as positive as the main season with bookings for October reaching June levels.
Tourism is a key part of the Croatian economy. In 2019 around 12 billion Euros of revenue came directly from tourism, which represented around 20 percent of the country’s GDP. However, indirectly this figure is probably closer to 30 percent.
Currently, most tourists are holidaying in Istria, Kvarner, Split-Dalmatia, Zadar and Šibenik-Knin counties, and as far as nationality is concerned most foreign tourists are from Germany, Slovenia, Poland, Austria and the Czech Republic.