Croatia sees 3% more tourists in January-July period

SPLIT, 8.8.2014.

Croatian Tourism Minister Darko Lorencin has said that the number of visitors in Croatia in the first seven months rose by 3% compared to the corresponding period in 2013, and that the number of overnight stays went up 1%.

The season is rather tough, but our tourist trade is still in the black, Lorencin said at a news conference in the biggest coastal city of Split on Friday. He said that he was optimistic about the remainder of the year.

As for July alone, there were 0.4% fewer tourists than in July 2013. This was ascribed to inclement weather with frequent rains, and the minister noted that some summer destinations registered up to 24 rainy days in July. Asked about the financial outcome of tourist trade in the January-July period, Lorencin said those results would be known in early September after the Tax Administration processed data.

According to the latest data, in the first seven months the capital city Zagreb saw the biggest increase in arrivals and overnight stays - of 10.5% and 9% respectively. Split-Dalmatia County follows, with an 8.5% increase in arrivals and a 6% increase in overnight stays.

The number of tourists from Russia in July was 12% down from the same month last year, which Lorencin said was due to the economic and political situation in that country. "We will not give up on the Russian market and will continue investing in it, and we believe that we will overcome the current situation."

The minister said he was glad that after a decline lasting several years, the number of Italian tourists in the first seven months of this year went up 5% from the same period of last year, as did the number of their overnight stays.

The number of overnight stays generated by Slovenian tourists in the first seven months went up 1%, overnight stays generated by Hungarian tourists went up 13%, and those generated by British tourists 9%, he said.

Answering a reporter's question, Lorencin said that there was an impression that the number of tourists in the private accommodation sector had decreased but that the accommodation capacity of the private sector had been significantly expanded which contributed to such an impression.

As an illustration, he mentioned Sibenik-Knin County, where the capacity of the private accommodation sector is 40% bigger than in 2013, and Istria County, where the accommodation capacity in the private sector is 22% bigger than last year.