Croatia’s Tourism Revenue to Reach Six Billion Euros by Year’s End

ŠIBENIK, 13.9.2006.

Croatian Tourism Minister Božidar Kalmeta said at a session of the government commission coordinating preparations for the 2006 tourist season in Šibenik on Wednesday that the expected increase in tourist arrivals, overnight stays and tourist revenue in the first eight months had been achieved.

In the first eight months, 7.94 million tourists visited Croatia, accounting for 45.3 million overnight stays, which is a 2% increase in relation to last year, according to preliminary figures from the Croatian Tourist Board.

This year tourist revenue will be 2% higher than last year and it is expected to exceed six billion euros by the end of the year, Kalmeta said.

The number of domestic arrivals amounted up to 1.03 million, which is a 9% increase, and domestic tourists accounted for 5.07 million overnight stays, an increase of 8%, Kalmeta said, adding that this was the result of the VAT rate dropping to 10%, as well as the charging of a lump sum for residence taxes.

"Croatia is a safe destination despite the fact that incidents involving foreign tourists were reported this season, which the competition has taken advantage of, so Croatia must prevent and eliminate such occurrences," the minister said.

The good tourist season is also the result of legal measures taken to prevent illegal charter and of the more efficient collection of residence taxes and activities of the state inspectorate; it was said at the session.

Arrivals from Germany and Italy, which are traditional tourist generating markets for Croatia, this year saw a slight stagnation of 4% and 2% respectively.

On the other hand, high growth rates were reported in new markets, such as Japan (a 118% increase) and Spain (a 30% increase).

Camp sites saw an 8% decrease in arrivals and a 1% decrease in overnight stays, mainly due to poor weather conditions in August, but also due to low investment in camp amenities, State Secretary for Tourism Zdenko Mičić said.

Marinas saw a 6% drop in the number of rented vessels and a 7% drop in revenues.

The Šibenik-Knin County was among the most successful counties and recorded a 5% increase in arrivals and a 7% rise in overnight stays.