Minister says tourist season successful with 55.2 mln nights from January through September

PLITVICE, 10.10.2009.

Croatian Tourism Minister Damir Bajs and the director of the National Tourist Board's main office, Niko Bulić, on Saturday presented the results of this year's tourist season through September, stressing they were successful.
The tourist season, which in terms of nights through September has reached 96 percent of the record tourism turnover of 2008, is still giving results which are more than good, says a Tourism Ministry report which Bajs and Bulić presented at Plitvice Lakes National Park.

There were 55.2 million nights from January through September this year, up nearly half a million from the same time period in 2008, and this September alone saw a record high 6.2 million nights, it was said.
Of said 55.2 million, foreigners accounted for 49.6 million nights and domestic tourists for 5.6 million.
The first nine months of this year saw 9.2 million arrivals, down two per cent on the year, with foreigners accounting for 8.2 million, said Bajs.

Of the 6.2 million nights registered this September, up seven per cent on the year, 5.8 million was generated by foreign and 372,000 by domestic tourists.
Arrivals in September were on the level of September 2008, around one million, of which 941,000 were by foreign and 83,500 by domestic tourists.

Bajs said Croatia was the only country which registered an overall positive trend in arrivals and nights, which he added showed that "Croatian tourism attracted more foreign tourists at a time when they travel less".
He also said that Lika-Senj, Šibenik-Knin and Istria counties had recorded above-average results in this year's season.

Bajs went on to say that Plitvice Lakes National Park was visited by some 905,000 people this year so far and that profits were up 20 per cent year-on-year.
"As a significant Croatian export product, tourism will remain a priority, so we will start preparing for 2010 on time because our competition (Italy, Spain, France) and other countries will not allow for negative results to happen again. Croatia will propose additional measures to remain competitive in the future as well," said the minister.
Bulić said the results achieved were due to an exceptional promotion, adding that local tourist boards would be reorganized to achieve better results by streamlining and expanding their product. (Hina)