Minister comments on best ever July for Croatian tourism

MAKARASKA, 7.8.2010.
Croatian Tourism Minister Damir Bajs has expressed satisfaction with tourist arrivals and overnight stays this July which he has described as the best July so far in the Croatian tourist trade.

"In July this year we had 2.7 million tourists, up 9 percent from July 2009, and they had 19 million overnight stays, or 7 percent more than in last July," Minister Bajs told a news conference in the southern coastal resort of Makarska on Saturday.

This outcome has eliminated negative results from the first half of 2010, which means that the entire tourist sector recorded positive results in the first seven months.

"Thanks to excellent results in July, the first seven months saw 5.5 million foreign and domestic tourists, or 3 percent more than in the first seven months of the last year," the minister said.

"They had some 31 million overnight stays, or up 5 percent compared to the same period last year." he added.

The number of holiday-makers in Istria went up by 5 percent this July in comparison to July 2009, The Kvarner area saw an increase of 11 percent, Lika-Senj County 14 percent , Sibenik County 6 percent, Split County 14 percent and Dubrovnik County 10 percent.

This shows that probably this July was the best ever July for Croatia's tourism.

We are succeeding in what we want to achieve, that is, to maintain Croatia's international share in Europe, which means that every 50th tourist in Europe visits Croatia, Bajs said.

As regards domestic tourists, their number declined in the first six months of 2010 to be reversed in July.

When it comes to foreign guests, the highest rise was recorded with Russians, Spaniards and Slovenians.

However, Croatia had poor results with the arrival of guests from Germany and Italy so far this year, which is why Bajs called for more efforts to reverse those negative trends in August.

Commenting on what led to positive results in the first seven months, the minister pointed out the fact that EUR 30 million had been invested in the advertisement and promotion as well as the abolishment of visa requirements for Russian and Ukrainian tourists and for visitors from some other countries.

The Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) chairman Niko Bulic said that advertising activities had been conducted systematically, professionally and thoroughly. (Hina)