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Minister says half a million more tourists vacationing in Croatia in first seven months

STARIGRAD PAKLENICA, 6.8.2011.

In the first seven months of 2011, the number of tourists in Croatia increased by half a million as against the same period of last year, and in July alone there were three million arrivals, an increase of 4.8 percent from July 2010, Tourism Minister Damir Bajs said in Starigrad Paklenica, in the Zadar hinterland, on Saturday.

"These results are in line with this year's two main goals in the tourism sector - the return of domestic tourists to Croatian resorts, and protecting the country's increased market share in the international tourism market," said Bajs.

According to data released by local tourism boards, in July there were three million arrivals on the coast and in Zagreb, which is 4.8 percent more than in July 2010. Foreign tourists accounted for 2.7 million of those arrivals, up five percent, while domestic tourists accounted for 255,000 of the arrivals, an increase of 0.6 percent.

"There were 19.8 million overnight stays in July, an increase of three percent from July 2010. Foreign tourists accounted for 17.5 million overnight stays and domestic tourists for 2.2 million overnight stays, an increase of three and four percent respectively," said Bajs.

The highest increases in tourist arrivals in July were reported by the tourism boards in Zagreb (10%), Split-Dalmatia County (7.8%) and Zadar County (7%). They are followed by Lika-Senj County (6.3%), Dubrovnik-Neretva County (5.7%), Istria County (3.4%), Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (2.5%), and Sibenik-Knin County (1.3%). The highest number of arrivals and overnight stays was reported in Istria - more than 775,000 arrivals and 5.8 million overnight stays.

Increases were reported in arrivals from almost all tourist generating countries. Compared to July last year, the number of Hungarian tourists increased the most, by 13.5 percent, and they made 12 percent more overnight stays. The number of Austrian visitors went up 10.6 percent and they made 9 percent more overnight stays. Slovenian arrivals increased by five percent and the number of their overnight stays by six percent.

In the first seven months of this year, there were 6.2 million arrivals, 8 percent more than last year, Bajs said, adding that 450,000 more people had visited Croatia since the start of this year's season, including 40,000 domestic guests. The highest increases in arrivals in the first seven months were reported by Split-Dalmatia County (10.7%), Lika-Senj County (10.3%), the City of Zagreb (10%), and Zadar County (9%). The highest number of arrivals and overnight stays in the first seven months was again recorded in Istria, 1.7 million arrivals and 10.6 million overnight stays. (Hina)

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