Minister pleased with rise in tourism figures

ZAGREB, 7.8.2012.

The arrivals of tourists in Croatia rose by 3.8% in the first seven months in 2012 compared to the corresponding period in 2011, and their overnight stays increased 5.4 year on year, Croatian Tourism Minister Veljko Ostojic told a news conference in Zagreb on Tuesday.

The minister voiced satisfaction with the results so far this year, and said he hoped that August and the rest of the season would also produce good results, as heralded by bookings.

As for comments that financial effects are more important than the number of arrivals and overnights, Ostojic said that total spending was important, but that good figures on arrivals and the number of guests would also result in good financial effects.

He boasted that Croatia was one of the few Mediterranean countries to report a rise in the number of tourists this season.

Croatia had a rise of 3.8% and was followed by Spain with 2.9%, while a majority of Mediterranean countries saw a decrease, according to Ostojic.

The minister said that these results should be ascribed also to the developments in some of those countries but good statistics in Croatia were also a result of good preparations for the season.

In the first seven months, there were 6.66 million arrivals, up 3.84%, and 35.87 million overnight stays, up 5.38% on the year.

In the said period, foreigners accounted for 5.8 million arrivals (5.1% increase), and for 31.9 million overnight stays, a rise of 6.6%.

The number of domestic guests went down by 3.9% to 850,000 and their overnight stays decreased by 3.7% to 3.9 million.

The minister justified the "under-performance" of domestic guests with the ongoing economic situation in the country.

As for foreign holiday-makers, the number of guests from the Netherlands increased by 21% and their overnight stays were up by 25%. The number of German guests rose by 13%, and also the number of guests with Austrian passports rose by four percent. (Hina)