Croatia, a popular vacation destination particularly among Europeans, expects higher tourism revenues this year than in the record year of 2019, the last year before the global Corona pandemic. The tourism boom is good news for the country which is to join the EURO zone.
According to forecasts by the Croatian National Bank, tourism revenues will amount to around 11.3 billion euros in 2022, as Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac reported recently. In 2019, these revenues had amounted to 10.5 billion euros.
Since the beginning of the year, the Adriatic country has recorded about 17 million tourist arrivals and 99 million overnight stays, Brnjac added. Tourism revenues account for 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in Croatia, excluding pandemic years.
On January 1, 2023, the euro will replace the national currency, the kuna. Although Croatia has long fulfilled the necessary conditions, it is not yet part of the border-free Schengen area. As a result, there are always long traffic jams at the borders with the EU's northern neighbor Slovenia during the vacation travel season.
In Zagreb, there is hope that accession to the Schengen Agreement can take place before the start of the next tourist season. The Zagreb Airport expects to welcome a total of 3 million passengers this year, which is around 88% of its pre-pandemic traffic.
The number of aircraft movements stood at 4.061, representing a decrease of 7.7%. Overall, during the first eight months of the year, Zagreb Airport welcomed 1.976.818 passengers through its doors, down 13.1% on the pre-pandemic 2019. Croatia Airlines and Ryanair now account for 60% of the airport’s traffic.