Although official figures show a positive trend in the number of tourists visiting coastal destinations in Croatia, many tour operators, especially private renters, report a disappointing start to the season.
Croatian tourism numbers show that there are vacationers in the country but not the expected "invasion" after the cancellation of border controls. The reasons for this vary, from high prices that have removed Croatia from the low-cost destination category to the post-pandemic reopening of several Mediterranean markets.
Additionally, there has been a significant increase in the number of beds in tourist apartments over recent years, which is much higher than the possible increase in foreign tourists.
The official statistics are positive, showing an increase in Croatian tourism. In the first half of this year, 6.7 million tourists visited and stayed overnight, resulting in 27.3 million overnight stays.
Compared to last year, number of visitors rose by 16%, and overnight stays increased by 10%. In comparison to the first half of 2019, there was a 4% increase in overnight stays. June saw a 1% rise in overnight stays from last year, the same as in June 2019.
The eVisitor and eCrew systems recorded 2.9 million tourists in Croatia in June alone, a 2% increase from last year. There were also 15 million overnight stays.
Record financial results have also reflected the number of tourists surpassing 2019. Foreign tourist revenue in the first quarter reached 672 million euros, an increase of 38% compared to the same quarter in 2022. These positive statistics indicate that the tourism sector has remained stable despite the challenges faced, with government measures playing a significant role in supporting its resilience.
In the first six months, Istria had the highest number of overnight stays in Croatia, with 8.5 million, 7% higher than last year. Split-Dalmatia County followed with 4.7 million overnight stays, an increase of 11%. Kvarner had 4.5 million overnight stays, a rise of 6% compared to the same period last year.
In June, the German market contributed the most overnight stays with 3.9 million, followed by domestic tourists with 1.4 million. Tourists from Austria and Slovenia had the same number of overnight stays, with Poles and Czechs ahead.