As Greece recovers from the damage caused by street violence, strikes and a massive blow to its reputation on the international stage, surrounding nations are set to steal its tourists, particularly Croatia.
It is said that every cloud has a silver lining and the crisis in Greece is proving that this saying is at least half true. The cloud over Greece looks more violent than ever and is stopping Brits, Germans and Italians from visiting the traditional destination. The silver lining has a Croatian flag on it as the Greek unrests pushes tourists in a northerly direction.
This is not to say that Croatia has nothing to offer without being a substitute for a nearby EU country in crisis. The country boasts a general mixture of green and blue as the Adriatic combines with stunning islands such as Hvar and medieval walled cities like Dubrovnik to create breathtaking landscape.
If it were not for the “Balkan” reputation, there is no reason to believe why the former Yugoslav country should not be more popular. The government relies on at least 10 million visitors per annum. Then the figures of Croatian tourism are very favourable and account for one sixth of the country’s economy.
With the help of Greek crisis, Croatia has experienced a 7% growth in overnight stays this July. Whether these stays are in expensive hotels or tents, it still shows an element of progress. This means every 50th tourist in Europe visited Croatia in July. In Greece, the number of tourists remains almost the same yet spending is significantly down compared to last year. Indeed, tourists in Greece have been spending at least 7% less than in 2009.