The 12.9 million tourists created 73.17 million overnight stays, 2% more than 2013. Out of the total number of tourists, 11.6 million of them were foreign arrivals, up 5% from last year. Domestic tourism was also up 1%.
Most regions in the country experienced growth. In the Istria region tourist arrivals were up 2% to 3.2 million, whilst in the Split-Dalmatia County there was impressive growth of 9% this year (2.3 million arrivals). Zadar saw tourist arrivals grow by 7% in 2014 (1.4 million), whilst Lika-Senj experienced 6% growth (519,000).
The capital Zagreb was again one of the stars of the season, with 12% growth in tourist arrivals (854,000), whilst the Šibenik-Knin County had 1.5% more tourists in the first 11 months of the year. The popular tourist Country of Dubrovnik-Neretva had 1.4 million arrivals, which was 9% more than the same period last year. The Kvarner region was one area which saw a decline in tourist arrivals (down 1% to 2.2 million).
The Germans continued to lead the way, accounting for the largest number of tourist arrivals in Croatia in the first 11 months with 2 million arrivals, which was 2% more than which came in the same period last year. The Slovenes were next (1.18 million – +2%), followed by the Austrians (1 million – +4.3%).
November alone saw 10% growth in the number of arrivals, with the growth aided by tourists from nations outside of Europe 13,000 Japanese tourist arrived in November, growth of 9% from 2013. But it were the South Koreans however who recorded the biggest jump – up 290% to 10,000 arrivals last month. Also in November there were 5,000 American arrivals (+4%) and visits from 2,000 Chinese tourists (+78%).
“Growth of 10% in the number of arrivals in November shows that the initiatives carried out by the Tourism Ministry and the Croatian Tourist Board to extend the season have had a purpose. I expect the positive growth trend to continue in December and that the tourism sector in 2014 achieves excellent results, both physically and financially. In 2015 we will start with a strategic marketing plan to promote the Croatia 365 programme to position Croatia as an all year round destination,” said Minister of Tourism Darko Lorencin.