Tourism statistics released at the start of November for the month of October have highlighted a big change in Croatian tourism patterns…
For the first time in any October, Split-Dalmatia County has had more tourist arrivals than the north-west region of Istria.
In October there 122,000 arrivals in the Split-Dalmatia County, which was 9% more than October 2014. Overnight stays were also up a massive 20% to 488,000. Istria had 106,000 tourist arrivals in October, as did the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Zagreb was next best with 96,000 visitors, followed by Zadar with 51,000 arrivals.
The change in trend in Croatian tourism, with Dalmatian destinations out of the main summer months becoming more popular than Istria, has been slowly happening over the last 2 years. More and more tourists are visiting Dalmatia outside the traditional June-July-August period. Istria however still attracts more tourists – 3.5 million (23.5 million overnight stays) versus 2.5 million in the Split region.
“This is proof that the season is extending and we do that the best in Croatia. We will be even better because we are developing new products,” said Split-Dalmatia head Joško Stella, who was particularly happy with the 39% growth in the number of tourists from the UK this year.
An increase in cruiser ships also helped Split record impressive stats this year. In 2014 there were 232 cruisers carrying 184,000 people, this year that rose to 243 ships with 260,000 passengers. Next year 272 cruisers have already announced their arrival.
Split was most popular among Americans, Brits, French and Germans, whilst there was a 21% increase in the number of South Koreans to visit Split in October.
Next year looks set to be just as good with a number of airlines announcing increased services to Split.