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All Signs Pointing to a Bumper 2016 Tourist Season in Croatia

Bumper season expected (photo: croatia.hr)

Bumper season expected (photo credit: Ivo Pervan / CNTB (Croatian National Tourist Board)

The Croatian Tourist Board says that the upcoming tourist season in Croatia will be an excellent one. The board’s optimism is based on a number of positive indicators which came out of the World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) recent analysis foreign markets…

UNTWO estimated that the average expected rate of growth in tourism in Europe will range from +3.5 to +4.5 percent this year, and they expect a very successful season, both for tourism around the world, and in Croatia.

“Croatia as a tourist destination is most recognisable among European tourists, but we are now better positioned now also in distant markets such as the US, China, Japan or Korea. We were very pleased with the results last year and we want the positive trends to continue this year,” Croatian Tourist Board Director Ratomir Ivičić said, before adding.

“Our goal is to repeat the good results of last year, and where it is realistic and possible to be achieved increases. Of course we do not expect an increase in tourist traffic from all markets to be a linear character, but certainly we will strive for increases in consumption and certainly increases in the number of visits in the off-season,” he said.

According to data from Austria’s IFT institute (Institut für Freizeit- und Tourismusforschung), which is one of Croatia’s leading markets, 44% of Austrians have already decided about their vacation this year (41% was last year’s number). In terms of international destinations for the Austrians, Croatia was in number one spot this year out of those surveyed by the institute. 19% said they will be visiting Croatia (17% last year), whilst Italy was in second place (14%) followed by Spain (7%).

Rovinj in Istria, which was the most visited region last year (photo credit: Boris Kačan / CNTB (Croatian National Tourist Board)

With a noteable increase in flights to Croatia from all over Europe, growth is expected in the number tourists from the UK, Scandinavia and Holland also this year. Croatia’s stability may also see a return this year of the Russian tourists in large numbers. Visa issues saw a slight drop in numbers over the past couple of years after Croatia joined the EU.

Taking that all into account, Croatia’s growth rate is expected to exceed the EU average (4.5 percent) in 2016.

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