While most people would guess Dubrovnik, or even the island of Hvar, Rovinj, on Croatia’s north-western coast, will be for the 4th year in a row the most popular tourist destination in Croatia, says its Mayor Giovanni Sponza after the Ministry of Tourism released its results for the first 9 months of the year on Tuesday.
Rovinj, which boasts a population of around just 15,000, is the Croatian record holder for overnight stays, a key indicator for accommodation statistics which measures both the length of stay and the number of visitors, with 450,000 tourists and 3.1 million overnights recorded in the first 9 months of 2013. This year’s statistics are 1% up on 2012’s record-setting year.
Some of Rovinj’s natural sights, including Limska Draga Fjord and Zlatni Rt Forest Park, have been described as “outstanding scenic wonders,” because of the pristine beauty of the indented coastline and its forests, consisting of holm oak and Alpine pine trees. This area “of outstanding natural beauty” extends from St. Ivan promontory to Barbariga, including all the Rovinj islands and the mainland 500 metres from the shore line. The Rovinj archipelago consists of 19 islands.
Earlier this year Rovnij won a ‘Golden Apple Award’ from the World Federation of Journalists & Travel Writers (FIJET) for its contribution to the preservation, enhancement and promotion of historic and cultural heritage and tourism development. Rovinj will not be resting on its laurels, with around 50 million euro worth of investment planed in 2014, including plans to develop medical tourism there through help from EU funds.