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Croatia tourism booms this summer; return to 2019 levels

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Tourists in Croatia

Croatia’s tourism results almost reached the 2019 level in July and August, and booking for September also looks promising, Croatian Minister of Tourism Nikolina Brnjac said on Wednesday.

“The number of tourists and overnight stays is around 90 percent of summer months in 2019,” Brnjac told the national news agency Hina.

According to the eVisitor system, 9.8 million tourists visited Croatia this year and there were 61.3 million overnight stays. It is 64 per cent of arrivals and 74 per cent of overnight stays compared with the same period in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country.

Reported income from the peak summer period shows a 10 per cent increase compared with two years ago, Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac told the Slovenian newspaper Delo.

“A combination of factors influenced the increase,” said Zeljko Lovrincevic, senior economist at the Economic Institute in Zagreb. “The grey economy was suppressed by the Covid situation as more landlords reported their holiday guests. Also, prices are higher, and more people are shopping in big chains,” the report said.

Most tourist overnight stays were in Istria (6.7 million), Split-Dalmatia (4.7 million) and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (4.7 million). This is followed by Zadar (4.3 million overnight stays) Šibenik-Knin (1.9 million) and Dubrovnik-Neretva County (1.5 million). 

Foreign tourists are also provided with free vaccinations in Croatia.

“We desire to maintain the status of the country with the most favorable epidemiological situation in the Mediterranean, and that is why we will continue to focus on security so that tourist and social events can take place in the rest of the year,” Brnjac told Hina.

Croatia depends heavily on the tourism industry, which makes almost 20 per cent of the southeastern European country’s gross domestic product.

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