Prime Minister Andrej Plenković (L) Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli (R) (Photo: Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL) Prime Minister Andrej Plenković (L) Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli (R) (Photo: Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL)

The latest data from the e-Visitor system indicate that Croatia has registered 43.4 million overnight stays in the first six months of the year. When compared to 2018 this is an increase of 4.1% in tourist arrivals and 1% in overnight stays. However, in July the figures are down by 3 to 4% from July of last year, prompting media to question what the year-end results for 2019 will be. Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli: "At this time two years ago the media were reporting that we were bursting at the seams, and today we have the same number of guests that we had two years ago. Even then I was saying that this is Croatia's limit in terms of the number of tourists due to the infrastructure in our cities."

Hotels are for the most part full, while camps and private accommodations have seen a drop of roughly 5%. However, Minister Cappelli is unconcerned, noting that further investment into the tourism sector will continue to bear fruit.

"The situation today is not concerning at all, Croatia will maintain these numbers and raise the quality of its offer. 70% of our private accommodations are three star facilities, half of them were registered 20 or 30 years ago, so that's the problem we face, raising our quality while maintaining these numbers, but our development strategy will take care of that," the minister said.

Four and five star accommodations in the tourism sector continue to see the best results. Continued investment has proven to be a guarantee of full occupancy. One such example is Valamar's newly opened camp in the village of Funtana on the Istrian peninsula, which has invested some 300 million Kuna into environmental sustainability and overall offer, for which it has become the first Croatian camp to receive the European Ecolabel.

Meanwhile, in continental Croatia Zagreb continues to set the standard. The capital is easily the national leader in terms of winter tourism. However, it also continues to see growth in tourist arrivals in the summer months as well. In the first six months of the year the national capital has registered more than 1.1 million overnight stays, which is a 5% increase from last year, as well as a 6% increase in overnight stays. Zagreb now ranks among the country's top three destinations, attracting more and more return visitors.

Source: HRT