In 2023, the total number of tourist arrivals amounted to 1.3m, representing an increase of 25.5% YoY. Meanwhile, total tourist nights amounted to 3.4m, which is an increase of 17.2% YoY.
Recently, the Croatian Tourist Board published the latest report on the developments in the tourism sector, including the data for April 2023. The report shows that the total number of tourist arrivals amounted to 1.3m, which is an increase of 25.5% YoY. Of this, foreign tourist arrivals amounted to 904k, an increase of 32.6% YoY, while domestic tourist arrivals amounted to 225k, representing an increase of 14% YoY.
Moving on to tourist nights, in April 2023 they amounted to 3.4m in total, representing an increase of 17.2% YoY. Of this, total foreign tourist nights amounted to 2.8m, an increase of 17.8% YoY, while domestic tourist arrivals amounted to 538.7k, also an increase of 13.8% YoY. This would also mean that the average stay per person amounted to 2.96 nights, a decrease of 9.3% YoY.
Total tourist arrivals and tourist nights in Croatia (January 2019 – April 2023)
Source: HTZ, InterCapital Research
Looking at the tourist nights by the type of accommodation, the majority stayed in hotels (55%) followed by private real estate at 17.4%, 14.5% in camps, and 23% in other types of accommodation. In terms of the tourist nights by country of origin, the domestic market had the largest share, at 17%, followed by Germany at 16%, Slovenia at 15%, Austria at 10%, and Italy at 5%.
Meanwhile, the counties that recorded the most tourist nights are Istra, at 1.08m, Kvarner, at 519.6k, Splitsko-dalmatinska, at 487k, Dubrovačko-neretvanska, at 385.1k, and finally, Zadarska, at 287.7k.
The first 4 months of 2023 have gone quite well for the Croatian tourism industry, and given recent forward-looking data such as the booking numbers at various online reservation sites, Croatia stands at the top of the list. This would mean that in the future, more arrivals and nights could be expected. The current macroeconomic and geopolitical situation is not affecting the tourists’ sentiment, which for a country like Croatia is really good news. Finally, the inclusion of Croatia into the Schengen and Eurozone areas is also quite supportive of this trend.
Because of all of these reasons, the summer season in 2023 could turn out to be quite positive. This is quite contrasted by the forecasts and estimates we have seen after the end of the last year’s summer season. Back then, there was a general expectation that higher costs will drive up accommodation prices, which combined with inflation rates in tourist countries of origin could lead to a reduced traveling budget, which would affect the summer season.