In June 2023, the total number of arrivals amounted to 2.91m, an increase of 3% YoY. Meanwhile, total nights amounted to 15m, an increase of 1% YoY.
The most recent report on the progress and development of the Croatian tourist sector, for June 2023 has been released by the Croatian Tourism Board. In the report, we can see that the total number of arrivals amounted to 2.91m, an increase of 3% YoY. Of this, foreign tourists accounted for 2.58m, increasing by 3% YoY, while domestic tourists accounted for 327.9k arrivals, remaining roughly the same YoY.
On the other hand, total tourist nights amounted to 15m, an increase of 1% YoY. Of this, foreign tourist nights amounted to 13.6m (or 89% of the total), an increase of 1% YoY, while domestic tourist nights accounted for 1.42m (or the remaining 11%), also a 1% increase YoY. This would also mean that the average stay per person amounted to 5.17 nights, a slight 1.3% decrease YoY.
Total tourist arrivals and total tourist nights in Croatia (January 2019 – June 2023)
Source: HTZ, InterCapital Research
Looking at the tourist nights by accommodation, 88% of the nights were registered in commercial accommodation, 8% in non-commercial, while the remainder went to nautical accommodation. Of this, private accommodation had the largest share, at 5.18m tourist nights, representing 34.5% of the total tourist nights. Following them, we have camps at 3.49m (or 23.2% of the total), and hotels, at 3.4m (or 22.7% of the total).
In terms of tourist nights by country of origin, 26% of the tourists came from Germany, followed by Croatia, Austria, and Slovenia, with app. 9% each, Poland with 7%, and Czechia with 6%. Looking at the tourist nights by counties, the largest amount was registered by Istra at 4.76m, followed by Splitsko-dalmatinska at 2.75m, Kvarner at 2.59m, Zadarska at 1.99m, and Dubrovačko-neretvanska, at 1.2m.
When we compare these numbers to 2019 is where we see the first signs of trouble that we could have witnessed in the media for the last couple of weeks. Total tourist arrivals decreased by 7%, and more worryingly, foreign arrivals decreased by 9% (and even though domestic arrivals increased by 9% as well, domestic arrivals make up much less of the total than foreign arrivals). On the other hand, total nights remained roughly the same, with a tiny 1% increase for foreign tourists, and a 4% decrease for domestic tourists.
Finally, looking at the YTD numbers compared to 2019, in the first 6 months of 2023, the total number of arrivals amounted to 6.69m, which is a decrease of 3% compared to the same period in 2019. On the other hand, the total number of nights amounted to 27.3m, an increase of 4% compared to the same period in 2019.
Taking all of this data into account, there is both positive and negative news. Even though we could see a reduction in arrivals/nights in the media, especially in certain areas and from certain countries (such as Germany), they still hold the vast majority of foreign arrivals. Also, if compared to 2019, the reduction in arrivals is compensated by the total number of nights, meaning that people on average stay a little longer. One also has to take into account that this isn’t happening under prices we have seen last year (20-25% higher compared to 2019) but under even higher prices. With the macroeconomic situation in Europe still far from certain, with still elevated inflation rates and thus higher interest rates, it is hard to estimate if this is a beginning of a negative trend or just a hiccup. In 2022, due to the development of the situation in Europe, 2023 was expected to be worse than 2022, especially with higher accommodation prices and lower disposable incomes. The summer season is just beginning, and even though the news is currently pointing in both directions, we still expect that 2023 will be able to beat 2022 and 2019 both in terms of revenue, and arrivals/nights.