Croatian tourism in 2018 expects a further increase in turnover by about 5.0 pct, additional growth in investments and employment for about 15,000 people more than in 2017, as well as changes in tourism and other laws that should contribute to strengthening the efficiency and competitiveness of the sector.
2017 was a record year for Croatian tourism with total tourism revenues of around EUR 11.5 bln, from which, revenues from foreign tourists of around EUR 10 bln, about EUR 1.5 bln more than in 2016, and revenues from domestic tourists of about EUR 1.5 bln,.
A total of about 18.5 million tourist arrivals and about 102 million overnight stays were recorded in 2017.
According to Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli, this year Croatian tourism could reach new records, about 20 million tourist arrivals, about 110 million overnight stays and more than EUR 12 bln of revenue in total from foreign and domestic tourists, close to the target of EUR 14-15 bln of revenue by 2020.
“Our conservative expectations are for a turnover increase of around 5.0 pct in 2018,” said Gari Cappelli.
Most of the increase will be realized in the pre and post-season, because in July and August there is almost no room for growth due to lack of capacity, although about 40 new and newly renovated hotels of various sizes will open this year.
Increases before summer are welcome also due to the so-called ‘overtourism’ or excessive tourism, which began to become more and more common in 2017, especially in countries such as Spain and France. However, it was also an example in Croatia. In Dubrovnik, due to an excessive number of guests from cruisers and others in the middle of the summer, the city authorities announced plans for restricting visits in 2019. There were also large crowds in other tourist destinations, as well as in the national parks of Plitvice Lakes and Krka, due to which, for the first time, restrictions on visits (Krka) were introduced for the first time.
Last year was also a record in terms of investments: about EUR 850 mln, mostly private money was invested in infrastructure, facilities, contents, products, as well as in personnel. In 2018, investments could exceed more than EUR 950 mln, and perhaps a billion euros.
In addition to around 80,000 accommodation facilities available in Croatia last year, the number of family or tourist accommodation in households increased, exceeding the share in total capacities, i.e. beds.