The digits don’t lie. Croatian summer 2016 was a record-breaking season, as tourism-oriented counties report notable increase of guests on their premises. In first 9 months of 2016, about 15 million visitors were registered, generating approximately 90 million overnight stays. In comparison with previous year, that is an increase of over 10%. Because of these high numbers, it is expected that Croatia’s booming tourist industry will constitute up to 20% of country’s annual income.
Croatia’s popularity on global scale has also increased. The country has invested a lot in its promotional campaigns, so various nations of the world were capable of witnessing the beauty of Adriatic coastline and its unique Mediterranean settings. A large number of foreign movie productions followed the example of Game of Thrones, and opted to film in Croatia, adding to country’s international buzz.
Croatia’s most popular destinations are following the pattern of the previous years. There are no big surprises, as Dubrovnik, Rovinj and Opatija are traditionally very successful. The City of Split, as a capital of Dalmatia County, is also noting a high increase of overnight stays, followed by locations such as Zadar and Sibenik.
However, when local population and number of beds are considered, the aforementioned destinations are not topping the chart. Surprisingly enough, once these parameters are taken into account, the heights of tourism belong to smaller Croatian settlements, the first three located on Istrian peninsula.
The most successful is Funtana, a small town with less than 1000 residents. In first nine months of 2016, it registered over 200 000 tourist arrivals. This means that every local literally “produced” about 1700 overnight stays. The settlement is followed by Tar-Vabriga and Vrsar. Other popular destinations include Baska in Primorsko-Goranska County and Kolan in Zadarska County. The lovely Bol , in Splitsko-Dalmatinska County, was also included on the list.
Of course, these spots did not produce as much profit as Croatia’s more prominent destinations, yet the acquired data shows that smaller localities are gaining momentum. It seems that peaceful and relaxing vacation is highly demanded by western visitors, and such settlements are more than ready to fill the need. Croatian Summer 2016 is certainly a good sign, both to visitors of the country and local tourist workers.