In 2021, there were 13.8 million arrivals and 84.1 million overnights in Croatia, i.e. 77 percent more arrivals and 55 percent more overnights than in the same period in 2020. Foreign tourists accounted for 71.9 million overnights, while domestic tourists realized 12.3 million overnights. These are the first data from the eVisitor system, which contains tourist traffic generated in commercial and non-commercial facilities and nautical charter. Compared to the results from 2019, 67 percent of arrivals and 77 percent of overnights was realized in 2021.
"Behind us is the second pandemic year in which Croatia, despite all the challenges, achieved the best tourist traffic in the Mediterranean. This is the result of the dedicated and quality work of all tourism workers who, through their unified effort, quick reactions and coordinated action, have ensured the status of a high-quality, safe and well-prepared destination for our country. We are entering this year with great optimism, but also with plans that include the realization of 90 percent of traffic from the record 2019 and further positioning of our country as a sustainable and safe destination. We plan to realize this through the implementation of targeted and innovative marketing and information campaigns, which will be conducted throughout the year taking into account the epidemiological situation in each market", said the Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić, emphasizing that good trends in tourist traffic are confirmed by financial indicators, i.e. revenues from tourism.
Most tourist overnights were realized in Istria County (23.5 million), Split-Dalmatia County (15.5 million) and Primorsko-goranska County (15.3 million). Followed by Zadar County (12.7 million overnight stays), Šibenik-Knin County (5.9 million) and Dubrovnik-Neretva County (5.4 million). The destinations that attracted the most visitors were Zagreb (638,000 arrivals), Rovinj (549,000), Dubrovnik (543,000), Split (529,000) and Poreč (431,000 arrivals). In terms of markets, in 2021 most arrivals were recorded by Germans (2.9 million, 84 percent growth compared to 2020), domestic tourists (2.3 million, growth of 41 percent compared to 2020), Slovenians (1.2 million, an increase of 18 percent compared to 2020), Austrians (1.1 million, an increase of 180 percent compared to 2020), Poles (1 million, an increase of 50 percent compared to 2020) and Czechs (775,000, increase of 50 percent from 2020). Also, compared to 2020, there were 78 percent more Italians, 100 percent more Hungarians, 168 percent more French and 324 percent more Dutch. Let us add that, compared to 2019, Poles achieved 8 percent more overnights, Germans equalled overnights from a record 2019, Czechs achieved 97 percent of overnights, while Slovenes and Austrians achieved about 82 percent of 2019 overnights.
"Congratulations to all tourism stakeholders on a great tourist year. During 2021, Croatia built the image of a safe and responsible destination, which was recognized by our tourists. In addition to the importance of safety, modern tourists, especially in this pandemic era, are increasingly recognizing the importance of the sustainability of the destination, which is becoming an additional motivation for them to travel. In order to further highlight the new strategic direction of Croatian tourism, the Ministry is launching a comprehensive web portal for sustainable tourism in Croatian and English, which will provide information on important documents, funding sources, projects, sustainable practices and eco-certification, as well as training, seminars, conferences and events, as well as stakeholder actions in the field of sustainable tourism. We will also have a publicly available display of Sustainable Tourism Indicators on the platform", said Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac, adding that the project also created a label for the sustainability of Croatian tourism i.e. Croatia naturally yours, which will be recognizable to tourists as well as stakeholders in the sector.
Let us add that according to the type of accommodation, the highest number of overnights was recorded in households (32.1 million), camps (17.4 million) and hotels (15.7 million). In the nautical sector, i.e. the charter segment achieved 3.1 million overnights. Compared to 2020, the highest growth in traffic was achieved in hotels (+124 percent), camps (+92 percent), nautical (+87 percent) and household facilities (+45 percent).