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Holiday destination Croatia: More tourists, fewer overnight stays

According to a survey by the Croatian Statistical Office in Zagreb, there was a 3.9% increase in tourist arrivals in total Croatia in July 2023, at the same time a 0.9% decrease in tourist overnight stays was recorded. The lower number of overnight stays could result from the fact that more tourists are once again spending their vacations on boats.

The Croatian Statistics Office in Zagreb has published the results of a recent survey on the number of tourists who spent (land) vacations in Croatia this summer. Interesting: according to the statistics of the authority, which is based on the issuance of so-called eVisas, there was a 3.9% increase in tourist arrivals in total Croatia in July 2023, but at the same time there was a 0.9% decrease in tourist overnight stays.

The agency says its “Tourist Arrivals and Overnight Stays” survey aims to monitor tourist activity in commercial accommodation establishments and provide internationally comparable data in line with European standards for tourism statistics.

The basic indicators for the survey are tourist arrivals and overnight stays by country of residence, type of accommodation establishments, tourists by gender and age groups, arrival type, and number of rooms and permanent beds.

There were more arriving tourists in the comparison period – but fewer overnight stays overall

The results in detail: according to the study, there were a total of 4.5 million tourist arrivals and 25.0 million tourist overnight stays in commercial accommodation establishments in July 2023. This would correspond to a 3.9% increase in tourist arrivals, but a 0.9% decrease in tourist overnight stays compared to July 2022.

According to the statistics, the structure of tourist overnight stays showed that 93.5% of overnight stays were booked by foreign tourists and 6.5% by domestic tourists; domestic tourists recorded 351,000 arrivals and 1.6 million overnight stays, up 4.8% in tourist arrivals and 2.5% in overnight stays compared to July 2022.

For foreign tourists, the paper said the picture is as follows: here there were 4.2 million arrivals and 23.4 million overnight stays, representing 3.8% more arrivals but 1.1% fewer overnight stays compared to July 2022.

Nearly 16 percent of foreign vacationers came from Germany: ranked first in tourist arrivals

According to the report, Germans in particular have taken Croatia to their hearts as a vacation destination: most foreign tourist arrivals and overnight stays in July 2023 were realized by tourists from Germany.

Specifically, it was 662,000 arrivals, which would represent 15.9% of the total realized foreign tourist arrivals, and 4.8 million overnight stays, which would represent 20.5% of the total number of foreign tourist overnight stays.

An interesting fact in this regard: although tourists from Germany would have recorded the most tourist arrivals and overnight stays in July 2023 compared to July 2022, they would have recorded 2.0% fewer arrivals and 4.4% fewer overnight stays, according to the statistics.


Tourismus Kroatien: Wasserfälle des Nationalparks Plitvicer Seen mit Touristen
© Leonid Tit | Adobe Stock


Fewer arrivals and fewer overnight stays: the reasons for this are not mentioned in the statistics

The reasons for this were not mentioned; it is possible that many vacationers wanted to save money this year, or stayed away from the country because of the sometimes sharp increase in prices and preferred to spend their free summer time elsewhere.

According to statistics, tourists from Slovenia (11.7%), Poland (8.5%), Czech Republic (8.4%), Austria (7.6%) and Slovakia (5.6%) followed. However, tourists from all these countries also showed a decrease in tourist nights in July 2023 compared to July 2022.

Most of the tourist nights, according to the National Statistics Office, were realized in group accommodation and other short-stay accommodation. Unfortunately – and this is a major shortcoming of the survey – beds on boats or boats and yachts as vacation accommodations, did not play a role in the survey.

What the survey does not mention: how many beds are available on boats and yachts

In contrast, the statistics show that in July 2023, the highest number of tourist nights had been realized in the “vacation and other short-stay accommodation” group (14.4 million), followed by campsites (with up to 6.0 million nights) and hotels (4.7 million nights). All accommodation groups have in common that they have suffered losses in terms of overnight stays.

“According to our observations this summer were – compared to previous years – again increased water sports enthusiasts with their own or chartered boats and yachts on the Croatian waters to meet”, says SeaHelp managing director Wolfgang Dauser, who is each year several weeks by boat in Croatia. These boat vacationers would then be missing from the land statistics, Dauser explains as a possible cause for the statistics.

Croatians went mainly to Crikvenica; for foreign tourists, Rovinj was at the top of the popularity scale

As for the places of overnight stays realized in July 2023, the study proves that domestic tourists would have spent the most nights in Crikvenica, with 69,000, which is a decrease of 4.6% compared to July 2022. This was followed by overnight stays in Biograd na moru (56,000), Vodice (55,000), Mali Lošinj (54,000), Šibenik (46,000), Novalja (39,000), Zadar (38,000) and Vir (31,000).

According to the survey, foreign tourists would have spent the most nights in Rovinj- Rovigno in July 2023, specifically: 951,000, which represents a decrease of 2.4% compared to July 2022. Here followed overnight stays in Medulin (760,000), Poreč – Parenzo (735,000), Dubrovnik (708,000), Umag – Umago (677,000), Split (627,000), Novalja (556,000) and Funtana – Fontane (537,000).

Istria and Split-Dalmatia were the most successful from a tourist point of view in July 2023

Broken down by county, this meant that in July 2023 – as in July 2022 – the most tourist overnight stays were again realized in Istria County and Split-Dalmatia County. He added that Istria County had recorded the highest number of tourist nights, 7.3 million, which would represent 29.2% of the total realized tourist nights in Croatia.

In Split-Dalmatia County, according to the survey, tourists would have stayed 5.2 million times, which would represent 20.7% of the total number of tourist nights realized in Croatia.

The statistics also comment on the age of tourists staying overnight in Croatia: tourists aged up to 14 years would have realized the most overnight stays in July 2023, namely 5.9 million (which would represent 23.4% of the total realized overnight stays). This was followed by overnight stays by tourists aged 35 to 44, who would have realized 4.8 million overnight stays (accounting for 19.3% of the total realized overnight stays).

Source: Croatian Statistical Office, Zagreb, Ilica 3, P. O. B. 80, Further info: Tel. (+385 1) 48 06 138, 48 06 154, e-mail:

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