The UK love affair with Croatia

By | Category: Travel destinations
Tvrdava sv. Ivan, Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik – Still the most popular destination in Croatia for British visitors

For a number of years, Just about Travel has been noting that UK holiday numbers to Croatia have been rising.

At one point I remember writing that it was unusual for Croatia not to appear in these columns as it was being so successful in attracting British holidaymakers.

It has just announced another set of numbers that reinforces the belief that love affair with the country shows no sign of dimming. In June this year, there was a rise by 28.94% in British visitors.

Given that the average annual increase across the world of tourists will be somewhere between 2.5% and 4% this year it is obvious that Croatia is doing a spectacular job in persuading us to holiday there.

We are even staying longer there. There has been an increase of 30.74% in overnights stays  which suggests that we are finding more things t do when we get there or, at the very least, that we are happy to stay longer.

Part of the reason for the appeal of Croatia is that it has so many direct flights from our regional airports. Just as twenty years ago, almost every regional airport had direct links with one of the tourist destinations of Spain, so today, the same applies to Croatian hotspots like Dubrovnik, Istria and Split. Just in the last few months another twenty flights from different UK airports have been announced in the run-up to Summer.

For much of the first six months of 2017, the place that attracted us was Dubrovnik, an old favourite that was very popular when Croatia was part of Yugoslavia. Up until June 15th, 369, 419 of us visited the city and the surrounding areas whilst 212,158 of us visited Split and Dalmatia, 178, 601 went to Istria and 42, 478 holidayed in Zadar. It is obvious that many more than a million of us will holiday in Croatia this year.

Although overwhelmingly we prefer to stay in hotels, data from the Croatia National Tourist Office has thrown up some interesting lifestyles.  It says that 42,675 of us in the early part of the year spent overnight stays in nautical charters suggesting that many of us are opting for sailing or marine holidays. The market is also increasing for camping holidays in Croatia. Are we travelling by car all the way or flying and hiring vehicles when we get there so that we can enjoy the mix of beach areas, mountains and heritage that make up Croatia?

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