Croatia usually benefits from a spike in spending from tourists visiting its Adriatic resorts during the summer months, but this year it’s the Croatians who are splashing out as their national team advances in the 2018 World Cup.
Buoyed by their team’s success, since the start of the tournament Croatians have spent hundreds of millions of kuna more than in the same period last year. In total, spending during the international championship, which lasts from June 14 to June 15, is expected to increase by HRK2bn (€270mn) on the year, Vecernji List reported.
Croatia’s performance at the World Cup has exceeded all expectations, with the team reaching the semi-finals. Croatia defeated all three of its group stage opponents that included footballing heavyweights Argentina, before going on to knock out first Denmark then the host team Russia, which it defeated 4-3 on penalties. This leaves Croatia the only nation from Eastern Europe still in the tournament.
As Croatia progresses, it is expected that spending related to the event will boost the profits of producers and sellers of beer, snacks, souvenirs and TV sets, as well as travel agents, and will bring more money to the state budget.
According to the Tax Administration, the Sunday the Croatian football team defeated Denmark, the fiscalisation system registered receipts totalling HRK429mn, 8.2% up compared to the previous Sunday. When the Croatian team played Argentina, the turnover was 14% higher, while spending during the matches against Nigeria and Iceland was higher by 5% and 4% respectively.
Beer consumption in the country typically increases from 7,000 to 12,000 hectolitres on the days the Croatian team plays its matches, according to the president of the Association of Beer Producers at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Pero Ivankovic. The average annual beer consumption in Croatia is 79 litres per capita.
More spending can be expected during Croatia’s semi-final against England on July 11. But despite the increase in sales during the tournament, one major retailer won’t be cashing in during the match. SPAR Croatia, one of the largest retail chains in the country, has announced its stores will close down early on July 11 to allow employees to watch the match.