Croatia reported a 5.4% year-on-year increase in the number of tourist arrivals at commercial accommodation establishments to 279,000, the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (DZS) said on April 9. During the same month, tourists accounted for 610,000 overnights, up 11.1% y/y.
The February figures are set to be the last positive ones for many months, as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and associated restrictions have resulted in a lockdown in Croatia and restrictions on travel.
The country confirmed its first coronavirus case on February 25 — the first state from the region to do so — and as of April 9 had 1,343 confirmed cases.
Looking at the February data, domestic tourists realised 13.5% more arrivals and stayed 11.3% more nights y/y in February, while foreign tourists realised 0.9% more arrivals and stayed 10.9% more nights y/y.
The largest number of foreign tourists were from neighbouring Slovenia.
Early data from eVisitor quoted by the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) indicated that the number of tourists visiting Croatia slumped by 75% y/y in March, as travel restrictions were imposed and people cancelled their travel plans in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The head of the HTZ, Kristjan Stanicic, said on April 3 that in the first three months of the year 635,000 tourists visited the country, making almost 1.9mn overnight stays, down 33% and 20% respectively. In March, the number of overnight stays dropped by 53% y/y.