Croatia in top 3 European destinations, say Guardian readers

After a lull in visits due to regional conflict in the 1990s, it would seem that British tourist interest in Croatia is back, with the results of the Guardian and Observer Readers Travel Awards 2013 – published online on November 11, 2013 – the latest confirmation of the increased travel from the UK.

Prior to the war in former Yugoslavia, British tourists came to the Yugoslav – primarily Croatian – coast in their droves, some 440,000 of them annually, making it the second most popular destination after Spain.

War in the region, coupled with the emergence of other affordable sun destinations, such as Egypt, Turkey and Greece, made it harder for Croatia to regain its market share, but the progress the country’s tourism chiefs has made in recent years has been commendable, with the latest endorsement from Guardian readers yesterday.

In the awards, Croatia was named third favourite country behind Austria and Sweden, and ahead of Turkey and Switzerland.

The vote is mirrored by a marked increase in British visitors to the Adriatic coast. As Digital Journal has previously reported, there was a 24% increase in British visitors in the first 8 months of the year, compared to the corresponding period in 2012.

More than 500,000 British visitors are expected in 2014, up from the peak numbers in the 1980s.

Flights, Flights, Flights – More Choice Than Ever for Central Dalmatia in 2014

While the magnificent 2013 tourist season continues on, with tourists still swimming in the glistening Adriatic with this fabulous October weather, thoughts are already turning to plans for the 2014 season in some quarters. 
And if the early flight announcements are anything to go by, it will be busy indeed…
Split was served by more than 80 destinations and 43 airlines in 2013, and the early news is that many of those destinations are now strengthening their routes for next season. 
Perhaps the most interesting regional news is the lengthening of the flying season from Belgrade to Split by both Croatia Airlines and new successor to JAT, Air Serbia. With the investment coming from the 49% share from Etihad, there are also some interesting routes to Split via Belgrade, including three cities in Australia, the Seychelles and Dubai.
The news from the important UK market is good as well, with easyJet introducing the first direct connection from Scotland, from Glasgow, while Norwegian Air must have been pleased with their first year’s flying from London to Split, as they have increased the service from Gatwick.
The news from the rest of Europe is good as well, with new routes announced for next season to Split from Lyon (easyJet), Athens (Croatia Airlines) and Brussels (Thomas Cook), while other important routes have increased their frequency, including Barcelona (Vueling) and Munich (Croatia Airlines).
All good news – Central Dalmatia awaits your visit! 

A Good Night for Split and Central Dalmatia at Days of Croatian Tourism Awards

The 2013 season has been an encouraging one for statistics, both in the number of visitors and overnight stays, as well as strong growth in established markets such as Scandinavia and the UK, and emerging markets such as South Korea and Brazil. That feel good factor was reflected in the recent ‘Days of Croatian Tourism’ annual awards.

Split won the category of best medium-sized destination in Croatia, with the ‘medium’ being a reflection on the number of beds in the destination rather its physical size. Split was also named by the Croatian National Tourist Board as the cultural destination of the year, and there was individual recognition for the ACI Marina in Split (3rd best medium-sized marina), Strobrec (best medium-size campsite), Split Radisson Blu Resort (3rd in best four-star hotels), and Hotel Vestibul (2nd best small hotel on the Adriatic coast).

Even more encouragingly, a survey by the national tourist board of some 10,000 people found that Split has passed Istria as a name that resonates with people when mentioning Croatia. One final piece of good news for the region was that rural tourism in inland Dalmatia was declared better bait than for visitors in Istria, which is generally accepted to have a better offer.

Exciting times for tourism in Central Dalmatia, and 2014 promises to be a great season ahead.