Tourist overnight stays in Croatia drop to levels of 20 years ago: statistics

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ZAGREB, March 8 (Xinhua) -- The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing travel restrictions have pushed Croatia's tourism industry to its lowest level in 20 years in terms of the number of overnight stays, the Croatian Bureau of Statistics reported on Monday.

There were 41 million overnight stays in the country's commercial accommodations last year, a 55 percent drop compared to 2019, when Croatia registered a record 91 million tourist overnight stays.

However, despite the travel restrictions, the number of foreign tourists still exceeded that of domestic travelers in 2020. According to the bureau, 5.5 million foreign tourists visited the country in 2020, almost 70 percent less than the year before.

Most visitors came from Germany, followed by Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria.

The most visited region in 2020 was Istria in northern Croatia, which recorded 11.5 million overnight stays, a 72 percent drop compared to the same period in 2019. Primorje-Gorski Kotar County in western Croatia and Split-Dalmatia County in central-southern Dalmatia were the second and third most visited counties. The number of overnight stays in Dubrovnik, one of the most popular tourist spots in the country, dropped by 82 percent compared to 2019.

In February, the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian National Tourist Board presented the "Safe Stay in Croatia" national label, which aims to emphasize that the country is a safe destination for tourists

Veljko Ostojic, director of the Croatian Tourism Association, told local media on Monday that people are eager to travel and that there is an increasing interest in the country's so-called green regions. However, he noted that the epidemiological situation can change overnight. Enditem

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