WTM 2016: Croatia reports 26% growth in UK visitors

Croatia has enjoyed a 26% increase in overnight stays from UK visitors this summer.

The rise in UK visitor numbers compared to last summer was revealed by the Croatian National Tourist board at World Travel Market.

More flight capacity and hotel openings are planned to accommodate increased demand for the destination in 2017, it added.

Monarch is launching routes out of London Gatwick and Manchester to Zagreb, while Ryanair has also announced a twice weekly flight from Glasgow to Zadar next summer, also plans new flights from April from across the UK to Dubrovnik and Pula, and Thomas Cook Airlines is offering a new route from May between Manchester and Split.

Split Airport will see a terminal expansion set to commence in 2017, bringing the total airport capacity to 3.5 million passengers, while a new airport in Zagreb opens in March 2017.

Croatia’s popularity as a nautical destination is also rising, particularly for sailing trips around its long coastline and islands. The number of UK visitors on sailing and boating trips in Croatia for the first nine months of the year is up by 60% compared with 2015.

A raft of hotel openings are also in the pipeline for next year including the four-star Family Life Bellevue in Rabac, which is being opened by hotel chain Valamar in collaboration with Tui.

Other hotels due to open next year are the four-star TUI Blue Adriatic in Makarska, which will have 161 rooms and 11 executive suites when it opens next summer; the four-star Salona Palace hotel opening in Solin in February; and the 300-room Hotel Olympia in Sibenik, due to open next spring.

The Broadarica Beach in Sibenik is also due for a complete renovation next year which will result in a new promenade with cafes and restaurants, playgrounds, an exercise area, basketball and volleyball courts. It will also have disabled access.

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