Photo by: Goran Stanzl/Pixsell

INTERVIEW: KRISTJAN STANIČIĆ

The director of the Croatian National Tourist Board

Last year was yet another record-breaking year for Croatian tourism, with more than 106 million overnight stays. How important is boating as a tourist product for Croatian tourism and how does it affect the number of tourist arrivals and overnight stays?

Nautical tourism is one of the main Croatian image-creating products that emphasises the most beautiful thing Croatia has, the Adriatic Sea, which attracts sea enthusiasts and boatlovers from all over the world. This was confirmed by the number of tourist arrivals and overnight stays in the yacht charter segment. Specifically, according to the data of the eCrew system, there were 479.000 tourist arrivals and 3.2 million overnight stays in the yacht charter segment last year. This year we also expect the positive trends to continue and the boating sector to have its share in the total number of tourist arrivals and overnight stays; this will be very challenging, but I do not doubt its eventual success.

Does the Croatian National Tourist Board monitor developments within the boating sector, i.e. do we know what kind of customers boaters really are?

In order to collect detailed information in the boating sector field, we have carried out the Tomas Nautika survey in collaboration with the Institute for Tourism. The results of the survey have shown visible changes in the attitudes and expenditure of boaters in Croatia in comparison to previous years. Specifically, the average daily spend by boaters is 126 euros per day, which represents a 26 percent increase compared to the average expenditure by boaters recorded in 2012. The survey has shown the highest average daily spend among charterers from the UK, France and the Netherlands. The satisfaction of boaters with all the aspects of nautical and tourist services has markedly increased since 2012, which makes us extremely happy. Boaters have shown a high degree of satisfaction in all 25 items that relate to nautical and tourist services. Beautiful nature and scenery, personal safety, and environmental preservation have received the highest scores, but the same applies to a whole range of items related to the services that marinas offer and charter services. Our goal is to maintain the position of Croatia as one of the top nautical destinations in the Mediterranean.

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