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Croatia reports decline in tourists in high season

July 17, 2013, 11:37 UTC+3
Experts noted that the introduction of visa rules between Russia and Croatia that joined the EU seriously damaged the tourism industry
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

BELGRADE, July 17 (Itar-Tass) - Croatia’s tourism business suffers great losses in high season, local media reports.

According to the Tourism Ministry, Croatia reports a decline in 340,000 tourists in July.

In the first two weeks of last July 1.655 tourists visited Croatia, while their number reduced to 1.315 tourists this July.

Some hotels reported their revenues declined by half, however no official comments regarding such figures had been made so far.

Registering losses in the private sector, officials consider the existing situation in general as “favourable,” despite “reduced traffic on the country’s roads and lower throughput at border checkpoints,” Croatia’s Minister of Tourism Darko Lorencic said.

Meri Matesic, director of the Croatian National Tourist Office, shares a similar position. “The sales are stable, although they slowed down.”

In 2012 the tourism industry yielded over 7 billion euros. Some experts hope that this year the situation can stabilize as well.

Experts noted that the introduction of visa rules between Russia and Croatia that joined the EU seriously damaged the tourism industry. Although Croatia simplified visa rules and opened visa centres in 18 Russian cities, Russians choose other vacation destinations this year.

Last year 190,000 Russians spent their vacations in Croatia. According to different estimates, other 100,000 tourists stayed in the private sector.

It is worth noting that until now the interest in Adriatic Croatia has been growing by 30 percent a year on the average.

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