Tourism Upswing for Split, Croatia?

The reputation of Split, Croatia, as a stopover seems certain to change because of a renewed commitment to the town's hotel infrastructure and the arrival of the low-cost airline giants Wizz Air and easyJet, which started service to Split on May 1 and May 2 respectively, The New York Times reports. There are the visitors who—in their haste to catch a bus or ferry from Split to the Croatian islands—might wonder why they aren't staying a night or two in Dalmatia's largest city. In many ways, Split, the transportation hub for the Dalmatian Coast, has perfected the art of getting people from A to B. There is a shuttle from the airport that drops visitors at a seaside strip where the bus station, train terminal and port are lined up. Irrefutably, the numbers bear out the image of Split as a stopover. According to the Split Tourism Board, about 188,000 visitors stayed overnight in Split last year, but about 4.5 million passed through town. "Tourists don't stay in Split not because of a lack of interest, but because there aren't enough hotels," Mayor Zvonimir Puljic told The Times. He talked about the fact that there are only about 2,000 hotel beds in the city. One of the first decisions his administration made when he was elected in 2005 was to offer hotel builders four-year grace periods to repay start-up costs.

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