Croatia has seen a steady increase in tourism the last few years, and with the national soccer team's memorable run in the 2018 FIFA World Cup putting the country in the spotlight, the trend may continue more strongly. From a potential new Four Seasons resort to improved airlift, here are the latest travel developments in Croatia.
Growth in Tourism
According to a recent report from the Croatian National Tourist Board, the country has seen a significant increase in tourism so far in 2018, compared to the same period last year. From January to May in 2018, Croatia saw 3.6 million arrivals and 11.6 million overnight stays, an increase of 19 percent and 24 percent, respectively, compared to last year.
In May, 1.7 million arrivals and 6.5 million overnight stays were registered in Croatia, which represents a growth of 30 percent in arrivals and as much as 39 percent in overnight stays when compared to May of 2017.
The Dubrovnik Times reports that the The Four Seasons is one step closer to making a new resort in Kupari. Croatia’s Ministry of State Property signed an annex to an agreement on the realization of the "Kupari Project," an investment project that would bring new hotels and other tourist facilities to Kupari, including a new Four Seasons property.
Avenue Group, the leader of the project, expects to sign the annex with the Ministry in a few days and has already sent to the Ministry a letter of intent from the Four Seasons, their new project partner. Avenue Group originally made a deal with Marriott, but the brand pulled out.
In June, Air Canada Rouge, a subsidiary of Air Canada, launched a non-stop seasonal service from Toronto to Zagreb, marking the return of the Air Canada brand to Croatia after 27 years. Flights will operate between Toronto Pearson International Airport and Zagreb Airport.
According to Zagreb Airport, flights will operate four times a week, departing Toronto for Zagreb on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The seasonal service will run until October 7, 2018. The airline will offer a total 20,586 seats each way between Toronto and Zagreb during the period.
Additionally, Korean Air will launch a direct scheduled service between Seoul, South Korea, and Zagreb, on September 1, 2018. The airline will run the direct service three times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) on the Airbus 330-200, flying between Seoul/Incheon to Zagreb. The new Korean Air route will be the first regular service connecting Croatia and Asia directly, according to the airline.
The Korean Air flight from Seoul/Incheon to Zagreb will depart Seoul/Incheon at 11:05 a.m. and arrive in Zagreb at 3:45 p.m. the same day. On the return from Zagreb to Seoul/Incheon, it will depart from Zagreb at 5:20 and arrive in Seoul/Incheon at 11:30 a.m. the next day.
Katarina Line, a cruise company in Croatia, has expanded its customizable tour options for 2018. Among the cruise line’s new programs for 2018 is the three-night “Prosciutto Fair” itinerary in Croatia. Scheduled for October 20-21, 2018, the fair draws upwards of 25,000 people each year to the town of Tinjan in Istria. The fair showcases more than 30 types of prosciutto from countries such as Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Spain and Croatia. In addition to participating in the festival, guests can enjoy a tasting of homemade brandy, olive oil tasting, and sightseeing in Rovinj and Labin.
Another new program is the “Croatia Classic,” which starts at Zagreb, taking guests through the mountains of Gorski Kotar and Plitvice Lakes National Park, and to the town of Zadar, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Itinerary highlights include tours of Zagreb and Zadar, a visit to Plitvice Lakes, rafting on the Zrmanja River, and a castle tour.