Croatia recorded 15.7 million tourist arrivals in the first eight months of 2018, or 5 percent up compared to the same period last year, and 88.5 million bed nights, up by 4 percent.
In August alone, tourist arrivals increased by 3 percent to 4.6 million, and overnight stays inched up 1 percent to 32.1 million year-on-year, the national tourist board said on Thursday.
In the first eight months of 2018, foreign tourists accounted for 14 million arrivals, up 5 percent year-on-year, who recorded 78.2 million nights, up by 4 percent. Domestic tourists accounted for 8 percent more arrivals and 6 percent more bed nights.
By area, over the first eight months of this year, the largest number of bed nights were in Istria, 24 million, followed by Split-Dalmatia County (16.6 million), and Kvarner Bay (16.2 million).
As for the originating country, Germany still leads the way, with German tourists recording 17 million bed nights, followed by Slovenians (9.3 million), Austrians (6.3 million), Poland (5.6 million) and the Czech Republic (4.8 million).
The most popular destinations in the country between January and July, in terms of bed nights, were the towns of Rovinj, Dubrovnik, Porec, Medulin, and Split.
Commenting on the data, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli said that the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), a statistic report measuring the effect of the tourist industry on the overall economy would be finished by the end of the year.
However, he added, numbers alone could not be used to measure success in that industry, as the number of arrivals does not show the value the visitors generated, and the numbers of bed nights do not indicate the tourists' daily demand for accommodation.
"Tourism revenue growth is more important than increases in arrivals and bed nights - and the first quarter (of 2018) saw a 14 percent revenue increase year-on-year," Cappelli said.