Over the first six months of 2018 the number of tourists in campsites was 7 percent up, while overnight stays were up by 5 percent compared to the period in 2017, Camping Association of Croatia (KUH) said on Tuesday.
Considering bookings for the remainder of the summer season, the upswing is expected to continue, KUH added, saying that the main reason of this surge in popularity are mobile homes.
According to data compiled by KUH, by the end of June nearly 1 million campers and more than 5 million overnight stays were recorded in Croatia. By country of origin, the traditionally largest group are Germans, followed by Slovenians and Austrians. The largest year-on-year increase was recorded in arrivals of tourists from Poland, and the Czech Republic.
By county, the largest increase in overnight stays were in the Split-Dalmatia and Dubrovnik-Neretva counties, where they jumped by 15 percent. However, continental counties in northern part of the country also posted growth, which indicates the untapped potential camping tourism has in that part of Croatia, head of KUH, Adriano Palman, told state agency Hina.
"Over the last ten years we have seen a lot of investments in camps, in expanding the range of services they offer, as well as their quality. In 2008 only 9 percent of all campsites in the country were rated four stars, and today we have 37 percent of four-star and five-star rated campsites," Palman said.
German automobile club ADAC, which promotes camping tourism, compared prices of camps across Europe, and said that this year the average daily price of camping for a family is almost €41, which placed Croatia 5th most expensive in Europe.
Although the price has inched up by 3.3 percent compared to last year, Croatia is still less expensive for campers than Switzerland, which topped the list at €46.8 per day, and second-placed Italy, where the price is €46.3 per day. Croatia is followed by Spain and France in 6th and 7th place respectively, where prices are somewhat lower.
In a addition, Palman said, camping tourism is the first tourist sector which managed to beat the best result from before the 1991-95 war - in 2017 a total of 19.1 million overnight stays were recorded in camps, beating 1987 record of 17.6 million stays.
Croatia has a total of 704 campsites, KUH said, which can accommodate 253,000 people in total. Around 200 of them are large or mid-sized, with capacity for around 1,000 guests, while the rest are smaller, with room for about 35 people on average.