2012-09-04 08:47:45 - Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Croatia Tourism Report Q4 2012", is now available at Fast Market Research
Last year will go down as a success story for Croatia in terms of foreign tourism. Preliminary data for January-November 2011 show foreign tourist arrivals grew by a solid 9% year-on-year (y-o-y). As domestic tourism growth was rather weak over the same period (2.3% y-o-y), total foreign and domestic tourist numbers increased by a slightly lower 8% y-o-y. Both September and October experienced strong growth in foreign arrivals, of 18.7% and 13.7% y-o-y respectively. Data on conference tourism for Q311 show there were 956 meetings in Croatia, a 19% increase y-o-y. The total number of participants was 64,121, up by over 17% y-o-y, with foreign attendees increasing by a considerable 29% to 14,377. There was also strong growth in
the number of foreign participants at meetings in the first two quarters of the year. During the first 10 months of 2011, the performance of cruise ship tourism was relatively subdued, with 777 cruises by foreign vessels going to Croatia, a fall of 3.5% y-o-y. Passenger numbers grew by a modest 4.5% y-o-y to about 1.08mn.
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Preliminary hospitality sector data for the first 11 months of 2011 show total tourist nights were up by 7% y-o-y. A similar growth rate was recorded in foreign tourist nights, accounting for 91% of the total, while tourist nights by domestic residents rose by a more modest 3% y-o-y. In January-October, the top-four source markets were Germany, Slovenia, Italy and Austria, which all recorded good positive growth of 8- 13% y-o-y.
Industry Forecast Scenario
We have raised our growth estimate for foreign tourist arrivals in 2011 to 9.0%, from just over 6% previously. We continue to expect growth in arrivals to slow in 2012. Considering that the majority of visitors come from the eurozone (the top-five source markets in 2010 were Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Austria and the Czech Republic, which together accounted for about 55% of all arrivals), economic conditions in the region are crucial for the outlook of the tourism sector. The best case scenario for economic growth in the eurozone is a mild recession over 2012, with growth in the coming years likely to be very weak. Our growth eurozone projections are 1.6% for 2011; -0.6% (revised down) in 2012; and 0.9% in 2013. Growth in Germany - the main market for inbound tourism - is forecast to slow sharply from 3.0% in 2011 to 0.4% in 2012, picking up to 2.0% in 2013. In Italy, growth is expected to slow to -1.6% in 2012, from 0.5% in 2011, rising to 0.2% in 2013. We believe the Croatian kuna will remain largely stable over the short term and we forecast average HRK7.43/EUR and HRK5.38/US$ exchange rates in 2012.
After poor traffic figures in 2010, a strong rebound in growth in passenger numbers at Croatia's main international airport, Zagreb Airport, was expected in 2011, with a probable record number of passengers. The two-millionth passenger of the year was recorded in late October, 48 days earlier than in 2010.
The national flag carrier, Croatia Airlines, recorded a buoyant increase in scheduled passenger numbers of over 16% y-o-y in January-November 2011, meaning it carried well over 1.7mn customers. This was an impressive turnaround given that scheduled passenger traffic fell by 6% y-o-y in 2010.
Figures for the first nine months of 2011 for leading hospitality sector player Adris Group show total revenue amounted to HRK2.5bn (US$450mn), nearly 5.6% more than the same period the previous year. Operating profit stood at HRK451m (US$81mn), a 3% y-o-y increase, while pre-tax profit was HRK660m (US$119mn), an 18% rise on January-September 2010. The tourism division recorded a 7% yo- y increase in guest nights and has a positive short-term outlook.
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