10 million people visited Croatia in 2006, making it the 18th most popular country in the world to visit. This is well ahead of most of the other emerging property hot spots notably Rumania, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Morocco, Montenegro to name a few. It is impressive for such a small country with a population of just 4 million people.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has placed Croatia top 5 of 174 countries for tourism growth over the next 10 years.
WTTC predicts Croatia's travel & tourism economy will continue to grow by 7.8% per annum, in real terms, between 2006 and 2015. In 2006 it grew by 7.4% pretty much on target.
In 2005 Croatia it was the Lonely Planet's No 1 destination and in 2006 it was voted the No 1 tourism destination by the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA).
Croatia’s position in central southern Europe means it has a catchment area of 600,000,000 people all of whom are within a 3 hour flight time. With the open air skies policy now in place there a numerous low cost airlines (Easyjet, Ryanair, Wizz Air, German Wings, Sky Europe and more) operating routes from all over Europe and Russia to key towns along the coastline, notably Pula, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik. Furthermore, the Zagreb to Split motorway is now finished, and the second phase from Split to Dubrovnik, scheduled for completion in 2010. This has created easy access to all coastal resorts and towns from the main international transport terminals.