After announcing a record year for tourism in 2011, the individual statistics for winter tourism continue to impress, with the Director of the Split Tourist Board Vedran Matošić announcing a sharp increase in winter tourism, according to a report in Croatian news portal Vjesnik.hr
on January 9, 2012.
According to Vjesnik, Split recorded 11.4% more overnight stays and 9.2% more tourist arrivals in November 2011, than in the corresponding month the previous year, with a total of 8,092 arrivals and 16,702 overnight stays.
"Seeing groups of Americans and Europeans enjoying all that Split has to offer so late in the season is more proof of Croatia becoming a year-round place to visit," said Robert Aronson
, who publishes DiscoverSplit
, the largest circulation free, English language newspaper for tourists in the city. Aronson feels that in addition to becoming a gateway for tourism to the offshore islands of Hvar, Brac, Vis and Solta, Split is being appreciated for its own charms.
"What I hear from tourists over and over is how amazed they are that a 1,700 year old city can be so alive. It's clear that more and more groups are discovering that staying in and around Split allows them to enjoy everything from swimming to fascinating history, culture and great nightlife," Aronson commented.
Split has never been short of tourists during the season, although many visitors use it as a transit point to islands such as Hvar - named by Lonely Planet
as its number 5 destination for 2012. The city has a rich history of its own, the crowning piece of which is the Roman palace built by Diocletian.
"Split has a vibrant scene, and many tourists never really see what it has to offer," said Mark Francis
, who has seen an increase in enquiries for his properties in the old town of Split, "as they are often keen to get from the airport to the islands as quickly as possible. Things seem to be changing however."
While Croatian tourism is perhaps best known for its beaches and stunning coast in the summer, its traditions are also rooted in winter tourism
, and the founding of the Hvar Health Society in 1868 is credited as being the first organised tourism in Europe.