Tourism is one of the most important sectors of Croatia’s economy.History of tourism in Croatia dates back to the mid-19th century, when the construction of hotels and villas on the Adriatic coast formed the first Croatian rivieras – Opatija, Crikvenica, Dubrovnik and a bit later Central Dalmatia.Today, Croatia is one of the most visited countries of the Mediterranean, which in the last decade gained recognition as the most wanted tourist destination by world famous magazines Lonely Planet and National Geographic Adventure.
From a geographic perspective the Croatian Adriatic coast Riviera consists of five regions: Istria, Kvarner, North Dalmatia, Central Dalmatia and South Dalmatia.
Croatian Riviera developed at a different pace during last decades. Due to excellent geographical position near Italy, Austria and Slovenia, Istrian rivieras had the fastest development. Probably because of guests from these countries, including guests from Germany, that Croatian peninsula is the most representative tourist destination today. Kvarner Riviera – Crikvenica, Opatija in recent years and Riviera island Lošinj, Cres, Krk, Rab and Pag are growing in popularity. The last two attract guests especially for its sandy beaches.
Important historical monuments and many cultural events are a constant attraction for guests of Zadar, Šibenik and Split and Trogir Riviera. Fishing festivals and excellent location near the national parks Kornati and Krka contribute to the popularity of the Riviera Vodice. Intimate beaches, nature and traditions are in turn attributes of rivieras island of Hvar, Korcula, Vis and Brac. The construction of motorways, which currently extend to South Dalmatia, emphasizes the importance of the region of Central Dalmatia. The largest group of tourists still visits Makarska and Omis Riviera.
In the south of Dalmatia you can find the world-famous “Pearl of the Adriatic”, Dubrovnik city with many historical monuments and cultural events forefront of Croatian tourism keeps Dubrovnik riviera. Impatiently waiting for a bridge that would improve the accessibility of the Peljesac peninsula, due to the beautiful beaches already popular tourist destination. Due worse bud tourist infrastructure and heavier transport accessibility to its place under the sun still waiting islands of Lastovo and Mljet, whose potential has slowly expose those tourists, which is necessary for their holiday only intact nature and absolute peace without mass tourism.
In terms of tourism Croatia’s biggest advantage compared to competitors is the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea, which, according to the research of the European Environment Agency’s 2010 is the second cleanest sea in Europe. Even mild Mediterranean climate with warm summers and mild winters help develop tourism. In addition, however, Croatia is rich in natural beauty (1244 islands, 8 national parks, 11 nature parks) and cultural monuments, many of which are under the protection of UNESCO. Tourist offer country is very diverse, allowing the development of different forms of tourism – cultural, congress, nautical, sports, adventure, health, religious, hunting, ecological and agro-tourism. An essential part of the offer is also an excellent gastronomic and oenological offer. In recent years, developing naturism and increasingly to the fore robinson tourism, which in addition to stay in abandoned coves and islands offers a stay at lighthouses.