According to the report for January to May, Croatia has received 69,712 tourists from China in the first five months of 2018, which is an increase of 33% in comparison to the same period last year. If added to registered arrivals from Taiwan, China, the number goes over 110,000 which puts Chinese market well into the top ten of all tourist source markets to Croatia in 2018, for the first time.
China is placed 8th, higher than some traditionally strong source markets like France, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and B&H. Average stay of Chinese tourists is still relatively short, 1.4 days in average, but this is understandable taking into account that Chinese tourists like to visit many SEE countries in one go during their 10-to-14-day vacation stay in SEE Europe. Countries like Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina have agreements with PR China for visa-free tourist entrance for Chinese tourists to these countries, which definitely started to bring results and popularity of Southeast European travel, or “Balkan Tours” as advertised by most of Chinese travel agencies.
Agency for Statistics from Bosnia & Herzegovina also reports significant year-on-year increase in arrivals of Chinese tourists to that country. B&H received 6,161 Chinese tourists between January and April of 2018, an increase of 78% in comparison to 2017.
The country expects even bigger increase in the coming period since China’s visa-free regime with B&H became effective on May 29th 2018, and the results of this are yet to be enjoyed. It is expected that the number of arrivals from China will reach 50,000 in 2018.
In the first five months of 2018, Serbia also recorded a 38% increase in tourist arrivals from China, according to National Tourism Organization of Serbia, which is also a result of Chinese use of the visa-free regime since 2017, as well as establishment of direct flight from Bejing to Belgrade.