Tourism in Croatia is booming. Like many countries, Croatia is now exceeding 2019 travel levels with over 77 million overnight stays and 14 million arrivals in the country so far this year.
When announcing these numbers, Nikolina Brnjac, the Croatian Minister of Tourism, said “it’s important to mention that the American market has returned to us.”
U.S. travelers are the third biggest market in Croatia right now and the biggest number of long-haul arrivals.
So why is Croatia so popular with U.S. travelers right now?
Easy To Access
Croatia is more accessible than it’s ever been before.
This is the first year ever that two American airline companies have served non-stop flights to Croatia. That makes the destination easier to access than ever.
United Airlines offers a non-stop flight from Newark to Dubrovnik and Delta Airlines offers a non-stop flight from JFK to Dubrovnik.
If you want to explore further afield then Croatia is an incredibly easy country to explore via public transport.
You can hop on ferries to explore the islands and coast of the country and the bus network connects almost everywhere and is a great budget option.
There are also domestic flights and trains to add another travel option.
If you are considering visiting Croatia this fall/winter then it’s important to note that timetables for buses and ferries are reduced between November and March.
It’s still easy to navigate by public transport but you may have to plan your route ahead of time to be sure you can get where you want to be.
A Rounded Travel Experience
Many U.S. travelers visit Croatia for its beautiful islands and incredible coastline and to explore the breathtaking coastal city of Dubrovnik.
But Croatia offers a well-rounded travel experience and its inland destinations are just as attractive for American travelers as its more well-known coastal spots.
Inland Croatia is a great place to explore the diversity of Croatian traditions and authentic experiences.
From Renaissance Festivals to adventure activities, lakes, and castles there’s something for everything away from the crowds of the coast.
One of the oldest towns in Europe is in Croatia. The town of Hvar has been inhabited since prehistoric times and then the ancient Greeks founded a colony on the site in 384 BC.
So while sun seekers can relax on some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches, history buffs will find a unique mix of Greek, Roman, and Eastern architecture and artifacts to explore.
An Affordable Destination
Whilst Croatia is not as cheap to visit as it once was, it is still an affordable destination to visit.
Former European Eastern bloc countries such as Albania, Hungary, and Romania are almost certainly cheaper to visit than Croatia.
But it remains a cheaper Mediterranean alternative to countries such as Italy and Greece.
One study found that if you convert your US dollar into Croatian Kuna rather than Euros which are the currency in Italy and Greece then your travel money will go much further.
Flight and hotel prices to all three destinations are fairly similar. But on the ground there are savings to be made if you visit Croatia.
For example the average price of an imported beer is $4.40 in Greece or $2 in Croatia. A burger in McDonald’s will set you back $9 in Greece or $5 in Croatia.
Transportation is also cheaper. You will pay the equivalent of $0.89 per kilometer for a taxi in Croatia or $1.64 per kilometer for a taxi in Italy.
Warm and Welcoming
Croatian citizens are friendly and welcoming to all travelers as a general rule and American travelers are no exception.
American travelers don’t need a visa to visit Croatia, making it an easy and straightforward travel destination.
What’s more, Croatia was the first EU country to welcome vaccinated American travelers after the pandemic. This means many U.S. citizens visited Croatia at a time when they were unable to visit anywhere else.
The result was that awareness about this beautiful country spread and more people than ever wanted to see Croatia for themselves.
Downtime In Dubrovnik
It would be impossible to talk about why American travelers are visiting Croatia without mentioning Dubrovnik.
It has spent much of the year as the top searched city on many U.S. platforms and the popularity of Game of Thrones, which was filmed in the city, has made it a bucket list destination for many.
Dubrovnik has promoted itself using a “City for all seasons” motto, meaning that it is a great destination for fall travelers.
Dubrovnik boasts a great offering for tourists, a well-established infrastructure, and for the most part the city is warm and welcoming to tourists from around the world.
As this is where most American travelers to Croatia will land it continues to be amongst the best and most popular destinations for U.S. tourists.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com