The Perfect Travel Recipe: Croatia, Friends, Local Experiences and Safety

Croatia attracts through positive word of mouth from the 82% of vacationers who have visited

Jan 13, 2016, 11:05 ET from Croatian Tourist Board

ZAGREB, Croatia and NEW YORK, Jan. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Croatian National Tourist Board revealed findings from its "Ideal Holiday Study" of more than 11,000 avid travelers to include friends who also want to have local experiences. These two specific ingredients were highlighted by 84% of all respondents. Furthermore, vacationers prefer safe and secure locations, as noted by 85% of those surveyed. Known for its warm hospitality and safety, Croatia is the perfect destination for everyone. As a result, Croatia was ranked among the top 10 global destinations by travelers from 11 markets surveyed.

The U.S. Vacationer
U.S.  travelers want to enjoy vacations with new experiences, exciting activities, delicious food, good accommodations, and Internet access with a feeling of security. Therefore, travelers from the U.S. are keen to select a destination which encompasses all of these elements, more so than the average vacationer. For the U.S. traveler, a vacation is the time to relax and get some valuable "me" time, while also enjoying local culture, cuisine, and history.

Croatia - The Complete Package
The Croatian recipe offers the complete package, making the country a very popular destination for all vacation types.  Croatia garnered positive word of mouth from the 82% surveyed, who have been there, scoring an 8 out of 10, or better.  Polish travelers for example like visiting Croatia, with respondents from this country rating Croatia higher than average at 93%.

Croatia's natural beauty and parks, gastronomy, and rich history, make it an ideal destination for any traveler with a passion for food, culture, nautical and outdoor activities. Whatever type of vacationer, Croatia has something for everyone. While sun and sand are the most popular activity among 73% of respondents, other activities associated with water sports were noted as favorites by those surveyed, such as diving (54%), fishing (49%), sailing (47%), camping (52%) and cycling (49%).

Being on holiday is the best time of the year for most people, no matter if it's their annual summer break, a winter vacation or the spontaneous weekend getaway. Vacationers seek to get the most out of their free time, relax, and explore new places and experiences.  Whether it's island hopping, exploring ancient sites, satisfying the inner foodie with the best local food and drink, or having a nautical adventure, Croatia has plenty to offer all year round.

Survey Results
The study identified seven vacationer types, based on their ideal vacation recipe. What distinguishes these vacationers apart was how they viewed themselves, and their travel priorities.

Those looking to Go Native, in search of the local experience, rated friendly locals as the most important criteria for a great holiday experience at 85%. According to the research, Italians and Germans prefer local experiences while on holiday, more than the average traveler. Italian travelers are more likely to make friends with those they meet during their vacation, with 41% of Italians citing this in comparison to an average of 27% across all markets surveyed.

The Family Organizer is more likely to be female (59%) and prefers to plan holidays around the summer months (44%). 43% prefer outdoor activities, or the beach, and cited being in a safe environment as their most important factor at 92%.  Since Croatia is a very safe destination, the Family Organizer type gave a high positive rating of Croatia with 84%.

The Adventurer is more likely to be male (57%), with more than half seeking soft adventures or the outdoors in general. A priority of 85% of adventurer travelers is finding interesting new experiences. According to the research, Norwegians are most likely to fall into this category, therefore, it is no surprise that they are less worried (33%) about finding themselves in a place where they may not speak the local language compared to other vacationers from other countries (20%).

The Romantic is more likely to be female (55%) and puts priority in having an experience with the right person to be their most important factor (89%), although feeling safe holds equal importance at 88%. A destination with romantic or secluded options will most likely be where you will find these travelers at 51%.  According to the survey, Austrians, Swiss and Swedes viewed themselves to be more romantic on holiday than average with Swedish tourists noted as the only ones who prefer romantic winter vacations.

Culture Seekers are equal among male and female travelers at 50%, and can be found exploring museums and learning from guided tours at 52%. Only 6% of Culture Seekers would choose to travel during the winter months, with the rest are spread across all seasons. Finding new or interesting experiences is important for 85% of these travel types with the Dutch and Brits more likely to be Culture Seekers while on holiday than the average.

The Beach Bunny has one goal in mind while on vacation, as 64% consider swimsuits to be the most crucial item of clothing, which naturally leads to 93% of those surveyed to strongly take weather into consideration in their planning. 47% of those surveyed would take their holiday in summer over any other season, with three out of four, or 75%, can be found at the beach. With 5,385 km of coastline and the 6th longest coastline in Europe and 20th in the world, Croatia certainly has plenty to offer the Beach Bunnies.

For the Young and Carefree traveler, summer is a good season to go on holiday (39%) while winter ranks low at 6%. 9 out of 10 surveyed in this category consider going with the right people equally important at 90%, and takes into consideration cost at 85%. The French identify the most with this category, as they are most likely to pack party clothes for their holidays at 26% compared to the average surveyed at 12%.  With a year-long calendar of festivals and some of the most notable music festivals, Croatia is quickly becoming a must visit destination among these travelers.

For those who want to find out which vacationer type they are, a quiz is set-up on Croatia's web site and Facebook page.

About the research
The research was conducted by Reputation Leaders, an independent research firm among 11,000 adults 18+ by online surveys in each market.  Interviews were balanced by quotas in the UK, the US, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Norway and Italy, based on the latest census data, to ensure the respondent mix was representative of national adult populations by age and gender. The survey was conducted in the primary language of each country.

About Croatia 
Stretching along the Adriatic Sea, just a stone's throw from Central Europe, Croatia is a country defined by a rich cultural legacy. Today, history perfectly combines with a youthful spirit and vibrant energy that prove irresistible to those seeking diversity. Breath-taking natural beauty, endless coastlines, diverse gastronomy, adventure, sports and wellness, can be enjoyed all year round. Whether exploring the old city of Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, island-hopping around the Split archipelago, truffle hunting in Istria, paragliding across the Plitvice Lakes, delving into Zagreb's streets and hidden passages, birdwatching in Kopacki rit, partying the night away at Zrce beach in Novalja or taking time out with the family on Zlatni Rat beach, there truly is something for everyone in Croatia. 
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Ms. Truc Nguyen

SOURCE Croatian Tourist Board