Croatia, a top Mediterranean destination for European tourists, witnesses soaring prices, causing concerns for its tourism industry. Croatian headlines this summer, like “Dnevnik’s” mention of steep Adriatic prices and “Slobodna Dalmacija” comparing holiday costs to the Maldives, highlight the price surge. Notably, Dubrovnik charges €5 for an ice cream scoop. Rovinj sets a burger at €22, and in Šibenik, an Aperol Spritz goes for €11 for just 0.1 litres. Such rates are sidelining many locals from coastal vacations, reports “Večernji list”.
Croatia: Rising costs alarm locals and impact tourism.
Amidst Croatia’s picturesque locales, dining or grabbing a drink has become a pricey affair, with costs surging up to 25% from last year. The nation has seen a consistent expense hike, and the trend shows no sign of abating. Local concerns extend beyond tourism; everyday essentials and services are becoming increasingly unaffordable, notes tour operator Kroati-Reisen. Tourists, too, are expressing shock at the escalating prices, finding many items in Croatian supermarkets pricier than even in Germany, France or the UK.
Croatia Faces Price Hikes Amid Euro Introduction
The transition to the euro has seen a significant uptick in prices across Croatia. Staple items like milk, chicken, and beer have jumped by roughly 17%, with certain vegetables skyrocketing by a staggering 188%. On average, prices for goods and services in 2023 are 15-20% higher than the previous year.
Inflation, currently at nearly 8% in Croatia (above the EU’s 6% average), combined with the pandemic’s aftermath, are partly to blame. Yet, many businesses seized the euro’s 2023 introduction to mark up prices substantially. Notably, a Croatian hairdresser raised eyebrows by charging €10 for a men’s haircut, up from the prior 60 kuna (around €8). Accommodations, in some cases, cost up to 50% more than in 2022.
These hikes aren’t just official; some establishments covertly inflated their rates post the currency shift, an act punishable by law but challenging to monitor.
Despite these changes, the Croatian National Bank’s analysts believe the euro’s impact on inflation is marginal, pushing it up by less than one per cent.
Popular tourist destinations, including Dubrovnik, Split, and Rovinj, felt the steepest price hikes. Rovinj’s Mayor, Marko Paliaga, conceded to the price exaggeration, noting local groceries were now 30% costlier than inland.
Will Croatia see fewer travellers next year?
While tourists reevaluate Croatia’s affordability, locals grapple more intensely with the rising costs. With Croatia no longer viewed as a budget-friendly getaway, there’s growing concern tourists might turn to more economical destinations.