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- 2017 sees UK arrivals to Croatia hit record levels - Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts predicts Istria as top destination - Reasons to try popular destination in 2017: flights launching from more UK airports, Blue Flag beaches and award-winning gastronomy
May 2017 – Holidaymakers are increasingly looking to hotspots such as Croatia for their summer break, according to leading hotel provider Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts. Soaring demand for hotels and accommodation in the ‘Côtes’ and the ‘Costas’ has seen rising prices and packed out beaches hit traditional package holiday resorts, leading regular holidaymakers to branch out to other destinations.
Croatia has already seen a record number of arrivals this year. According to Croatia’s Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli, arrivals into Croatia over Easter 2017 were up 65% on the same period last year. Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts operates four hotels on the Istrian coast, where visitor numbers increased by 33% compared with Easter 2016.
Ivona Grgan, spokesperson for the Croatian National Tourist Office, said: “The number of British tourists flocking to Croatia has been steadily increasing for the past few years and we’re expecting even better results this summer. Croatia offers a huge variety of holiday breaks and visitors are starting to discover it’s not just a sun and beach destination, it also offers amazing gastronomy and wines, diverse cultural activities, adventure sports breaks, and multiple events. Coastal cities such as Pula can be reached in just two hours from the UK and offer fantastic value for money.
Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts offers facilities to suit a wide range of holidaymakers; whether its families enjoying a self-catering break at Park Plaza Verudela Pula, couples seeking peace and quiet at Park Plaza Arena Pula, sport lovers who enjoy the extensive facilities on offer at Park Plaza Belvedere Medulin and a relaxing spa getaway with breathtaking sea views at Park Plaza Histria Pula.
Here are the top FIVE reasons to visit Croatia this year:
1. Value for money flights from more UK airports – a number of new routes have launched with low-cost airlines including BA (Heathrow), Jet2.com (Stansted), EasyJet (Bristol) and Thomson (Edinburgh) serving Pula airport this season, making it much more accessible from across the UK.
2. Beach Life – Croatia’s coastline is simply stunning, with azure waters, rugged cliffs and quiet coves. A large number of beaches in Pula and Medulin have been award Blue Flag status and are recognised for their natural beauty and low pollution.
3. The Emerging Gastronomy Scene – Foodies rejoice! Istrian cuisine rivals that of neighbouring Italy, with quality olive oil, truffles, wine and pasta. In fact, this year's world guide for extra virgin olive oil has included 60 olive growers and olive oil makers from Istria, which has been named the world's best quality olive growing region for the second year running. The region is also now the proud bearer of Croatia’s first Michelin Star awarded to restaurant Monte in Rovinj earlier this year.
4. A Historic Melting Pot and Celebrity Magnet – Who needs Rome when you can visit Europe’s only remaining Roman Amphitheatre with four side towers and three preserved Roman architectural orders?! This historic site is nothing short of breathtaking. What’s more, you can even catch a performance by some of the world’s biggest stars there, including Tom Jones and Sting in summer 2017.
5. Which bring us on to the Music… - Croatia was put in the spotlight a few years ago for being a top destination amongst music lovers. Pula’s amphitheatre this year hosts Tom Jones, Sting and Zucchero alongside the island’s Outlook Festival held in an abandoned fort, which is set to welcome the like of Dizzee Rascal. Sister festival Dimensions will see Gilles Peterson, Grace Jones and Nina Kraviz take to the stage.
Stay at the family-friendly Park Plaza Verudela Pula for a holiday to remember. Located only a few kilometres from the historical city centre, the hotel features stylish accommodation with convenient access to area attractions. Each air-conditioned room and apartment-style suite is stylishly furnished, offering smart amenities like free Wi-Fi, kitchenettes and flat-screen TVs. Meanwhile an action-packed Kids’ and Teens’ Club is suitable for guests aged 0 to 17.
Four nights in a one bedroom apartment (sleeps 4) costs from £456, based on departure 7th-11th June. Return flights with Ryanair cost from £63pp. To book, visit www.parkplaza.co.uk/croatia