(E) Seven million tourists visited Croatia from Jan - August
Croatian tourism numbers up 4%
ZAGREB - Visitor numbers to Croatia grew 4% in the first eight months of the year as the former Yugoslav republic continued to rebuild its tourism industry from the ashes of the Balkan wars in the 1990s. The Tourism Board said more than seven million tourists visited the country from January to August, 4% more than in the same period in 2003.
Most of the visitors were Germans, Italians, Slovenians and Czechs, it added. During the same period there were 40.4 million overnight stays, a rise of 1% over the same time last year. Croatia is hoping tourism revenues this year will rise 7% to $8.5 billion.
Croatia's economy was hard-hit by the 1991-95 war of independence from the former Yugoslavia. Tourism, a vital revenue earner for Croatia, has recently recovered to pre-war levels.