For the eighth consecutive year, Istria has been the most famous regional destination for German drivers. This is the result of a survey carried out by the famous German Automobile Club ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club), which was published at the beginning of the year and which states that the popularity of Istria is increasing each year.
German campers have shown the greatest interest for Istria, with a share of as much as 13% out of a sample of 1.3 million enquiries from among users of the ADAC's Travel Planner. The runner-up is the Italian Lago di Garda with 5.2% share, and the third place is occupied by Dalmatia with a 5% share, followed by neighbouring Italian regions, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, with a 3.9% share.
In the category of countries, Croatia as a car destination is ranked third with a 7.6 % share, behind the most desirable, Germany with a 27.6 % share and Italy with 18.1 %, ahead of Austria which has a 6.8 % share and Turkey with 6.2%. Besides that, Croatia took a high third place in the rankings of favourite destinations for German campers, after Italy and Germany, and ahead of France and Spain.
According to the afore-mentioned research, the camping segment was extremely popular during 2017, and this trend is expected to continue in 2018 too. The ADAC has estimated about 170,000 tourist itineraries made by ADAC experts for its members, the so-called Routenplanners (travel planners). The itineraries were then tested to find out the number of users and to get valuable information on the subject of travelling by car and the preferences of tourist destinations.
The very flattering results of the ADAC research has contributed greatly to the marketing distribution and better perception of Istria as a destination in Germany - the most important target market for Istrian tourism. Moreover, diversification compared to other tourist regions contributes to the strengthening of the Istrian brand and its media presence in the German and Western European areas. The results of ADAC's research were published in the ADAC Motorwellt magazine, which is published in more than 13 million copies and is also on their website www.adac.de which is generally in favour of the higher-ranked regions, and therefore of Istria as well.
The positive results of the survey have also been commented by the Director of the Istria Tourist Board, Denis Ivošević: “When you have been proclaimed as the most desirable regional car destination eight times in a row, and when the Germans proclaim you a winner eight times in a row, who are our most significant and most numerous guests, then we can confidently say that 2018 has started in the best possible way. The publication itself, at the beginning of the tourist year, gives a big wind back to all promotional activities in Germany, especially when we are aware that demand for so-called caravaning has never been higher. This situation should definitely be used and emphasised in our performances, and the value of the publication is invaluable as far as reputation is concerned, as money really can’t buy anything like this."
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Already receiving significant earned media in outlets such as National Geographic Traveler Huffington Post and mention in notable guidebooks like Lonely Planet, international journalists and tour operators alike continue the praise heaped upon the Istrian peninsula and all it has to offer making it one of the world's top destinations.