On vacation abroad, 78% of Croats will pay by card, mobile phone or smart watch

This year, 33% of Croats intend to go on vacation abroad, and the most popular destination is Italy, according to a study published by Visa.

Author  HrTurizam.hr

18. June 2024.

This year, 33% of Croats intend to go on vacation abroad, and the most popular destination is Italy.

On the longest foreign trip in 2024, more than 46% of respondents plan to spend between 201 - 800 euros per person, and 78% of travelers from Croatia will pay by card, smartphone or smart watch during their stay abroad.

Also, a quarter of tourists from Croatia intend to pay by mobile phone. These are results of the 2024 Travel and Payment Intent Study published by Visa, which was implemented in seven markets of Central and Eastern Europe, including Croatia (1).

As the latest study shows, the importance of digital payments among consumers in Central and Eastern Europe is growing. Respondents from the region who travel across the border are more and more likely to use this payment method, and card, smartphone and smartwatch are the most popular choices, which is chosen by 4/5 tourists (compared to 77% in 2023) (2).

Travelers from Croatia follow this trend and in the same proportion (78%) intend to pay when traveling abroad. This payment method is especially popular among Hungarians and Romanians (84% and 83%, respectively).

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As Visa's study shows, young Croats are the ones who especially appreciate mobile payment, especially with 42% of respondents aged 18 to 25 planning to pay with a smartphone or smartwatch.

The majority of residents of Central and Eastern Europe who are planning a vacation abroad this year decide on the payment method before departure (75%).

If they travel to a country with a different currency, as many as 53% plan to use the same card they use at home. Croatian respondents have similar plans - half of them (54%) will use the same payment method. At the same time, Hungarians and Romanians most often decide to switch to another card, while 65% of Croatian travelers who are also card users abroad will choose the one linked to a multi-currency account.

"Our research shows that Croats are most likely to pay by card or smartphone in restaurants, shops and museums. With Visa credentials, regardless of location, they can be sure that they are protected from fraud, loss and theft of their card because Visa provides them with security and they can get your money back if something goes wrong", she stated Renata Vujasinović, director of Visa in the Republic of Croatia.

It is interesting that as many as 17% of travelers from Central and Eastern Europe, who book accommodation or transport services, state that a foreign business entity returned money to their payment card at least once in the last 12 months due to cancellation, delay or non-use of the service. This means not only that money circulates around the world as people do, but also that the digital revolution is transforming the movement of money, the sources of which are increasing.

The appetite for travel does not wane

This year, 33% of Croats are going on vacation abroad, resting mostly in Europe.

The respondents especially want to visit Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Germany. Outside our continent, they plan to go to Egypt, the United States of America and Australia. Croats will vacation for 6 days on average, spending time on sightseeing (62%), relaxing (46%), visiting family and friends abroad (21%). 

In contrast to 2023, the number of people for whom inflation and the increasing cost of living would be an obstacle when going on a trip has significantly decreased (-28%) (3). In addition, more than half of Croats (57%) declare that they will even go abroad two or three times, and most trips will take place in the off-season. Less crowds stand out as the main reason.

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More than half of the trips planned by Croats this year will be organized independently.

When planning a trip, the e-commerce channel is gladly used - Visa research shows that services such as accommodation (57%) or transportation (40%) will be purchased in this way for an independent trip. For both of these services, the most popular payment method is a card. This form of holiday arrangement - that is, planning and booking on your own - is the most popular way of planning a trip among all the countries included in the research.

As many as 29% of the trips planned by Croats will be in the form of a package deal, with 48% of such trips being purchased online via the travel agency's website, 20% via aggregator platforms, and 32% in stores. As with independent trips, for package deals, the card is also the most often indicated method of payment when purchasing online. 

The height of the study also shows that especially the young generation of Croats, deeply connected to the online world, tend to book vacations online (82%) and want to pay digitally (80%).

Costs and preferences

For the longest planned trip abroad, Croats intend to spend an average of almost 835 euros per person. As many as 46% of them plan to spend between 201 - 800 euros per person, and 4% do not know exactly how much it will be. Interestingly, they want to spend money mainly on food and drink, entertainment and transport. 

It is also worth noting that only 19% of Croatian travelers are willing to pay more for "green" travel solutions. In turn, more than one-third (36%) clearly state that they would be more inclined to go green when traveling if it would save them money.

And as we know that more sustainable travel - practices are more expensive in the market, the whole industry has a challenge, because as this research says, travelers do not want to pay more for more sustainable practices. 

  • (1) - All data used in this release comes from the Visa CEE 2024 Travel and Payment Intentions Study if no other source is cited. The research covers the following countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. It was conducted by the research company GFK Polonia - NIQ company in April 2024 on a representative sample of 1000 respondents (18-65 years old) in each of the countries.
  • (2) - According to the Visa CEE Travel and Payment Intentions Study 2023, which covered the following countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. It was conducted by the research company Kantar in March 2023 on a representative sample of 1000 respondents (18-65 years) in each of these countries.
  • (3) - Compared to the results of the Visa CEE Travel and Payment Intentions Study 2023, which included the following countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. It was conducted by the Kantar research company in March 2023 on a representative sample of 1000 respondents (18-65 years) in each of these countries.

Source and photo: Visa

Author  HrTurizam.hr

18. June 2024.