Croatia is in Central/South-Eastern Europe, bordering Hungary, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Serbia, and Montenegro. Croatia has a 1,800km coastline on the Adriatic Sea, a huge draw for the tourists who flock there every year. Croatia’s climate is predominantly a warm and rainy continental climate, with mean temperatures ranging from just under freezing to around 20°C. The coast tends to be sunnier and warmer, with in excess of 2,000 hours of sunshine a year.
Croatia has been inhabited by the Croat people for around 1,400 years. The vast majority of people in Croatia identify as Croats, with small minorities of Serbs and Bosniaks. Croatia was more-or-less part of Yugoslavia from 1918 until 1991, but Croatians retained a strong sense of national identity. A civil war was fought from 1991 and 1995 between Croatian government loyalists and the Yugoslav People’s Army. The conflict ended in victory for the new Croatian state.
Croatia began to liberalise its economy upon independence, but the Civil War damaged the country a great deal. The Croatian economy stabilised rapidly and experience significant expansion, until the Financial Crisis of 2007-8 greatly impacted economic growth. Although unemployment remains relatively high, GDP growth is rising steadily in recent years. The Real GDP growth rate stood at 2.9% in Q3 2016. Croatia has been a member of the WTO since 2000 and the EU since 2013. Croatia has a predominantly service-based economy and relies heavily on tourism. Industrial goods account for about 25% of GDP, while agriculture, forestry and fishing account for about 5%.
Croatia not only boasts the stunning Adriatic coastline with its picturesque islands and beautiful beaches, but also several important heritage and tourism sites including basilicas and churches, palaces, Roman ruins, national parks, and walled towns, including the famous walled city of Dubrovnik. Croatia is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe, and it is not hard to see why. With its increasing economic success and high quality of life, Croatia is fast becoming a sought-after destination for international investors too.