The University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Economics and Business reported in January that hosting a round of the WRC has had an exceedingly positive impact on the Croatian tourism sector, with more than 300,000 spectators spending 105 million euros in the Central Europe country.
Professor Oliver Kesar, who oversaw the study, spoke glowingly of the outcome, saying: “We are talking about a mega sports spectacle, the effects of which Croatia has not had before at any sports, cultural or any other event.
“The results of the study from 2022 showed that this project is both economically and socially sustainable and that Croatia should continue to host the WRC.”
For Daniel Šaškin, President of the Organising Committee of Croatia Rally, there is good reason to believe that the number of spectators and subsequent income will further increase in 2023 following two recent major changes in the state.
“We should not forget that there were still a number of Covid travel rules in place for a number of potential fans in 2022,” explained Šaškin. “Not only have they now been eased, but Croatia recently joined the Schengen zone, simplifying travel for fans from a number of key European markets and secondly, Croatia has adopted the Euro, meaning simpler cash transactions for those using the same currency in their own country.”
WRC Promoter’s Event Director Simon Larkin has been impressed by what the Tarmac rally has brought to the championship, adding: “Croatia Rally has been an excellent addition to the WRC calendar – it brings with it its own unique set of challenges and distinct identity.
“Zagreb’s location makes the event a no-brainer for rallying fans, with the capital only a few hours’ drive from a number of key rallying markets such as Hungary, Germany, Austria, Italy and the Czech Republic.
“As the promoter, we are incredibly pleased to see studies such as this one undertaken by Zagreb’s Faculty of Economics, which continues to prove the positive impact the WRC has on host cities and countries.”
Croatia Rally will run as the fourth round on the 2023 calendar, taking place from 20 - 23 April.