A 10% rise projected in passenger turnout at Croatian airports in 2017

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Croatia expects an increase of about 10% in the number of passengers at its airports this year, after seeing a record number of passengers last year, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) estimates.

A record 8.1 million passengers passed through Croatian airports in 2016, which was 12.8% more than in 2015, and their numbers are expected to double in seven years' time.

The increase was mostly driven by GDP increases in countries from which visitors came, as well as by other factors such as security, says the head of the HGK Air Transport Association, Tonci Peovic.

"Passengers primarily opt for those destinations where they will feel safe and secure," he said.

The increase in the number of passengers was also due to the fact that air carriers had partly reduced average airfares as a result of lower global oil prices, and the fact that charter flights are more frequent in the summer season, Peovic said. He also mentioned the opening of Middle East and Far East markets.

The total number of passengers at Croatian airports in the first half of 2017 was 3.4 million, an increase of 17.7% over the same period in 2016, according to data from the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency.