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The close vicinity of the main emitting markets and accessibility by land, sea and air, place Kvarner among the tourist destinations with an exceptionally favourable geographical position. The coastal region, islands and mountains – three natural but very different regions at a relatively small distance from each other, make the Kvarner tourist offer diverse and very different, while its fundamental characteristics are numerous and good quality tourist product segments which rest on a rich 162 year tradition hotel-tourist, historical and cultural tradition and heritage. That is why the diversity and richness of natural resources and cultural-historical heritage are undoubtedly a comparative advantage of Kvarner and together with numerous other content and tourist segments adapted to contemporary guests, it represents, not only a motive for tourist arrivals, but always constantly new tourist exploration, understanding and discovery.

The Kvarner region, Primorje-Gorski kotar County, encompasses 6.3 percent of the area of the Republic of Croatia and extends over 3,588 square kilometres. According to the last census in 2001 it had a population of 305,505 people. The seat of the Primorje-Gorski kotar County is Rijeka and in the County region there are 14 cities, 21 municipalities and 510 settlements. The authors of the Main tourist development plan for the Primorje-Gorski kotar County, on which voting is expected soon, has divided the Kvarner region into five segments: the islands Rab, Krk, Cres and Ločinj, into two waterfront regions: Opatija and Crikvenica-Vinodol rivieras, followed by Rijeka and surrounding areas and the region of Gorski kotar.

Natural heritage - plant world

The diversity and richness of the plant and animal world are well known and recognised Kvarner strong suits. With about 2,700 plant species, among which there are numerous rare and endemic species, the Kvarner flora falls among the richest flora regions in Croatia. On the Island of Krk there are about 1500 plant species registered, while the plant world on the islands of Cres and LoĆĄinj fall a little behind. The flora of Kvarner, due to its regional division and diversity in the region, offers guests and passers-by enjoyment in rich pine forests, special aromatic effects of renowned pine-cones, scents of sage, rosemary, basil, bay leaves and myrtle, as well as delicacies prepared from chestnuts, figs, olives and forest fruits and especially numerous and edible species of mushrooms.

Natural heritage - animal world

The information that 73 percent of amphibians and about 87 percent of reptiles in all of Croatia can be found in Kvarner, that the Island of Krk alone has 30 percent of the autochthonous species of amphibians and reptiles, that it represents the island with the greatest number of these species of animal groups in the Mediterranean, that the Kvarner region has 14 species of snakes registered and that 81 species of mammals live in this area, two thirds of the total number of mammals in Croatia, is only one confirmation of the ecologically preserved animal heritage.

Eco protection

To preserve the diversity of the plant and animal world in Kvarner efforts and resources are constantly being invested into ecology, into eco-activities and education. During 2005 the exponents of this work were also awarded numerous acknowledgments by international ecological and educational organisations. Among them there are 23 Blue flags for the orderliness and cleanliness of the beach and sea, 3 for marinas and 10 for functioning of eco-schools.

Cultural and historical heritage

The cultural-historical heritage of Kvarner is exceptionally interesting and content full and this has resulted in the development of various selective forms of tourism, like for example ethno-tourisms, sacral and cultural tourism. In total, Kvarner has 278 protected cultural localities, of which 117 are historical entities, 161 are historical buildings and complexes. The most numerous is the profane heritage, followed by ethnological, memorial and sacral, then hydro-archaeological and archaeological heritage.

Hotels, camps and private accommodation

According to the latest statistical indicators (1 August 2005), the Kvarner region has at its disposal 165,146 permanent beds in various types of accommodation facilities. Of this number in hotels there are 18,864 beds and the majority of these are in facilities which are equipped for all year operations (heating). The greatest capacity of 45 % is in private accommodation, while camps in any given day can accommodate 37,097 guests.

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