Saturday, 26 September 2020

Final Criteria Met: Croatians Don't Need A Visa For The USA From 2021

September 26, 2020 - A 20-year-old diplomatic and business stumbling block has finally been resolved - Croatians don't need a visa for the USA from 2021

With a considerable amount of the country's diaspora living in English-speaking countries, the issue of visa requirement to enter the USA has been of significant interest to Croatians for years. Discussions have been ongoing since the late 1990s, complicated by the fact Croatian passports can be issued in a different country altogether - Bosnia and Herzegovina. But now, the wait is finally over - Croatians don't need a visa for the USA from 2021.

As detailed in Total Croatia News on 7th September, the final hurdle for the removal of visa requirements was the issuing of 2000 further visas before the end of this month. Sources inside the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs have revealed this criterion has now been met and thus the annual level of rejected applications will be less than 3%. This was the bar set by the USA to the Croatian state.

Meeting this figure was complicated by the decrease in travel due to the ongoing pandemic. Therefore, with full disclosure to their American counterparts, sections of the Croatian government set about orchestrating the required number of applications. They enlisted the help of the Croatian business community and members within it who were sure to submit successful applications.

Next Friday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will arrive in Croatia. Final details for the abolition of visas will be discussed between his accompanying team and that of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman and Minister of Defense Mario Banožić, who will meet him in Dubrovnik. The official announcement that Croatians don't need a visa for the USA from 2021 could potentially come as soon as the end of the US Secretary of State's visit.

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Monday, 28 October 2019

Could Uniline Attract Rich American Tourists to Istria?

Could Uniline create the right conditions to attract American tourists with a high purchasing power to Istria? Maybe.

''I believe such offerings and facilities could be of interest to American tourists and that over time we could make greater use of the potential that this market has. In any case, contacts have been established, we're currently in the process of defining the program and I believe that next year, we'll be able to boast of our first guests as well, and we'll start to conquer this new market more strongly,'' claims Lia Fioranti.

As Glas Istre/Milan Pavlovic writes on the 27th of October, 2019, what is the best way to try and attract rich tourists from the US market to the tourist experience of Istria and Croatia? The question, but also the task, has been raised for some time within Uniline, a leading destination management company in Croatia and the region of Southeast Europe.

In order to strengthen its presence in the US and better present Istria, Croatia and the region on this major tourism market, Uniline's manager for major partners in the area, Lia Fioranti, visited some of American cities such as New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles this year, and established significant contacts and initiated collaboration.

The aim of the collaboration Uniline seeks is to bring wealthier Americans to Istria and Croatia, to offer them carefully tailored lifestyle-oriented, cultural and historical itineraries that will allow them to enjoy their vacation and discover the magic of this destination.

Truffle hunting in the Motovun forest, a luxury honeymoon in Rovinj, cycling trips, specially tailored tours of the national parks of Plitvice and Brijuni, luxury gastronomic excursions to the islands like Hvar, special cooking classes with an emphasis placed primarily on local gastronomy is the real trump card of this lifestyle program designed for American tourists.

The cultural part of the program will include a visit to the most important and famous sites and cultural and historical sites from Dubrovnik to Istria.

"I believe that such offerings and facilities could be of interest to American guests and that over time we could make greater use of the potential that this market has. In any case, contacts have been established," says Lia Fioranti.

The USA is a market where Croatia has positioned itself as an attractive and safe tourist destination in recent years. In the context of the authenticity of the offer and the experience and the hospitality of the locals, Americans can be heard comparing it to Greece or Italy from fifteen years ago. This is the main reason why Croatia was among the top five new destinations on the US market earlier this year. This is also confirmed by the strong growth in US tourist traffic in recent years.

This is definitely a very potent market for Croatia, as evidenced by the turnover, which has been achieving double-digit growth rates for several years. Thus, in 2019, the number of arrivals and overnight stays increased by over 11 percent. The most popular European destinations for American tourists are France, Spain and Italy, and thanks to a quality blend of natural and cultural attractions, rich historical heritage and sumptuous eco-gastronomy, it can position itself and find its place as an interesting alternative to these traditional destinations.

An additional trump card in this story is certainly the airline, which for the first time in 28 years directly connected Croatia with the US, and for American Airlines, whose planes operated three times a week between Dubrovnik and Philadelphia during the season, according to Dubrovnik Airport, there was great interest.

Recognising the positive trends and signals coming from across the Atlantic, Uniline set out to open that market with the goal of accessing and connecting with smaller luxury agencies in the US that organise luxury, personalised travel."

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