Thursday, 23 January 2020

Croatian Tourism Presented at FITUR Tourism Fair in Madrid

ZAGREB, January 23, 2020 - Spaniards like to travel a lot and discover new destinations which is an opportunity for Croatia to utilise also because of the scope of the Spanish market and therefore the Croatian Tourism Board (HTZ) intends to open an office in Madrid, Director Kristjan Staničić said on Wednesday at the 40th edition of the FITUR.

FITUR, the largest tourism fair in Spain with 165 countries attending, is running from 22 to 26 January and the HTZ and some ten other exhibitors are presenting Croatia's tourist sector at the show.

They all expect positive trends from the Spanish market and forecast that there will be a growth of 10% in tourism compared to 2019.

Tour operators and partners in Spain who talked to Staničić and Croatian Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli also expect positive trends to continue this year.

Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Split, Zadar, Hvar and Plitvice Lakes are the most sought-after destinations in Croatia for Spaniards. This year we plan to additionally improve our network of branch offices by opening a branch in Madrid particularly since leading international tourist institutions have their main offices here, said Staničić.

He informed that last year, 315,000 Spaniards visited Croatia and generated more than 708,000 bednights, which is an increase of 10% compared to 2018.

Minister Cappelli said that Spain and France were the forerunners in the UNWTO Programme for sustainable tourism, which is being implemented in cooperation with governments, destinations and tourism companies in an effort to reduce the impact of tourism on the environment, which is an important presumption for Croatia's future tourism policy.

"We are using this visit to Madrid to exchange experiences in conducting a policy of sustainable development which is the linchpin of Croatia's presidency of the Council of the EU in the field of tourism. The experiences and examples of good practice we exchanged with leading tourism authorities and officials will be of great benefit in preparing a new national strategy for tourism development which will be based on quality, responsible and sustainable business with the use of modern technology as creative solutions for the future," Cappelli underlined.

HTZ informed that Spaniards usually travel to foreign countries by plane and each year direct flight connections between Span and Croatia are being improved particularly during the summer timetable.

FITUR introduces itself as a "global meeting point for tourism professionals and the leading trade fair for inbound and outbound markets in Latin America."

"At its staging, FITUR broke all previous participation records with 10,487 companies from 165 countries and regions, 142,642 trade visitors and 110,848 visitors from the general public," according to the information provided on the fair's website.

More tourism news can be found in the Travel section.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Tourist Trade Between Croatia and Spain to Be Improved

ZAGREB, January 22, 2020 - Croatia is a popular travel destination in Spain, and tourist trade might rise with the opening of the Croatian National Tourism Board (HTZ) office in Madrid this year and with the introduction of new air routes, Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli said on Tuesday.

During his official visit to Spain, Cappelli met his Spanish counterpart Maria Reyes Maroto Illera. The meeting at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism in Madrid was also attended by Croatia's Ambassador to Spain, Nives Malenica, the Croatian Ministry of Tourism said in a statement.

On that occasion, Capelli presented Croatia's European Commission Presidency priorities in the tourism sector, including advocating policies for responsible and sustainable development with emphasis on encouraging diversification of tourism supply and development of areas with underdeveloped tourism.

He emphasised the importance of using information and communication technologies, the digitisation of the tourism system, and of establishing a common EU regulation for digital platforms providing tourist services.

In addition, he presented Croatia's initiative for establishing an EU tourism brand for the joint promotion of member states on distant markets, inviting Spain to join the initiative and support a more favourable positioning of tourism within EU policies and institutions. Cappelli emphasised the importance of cooperation in absorbing EU funds for developing small and medium-sized tourism enterprises.

It was also pointed out that Croatia is a popular tourist destination in Spain, as confirmed by figures: in 2019, compared with 2018, there was an 8.4% increase in the number of tourists from Spain and a 10.4% increase in overnight stays made by Spanish tourists.

"I believe that the tourist exchange will grow further with this year's reopening of the Croatian National Tourism Board office in Madrid. The office will be located within the Croatian Embassy, in order to cut costs. A very important factor in establishing an even stronger connection between the two countries is the direct flight connection, which is improving from year to year, and at this moment, during the winter timetable, there are three airlines flying three air routes between Croatia and Spain," said Cappelli, who expects a regular daily flight service between Zagreb and Madrid to be established in the future.

More news about relations between Croatia and Spain can be found in the Politics section.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Croatia's Tourism Promoted at Austria’s Largest Holiday and Travel Show

ZAGREB, January 16, 2020 - The 2020 Vienna Ferienmesse tourism fair opened on Thursday with more than 800 exhibitors from over 80 countries including Croatia, which is a favourite destination for Austrian tourists.

"Croatia is one of the favourite destinations for Austrians who travel to Croatia several times a year and in their own vehicles," a press conference heard ahead of the fair being opened where new travel trends for 2020 were presented.

Alongside Italy, Croatia is the most sought-after destination for Austrians travelling by car, the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board's (HTZ) office in Vienna Branimir Tončinić told Hina, adding that according to survey, 49% of Austrians travel with their own transport.

In 2019, more than 1.4 million Austrians visited Croatia and generated 7.7 million bed nights.

Tončinić informed that in the first 15 days of January, there was an increase of 27% in arrivals and an 18% increase in bed nights from Austria compared to the same period last year.

It is expected that the fair in Vienna will attract more than 160,000 visitors.

This week, from 15 to 19 January, HTZ will attend the 50th Vakantiebeurs tourism fair in Utrecth, which is the largest tourism fair in the Netherlands.

Last year, almost 500,000 Dutch tourists visited Croatia and generated 3 million overnight stays and HTZ believes that a positive trend will be recorded again this year from that market.

The presentation in Utrecth and prior to that in the German city of Stuttgart, marks the start of HTZ's promotions at European and global tourism fairs. All in all, it will present Croatia's tourism sector at about 40 fairs.

More tourism news can be found in the Travel section.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Number of Cruise Ships in Croatia's Adriatic Continues to Rise

ZAGREB, January 16, 2020 - The number of foreign cruise ships in Croatia's Adriatic Sea continued to rise in the first eleven months of 2019, when foreign cruises accounted for 710 journeys, or 5 percent more than in the same period in 2018, for the first time bringing more than 1.1 million passengers, according to the national statistics office (DZS).

From January to November 2019, there were 75 foreign cruise ships, the same as in the corresponding period in 2018, but they made 5% more journeys in the Adriatic Sea.

The number of passengers was slightly above 1.1 million, that is 88,000 more than in 2018, increasing by 8.6%.

Additionally, foreign cruise ships realised a 5.1% rise in the number of days spent in Croatia, totalling 1,431 days.

Just like in 2018, the largest number of cruises were realised by vessels under the flag of Malta (199), followed by vessels under the flag of the Bahamas (127), and Panama (123). Despite the fact that they placed third in the number of journeys, vessels under the flag of Panama brought the largest number of passengers in eleven months (287,100).

As usual, the most visits of foreign vessels on cruise were realised in the seaports of Dubrovnik, Split, and Zadar. Seaports in Dubrovnik-Neretva County were destinations for 59.4% of all cruise journeys in Croatia, followed by seaports of Split-Dalmatia County (25.6%) and Zadar County (6.5%).

In November alone, there were 38 foreign vessels on cruise in the Adriatic Sea, which is five more vessels than in November 2018.

More tourism news can be found in the Travel section.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

2019 Best Year Yet for Croatian Tourism

ZAGREB, January 15, 2020 - 2019 was the best year yet for the Croatian tourism industry, with nearly 21 million arrivals and 108.6 million overnight stays, up by 5% and 2.4% respectively, while 2020 is expected to see a continuation of positive trends, with tourist turnover increasing by 3-5%, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli told a press conference on Tuesday.

Cappelli said he expected total revenues to have increased by up to 8%, but added that exact figures would be released by the central bank at the end of March.

"Based on the data for the first nine months of 2019, when revenues were 9% higher, we can say that revenues for the whole of 2019 will be about 5%, and possibly up to 8%, higher than in 2018. This is supported by excellent spending during the Christmas period and the total increase in daily tourist spending in the last year and a half by about 20%, from 79 to 97 euro," the minister said.

"Already now we know that last year spending by visitors staying at hotels increased by 18% to about 140 euro a day, spending by those staying at campsites rose by about 8% to 70-odd euro a day, and spending by tourists staying in private accommodation increased to about 96 euro a day," he added.

Cappelli also noted the increased quality of service, saying that 1.05 billion kuna had been invested in the tourism industry last year, and based on a survey conducted by the ministry, investments are expected to increase this year by about 20% to 1.07 billion kuna. A further 3-5 billion kuna was expected to be invested this year as a result of a new bill on tourism land, which should be passed in the first half of the year.

Cappelli said that a national plan for sustainable tourism was expected to be presented later this year. "This is an important goal for us during the Croatian presidency of the Council of the EU. We will call on the EU member states to follow in the same direction because only quality, responsible and sustainable tourism, which incorporates digitisation and smart solutions, has a future."

Announcing major promotional activities for 2020, Croatian Tourism Board (HTZ) Director Kristjan Staničić said that the aim was to strengthen the brand, tourist spending and Croatia's position in remote markets, while maintaining its good position in the European markets.

"Because of the Croatian EU presidency, the HTZ has already begun a branding campaign in several European markets, which will be conducted basically all year round," Staničić said, adding that a special focus would be on promoting nautical and business tourism and on further cooperation with large global companies such as Google, LonelyPlanet and Expedie. He said that Croatia would participate in over 40 international travel shows and about 100 presentations.

More news about Croatian tourism can be found in the Travel section.

Monday, 13 January 2020

EBRD Grants 100 Million Euro Loan to Boost Tourism in Croatia and Montenegro

ZAGREB, January 13, 2020 - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has granted a 100-million-euro loan to Erste Bank Croatia (EBC) for on-lending to private hospitality enterprises in Croatia and Montenegro to expand their businesses through sustainable investments in hotels and other tourism operations, EBC said on Monday.

EBC noted that it was the first financial institution to receive a credit line under the EBRD Inclusive Tourism Framework for the Eastern Mediterranean.

The framework presents a holistic approach to tourism financing, focusing on a wider, faster and more systemic impact on tourism and related sectors. It aims to improve employment opportunities for young people and women by training young people and establishing new or substantially enhanced cooperation programmes with local universities or vocational schools, and by mainstreaming equal opportunity practices and policies, as well as strengthening the development of backward linkages to local suppliers in the hospitality sector by coordinating relevant stakeholders.

The transaction was signed by EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti during a visit to Zagreb on Monday.

"We are delighted to provide much-needed capital for the sustainable growth and further development of the tourism sector in Croatia and Montenegro. Tourism is a major driver of growth in both countries and we expect this investment to open up new opportunities for local businesses as well as create new jobs. It demonstrates how our new framework will enable the EBRD to reach out to more clients, including smaller ones."

Christoph Schoefboeck, President of the Management Board of EBC, said: "We are very pleased to become the first partner bank under the EBRD Inclusive Tourism Framework for the Eastern Mediterranean and we look forward to continuing and further deepening the longstanding and successful cooperation between our two institutions. Support for tourism is one of our fundamental strategic determinants and we believe that through this credit facility we will enable our clients to realise numerous successful projects in this segment, which will enable them to further strengthen and position themselves in the domestic as well as international markets."

EBC is the third-largest bank in Croatia operating through a network of 128 branches. Its subsidiary in Montenegro, Erste Bank AD Podgorica, operates through a network of 17 branches.

To date, the EBRD has invested more than 3.88 billion euro in Croatia in 215 projects.

More news about the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development can be found in the Business section.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Croatia Calls for Sustainable, Responsible Tourism

ZAGREB, January 12, 2020 - Croatia considers sustainable and responsible tourism important and during the Croatian presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Tourism Ministry plans to draw up a document in which the member-states and the European Commission will be called upon to cooperate in promoting the development of such tourism, the ministry has told Hina.

Promoting sustainable tourism and the sustainability of coastal and island communities is one of the elements included in the programme of the Croatian six-month rotating EU presidency, and Croatia will put an emphasis on promoting the diversity of the tourist trade, synergy of local communities and tourists, and reduction of seasonality of tourist demand as well as on the implementation of ICT within tourism systems.

Croatia believes that tourism should assume a more conspicuous part in European policies and institutions and will propose the development of a European tourist brand for the joint promotion of member-states in far-away markets.

"All that fits in the first strategic goal of the Croatian presidency, a Europe that grows in a balanced, sustainable and inclusive way," Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli says.

He points out the importance of development of specific types of tourism such as health tourism, cyclotourism, river tourism and so on, that can considerably contribute to the prosperity of the local population and direct travellers to some new destinations outside well-known ones, the minister says.

He recalls that the development of sustainable and responsible tourism can contribute to efforts to protect endangered species, preserve the tangible and intangible heritage as well as to address the issue of excessive tourism.

Apart from documents on sustainable forms of tourism, meetings on this topic will also be organised by Croatia during its EU presidency.

The tourism ministry plans to hold a meeting of the Competitiveness Council (COMPET) in the format of tourism as well as two more events in Croatia.

The two events in question are a meeting of European experts in tourism in March 2020, which includes a trip to the Croatian regions of Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem, and a ministerial conference on 27-28 April in Dubrovnik, in which the Ministry wants to include member countries of the OECD which participate in the OECD's Tourism Committee.

Prior to all those events, Minister Capelli will participate in a ministerial conference in Madrid which will be held on 21 January, a day before FITUR, the largest tourism fair in Spain. He announced that he will personally invite his counterparts to the Dubrovnik conference during the Madrid conference.

"We think that tourism, due to its importance for the economy in general, deserves a better and a more conspicuous spot, as well as an independent organisational unit within the European Commission, in order for us to have a more professional support for activities and initiatives necessary for contemporary tourism. As for financing in tourism, possibilities will be opened through various funds and programmes, as well as within the current EU multiannual financial framework," Capelli says.

He also reveals that in case a consensus is reached between all member states, a €300 million fund will be established for sustainable tourism within the Single Market Programme.

As for positioning tourism within EU bodies, he says that meetings of the Competitiveness Council in the tourism format have started.

"Finland dedicated its six-month presidency to discussions on the digitisation of the tourism sector, while Croatia will continue to accentuate all segments of sustainable and responsible tourism development and establish a financial framework for tourism," concludes Cappelli.

Croatia assumed the EU presidency from Finland.

More news about Croatian tourism can be found in the Travel section.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Double Digit Increase in 2019 Tourist Stats in Zagreb County

ZAGREB, January 8, 2020 - During 2019, as many as 140,000 tourists visited Zagreb County and made 230,000 overnight stays, which was a 14% and a 12% annual rise respectively, according to figures provided by the county authorities based on statistical figures collected by the eVisitor system.

These increases are a continuation of growth trends in tourist trade in the county over the last several years, the county authorities reported on Wednesday.

Last year, foreign visitors made up a majority of visitors - 108,000, and they made 170,000 overnight stays. Chinese and South Korean guests topped the ranking and were followed by tourists from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, France and the USA.

Of the seven towns in the county, Velika Gorica welcomed the largest number of the visitors registered in the county. Samobor and Jastrebarsko finished second and third. The latter saw a 35% rise in overnight stays due to a newly opened hotel.

Broken down by type of arrangements, as many as 75% of guests visited the county on their own and others did so as part of organised tours.

County Prefect Stjepan Kožić said the county authorities worked constantly on promoting health tourism in Ivanić Grad, religious tourism in Krašić, shopping tourism in Rugvica, as well as cyclotourism and wine and culinary tourism.

The amount budgeted for tourist trade in the county in 2020 is 7.3 million kuna (approximately a million euros).

More tourism news can be found in the Travel section.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Increased Tourist Turnover for Christmas, New Year

ZAGREB, January 7, 2020 - During the Christmas and New Year holidays 238,000 tourist arrivals and 621,000 bed nights were recorded, which is an increase of 8% compared to the same period last year, the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) said on Tuesday.

The HTZ was citing data on tourism turnover in the commercial and non-commercial sectors as well as nautical charters, taken from the eVisitor system for the period from 20 December 2019 to 6 January 2020.

HTZ director Kristjan Staničić said in a press release that the results are beyond expectation and confirm that Croatian destinations are continually developing their year-round offer.

"We have created attractive content and rich Christmas market programmes that ushered in 2020 in a positive atmosphere. We are faced with a very challenging tourism year but we are optimistic about retaining our competitive position on the large international market," Staničić said, adding that the most bed nights during the Christmas and New Year season were generated by visitors from Croatia, Austria, Slovenia, Germany and Italy.

As for tourism turnover on the coast, Adriatic counties recorded 134,000 arrivals and 405 bednights during the Christmas and New Year holidays while turnover in continental regions, including the city of Zagreb, amounted to 104,000 arrivals ad 216,000 overnight stays.

The most bednights were generated in Istria and Kvarner Bay as well as in Split-Dalmatia County, while the most overnight stays in continental Croatia were recorded in Zagreb, Krapina-Zagorje and Međimurje counties.

The most nights by destination were generated in Zagreb, Opatija, Poreč, Rovinj, Dubrovnik and Split, HTZ informed.

More news about Croatian tourism can be found in the Politics section.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Minister Satisfied with Double-Digit Growth in Tourist Spending

ZAGREB, January 2, 2020 - Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli has expressed satisfaction with the indicators showing a growth in the Croatian tourist trade, and in this context, he underscores the importance of 20% growth in tourist spending.

Tourist spending has risen by about 20%, and those are financial indicators that boost tourism, he told the national broadcaster (HRT) on Wednesday evening.

Cappelli commented on the statistical figures provided by the Croatian National Bank (HNB) showing that Croatia earned 9.44 billion euro in revenues from foreign tourists in the first nine months of 2019, which is an increase of 769 million euro or 9% over the same period in 2018.

Also, last year tourist arrivals increased by 5%, and overnight stays by 2%-3%.

Cappelli underscores that fact that in 2019, the average spending per tourist stood at 97 euro as against 79 euro of the average tourist expenditure in 2017.

The average tourist expenditure rose to 144 euro in hotels, while it stands at 94 euro for guests in private accommodation, and 62 euro in holiday-makers accommodated in camping sites.

More news about Croatian tourism can be found in the Travel section.

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