Friday, 11 September 2020

YTD Tourism Results Better than Expected

ZAGREB, Sept 11, 2020 - In the first eight months of this year, 6.8 million tourists visited Croatia and generated 47.5 million overnight stays, which was at 41% and 53% respectively of last year's levels.

YTD tourism results are better than expected following the outbreak of the coronavirus infection, according to a statement made by Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac and the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) director Kristijan Stanicic at a news conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Of those 47.5 million overnight stays, the lion's share, 84%, were made in July and August, and in those two months, Croatia registered 5.2 million holidaymakers.

Addressing the news conference, Minister Brnjac thanked the stakeholders and businesses in the tourism sector for those results.

"Clearly, nobody finds this situation easy, however, the sector has shown that it has been well prepared and we thank everyone for these results," she said.

The minister says that the government adopted the right measures in a timely fashion to help keep jobs and liquidity in this industry.

The gradual reopening of the borders paved the way for the arrival of tourists, and the results are better than expected in all types of tourist accommodation, she added.

"Nautical tourism is one of the segments that has fared well, and currently there are about 300 mega-yachts in Croatia. We hope that this good season will continue."

Government assistance schemes for the tourism and hospitality industry will be in effect until the end of this year to help the sector make good preparations for 2021, and the minister recalls that part of the money will be ensured from the European Union's funds.

She announced the preparation of a strategy for sustainable tourism with the engagement of experts in drawing up the document.

About 200,000 tourists currently vacationing

HTZ director Stanicic said that about 200,000 tourists were currently vacationing in Croatia.

He said that HTZ campaigns on social networks had registered hundreds of millions of visits.

Stanicic also commented on some negative campaigns on foreign markets that were unfavorable for Croatia.

We tried to respond to that "with certain positive and fact-based messages," he said.

When asked about the financial effects of the tourist turnover, Stanicic said that one should wait for the end of the year.

The director of the Croatian Association of Tourism (HUT), Veljko Ostojic, said that given the circumstances, the results in the sector were the best possible.

In hotels, overnight stays in the first eight months were at 30.4% of the levels in the corresponding period last year, Ostojic said, warning that the financial effects would be even lower.

Ostojic and the head of the Association of the Croatian Travel Agencies (UHPA), Tomislav Fain, agreed that the assistance provided by the government had been essential to keep the sector in motion.

The head of the association of marinas within the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), Sean Lisjak, told the news conference that marinas were satisfied with this year's results.

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Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Vir, Croatia's Most Successful Destination, Yet No Love from Croatian Tourist Board

August 26, 2020 - The Mayor of Vir, Kristijan Kapovic, and the Director of the Vir Tourist Board, Srdjan Liveric, are dissatisfied with the Croatian Tourist Board's attitude towards the island of Vir, the most successful tourist destination in Croatia so far this season.

Namely, HRTurizam reports that in the last two August press releases of the Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB) which list the most successful tourist destinations, Rovinj, Porec, Split, Medulin, Crikvenica, Dubrovnik, Umag, Zadar, Pula and Novalja were highlighted as the destinations with the most achieved tourist arrivals. Contrary to the practice of all previous years, the most successful destinations by realized tourist overnight stays are not mentioned, i.e., the total data of realized overnight stays in Croatia and the most successful counties are given.

The fact that the island of Vir has the most in Croatia until August 15 - about 1.5 million overnight stays with 80 percent of last year's record numbers - is somehow bypassed at the peak of the summer season when the impression of the most successful and best destinations this year is created. In addition, Vir is the best destination in terms of overnight stays so far in August (433 thousand). With more than 700 thousand overnight stays (the only one in Croatia), it was also the most successful tourist destination in July.

However, the island of Vir simply does not appear in the CNTB's press releases in August. It is this fact that raised the whole of Vir to its feet, and the Municipality of Vir and the tourist board are asking: Is the island of Vir fancy enough to be the best destination in Croatia?

Realized tourist overnight stays measure the success of each destination. This fact is covered up in the CNTB's August media reports, according to a joint statement from the Municipality of Vir and the Tourist Board of Vir.

"They favor destinations in which billions of kuna of public state money have been invested so far, in communal, tourist and media-marketing infrastructure, so they are obviously bothered by Vir's success, which has never gained anything from all this. However, when the CNTB's coffers are filled, one does not ask where the money comes from, and a significant amount of money comes from Vir," says the mayor of Vir, Kristijan Kapovic. Thus, millions from the island go directly to the CNTB, and hundreds of millions to the state budget, adding: “No one can deny that, but we can also ask ourselves whether the time has finally come for that money to start coming back to us. Vir certainly deserved it," said Mayor Kapovic. The director of the Vir Tourist Board, Srcjan Liveric, agrees with him and feels first hand the complete neglect of the most popular Croatian destination.

“Several million kuna go every year to the CNTB's coffers at the state and county level, and not a penny has been returned to some media and marketing campaign for Vir. We do not have the support of the system and the people within the CNTB who, among other things, are paid with real money and whose job it is to help us. We rely only on our own strength," says director Liveric and adds that it is finally time for state institutions, tourism, and others, to start doing their job finally. "If we talk about tax revenues, hundreds of millions of kunas went to the budget from Vir. We would be satisfied if we got them back if we could arrange Vir as a top tourist destination in every sense," adds the director of Vir Tourist Board.

In their joint statement, they point out that a significant phrase of the CNTB director Kristjan Stanicic, who, speaking about the most successful destinations so far, mentioned only some of them. Even then, the island of Vir was not mentioned in a single word, letter or thought. When the CNTB director was confronted with the fact that Vir was the destination with the most overnight stays in Croatia, he responded to the journalist's statement somewhat reluctantly: "Vir is a specific destination of non-commercial accommodation."

According to UNWTO, the umbrella organization of international tourism and the United Nations agency, a tourist is any person who stays or spends the night in a place where there is no residence address. Therefore, that person can have their own house, cottage, caravan, tent, or brothel in the destination if they want. Still, if they do not have a residence - it is a person who is statistically registered as a tourist. This is what is called non-commercial accommodation in the structure of tourist traffic, according to Vir.

Vir also emphasizes that for a local or foreign citizen to buy or build a house in Croatia where they do not reside, it is necessary to set aside at least about 700 thousand kuna for the minimum facility and then pay taxes and other receivables. In one move, a foreigner or a local person invests about 100 thousand euro to have a housing or tourism business facility, on which they pay taxes and all possible benefits, and further use the goods and services at the destination. Only one such owner of the facility, or a tourist in non-commercial accommodation, spends at least one million kuna at the start, and their further consumption at the destination takes place at least three or four times a year.

In the case of Vir, we are talking about foreigners who spend 16 nights on average in the previous part of the season and domestic guests with 26.7 nights on average. The so-called commercial tourists that the CNTB likes, spend 500 to 600 euro once for accommodation and maybe the same amount for goods and services at the destination where they stay for two to three days, or a maximum of one week. They do not spend more than ten or fifteen thousand kunas without a guarantee that they will be in Croatia again next year. In order to equalize the financial performance of a non-commercial guest in the future, commercial tourists would have to stay at the destination for 100 years or there would have to be 100 times more of them, Vir points out.

"All tourism professionals know that reports are made according to the realized overnight stays, because it is the practice of measuring tourist traffic. Now that Vir is the best, suddenly reports are made in arrivals, which is strange, to say the least," concludes Liveric.

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Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Over 600,000 Tourists Currently in Croatia, Prices Reduced in a Number of Destinations

July 21, 2020 - More than 600,000 tourists are currently staying in Croatia, some counties have a 60 percent occupancy rate compared to the same time last year, and by the end of the year, the result could reach 40 percent of last year, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli said on Monday.

"Today we have almost 600,000 tourists, mostly foreigners, and there are about 90,000 locals. Croatia is a safe destination no matter what happens," Cappelli said after a session of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) on Slobodna Dalmacija.

Greece, he said for comparison, currently has only seven percent of turnover compared to last year.

On the other hand, Croatia has over 50 percent of its turnover in July compared to last year, and more than 30 percent at the level of the previous part of the year.

He pointed out that in some counties, such as Istria and Primorje-Gorski Kotar, more than 60 percent of arrivals are realized compared to last year. According to him, the tourist workers are well prepared for the epidemiological conditions in which they work. Currently, as he said, 75 percent of the available nautical charter is operating, while in August, everyone will work at one hundred percent capacity.

Cappelli is in favor of more rigorous epidemiological measures in order to achieve the results we expect with a reduced number of infected people, that is, to prove that we are still a safe destination.

He pointed out that the decline in the number of domestic tourists is only 13 percent, and that most continental destinations have traffic of more than 60 percent compared to last year, and family farms on the continent work even better than last year.

He stated that the prices of tourist services were reduced in a number of destinations, on average, by 10 to 30 percent.

"I claimed that the first good reaction of the economy will be in tourism, and that is what is happening," said the minister, adding that this year there is a minimum of seasonal workers coming from outside Croatia, i.e., that domestic labor has been withdrawn.

At the session of the Tourist Council, additional financial resources for the needs of crisis communication were approved. It will be aimed at continuous monitoring of the market situation, in order to quickly and timely inform the target public about all new changes in the travel segment, with an emphasis on Croatia as a safe and accessible tourist destination.

"Today we have provided additional financial resources for crisis communication activities in foreign markets. Quality promotion and placement of targeted messages are extremely important in these market circumstances when many countries are fighting very hard for each guest. With these financial resources, amounting to one million kuna, among other things, we will focus on intensified monitoring of the entire situation with an emphasis on communicating accurate information on the epidemiological situation in the country," said the director of HTZ, Kristjan Stanicic.

Stanicic also said that from Friday to Sunday, almost 300,000 arrivals and 1.8 million tourist overnight stays were realized in Croatia.

The members of the Tourist Council also discussed the situation on the markets and the course of the season, and it was emphasized that in the current part of July, from July 1 to 19, about 1.4 million arrivals were realized, which is 53 percent of last year's result achieved in the same period, and 9.6 million overnight stays, which is 56 percent of last year's result achieved in the same period.

The largest tourist turnover came from the markets of Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Austria.

Stanicic also stated that additional funds will be used for PR activities in the domestic and foreign markets, and that additional funds were found through internal redistribution, within the HTZ budget.

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Friday, 17 July 2020

Croatian Tourist Board Launches Website for Payment of Tourist Fee for Boaters

ZAGREB, July 17, 2020 - The Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) has launched a website for online payment of the tourist fee for boaters, which until now could be paid only in harbour master's offices, the HTZ announced on Friday.

The website, nautika.evisitor.hr, provides guidance in several languages on how to pay the fee. All major global card brands are accepted.

After paying the fee, the boater is emailed a receipt which they must keep for the entire duration of their stay on the vessel, the HTZ advised.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Croatian Tourist Board Reform: These are the Problems, This is the Solution

June 2, 2020 - The Croatian tourist board needs urgent reform. A detailed look at the problems... and a solution. 

The Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli called me a few days ago. I have never met or spoken to him (or Croatian National Tourist Board director, Kristjan Stanicic) since Minister Cappelli assumed the office back in 2016. The phone call was therefore quite a surprise, and we had a nice little chat, including an invitation to meet in his office. That meeting is scheduled to take place tomorrow. 

It comes at a time when Croatian tourism is trying to get through this tough corona period. I have been vocally very critical of the tourism chiefs and their infrastructure - and I make no apology for that. Thanks largely to the interest and support of colleagues from Index.hr and also 24 Sata, direct and positive change has come as a result. 

Given that I have been heavily involved in writing about and promoting tourism since 2011 (including winning the Marco Polo FIJET award for Best International Promotion of Croatia at the Croatian Journalists Association in 2014), I have been following Croatia's tourism story in a lot more detail than even most Croatians. 

There are some serious problems. 

Problems which the corona strangling of the season have exposed a little more than might otherwise have been the case. 

Problems which can be resolved. 

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It is very easy to laugh at those in the bloated tourism structure that Croatia has, and to accuse its directors of being lazy. While there is certainly an element of that, to do so would be a big disservice of the many tourist board directors in Croatia who do an excellent job. To see who some of them are, follow our new Virtual Croatia initiative, where we offered each local tourist board director the offer of a free article promoting all their digital tools in one place.

So far we have done Omis, Brela, Zagreb, Hvar, Opatija, Sinj, Klis, Rogoznica, Stari Grad and  Trogir. 
 
We have received online material from the following destinations and will get these articles done in the coming weeks (apologies for the delay, things have been a little busy at TCN) - Brac (all 8 TZs together), Inland Dalmatia (together), Dubrovnik, Split, Vukovar, Metkovic, Marina, Varazdin, Pag, Lumbarda, Bilje, Solta, Skradin, Pasman, Ivanic Grad, Viskovo, Zminj, Grebascice, Sredisnja Podravina, Zlarin, Koprovnica, Konavle, Ploce, Jezera, Ivanic Grad, Zminj, Viskovo and Pasman. 
 
One of the main problems with Croatian tourism - and the one I want to focus on here (and fix) is its structure, as well as its mindset. 
 
There are three main bodies in the official Croatian tourism structure: The Ministry of Tourism, the Croatian National Tourist Board, and the Tourism Department at the Croatian Chamber of Economy. I have never been able to figure out what the Tourism Department of the Croatian Chamber of Economy actually does all day, and as we explored a few years ago, the same goes for the Croatian Chamber of Economy in general - published in 2017, Welcome to Uhljebistan: the Croatian Chamber of Economy, Beyond Useless
 
The Ministry of Tourism does its work and the Croatian National Tourist Board does its (promoting tourism). They don't seem to have jurisdiction over each other, and relations between the two bodies are sometimes warm, sometimes less so. At least in my experience. I have lost count at the number of times the ministry will tell me that I have to contact the tourist board for that information, as it is not their job. 
 
And so it starts. 
 
In a normal country focused on a service industry, I would not be sent to the next person, I would be told to hold while they got the information. A quick phone call to the tourist board and then I get my answer with a smile. 
 
Croatian institutions do not work like that. 
 
The tourist board structure enters every part of the country, whether there is tourism or not. There is a regional tourist board for all 20 regions, and 319 local tourist boards, the majority of whom have well-paid full-time directors 12 months a year, even though most of the tourists only come in the summer. 
 
There is an incredibly important exception to this arrangement, and one which gives me huge hope for change - Sucuraj on the island of Hvar. It is really worth reading (if this topic interests you), not only due to the rationale, but also the legal process. Some important highlights from the TCN interview with the Mayor of Sucuraj:
 
By switching to the e-Visitor system, where renters enter information independently, the need for a year-round office is questionable, just for someone to have a salary in a small Tourism Board doing a job that amounts to two hours of administrative work per month, all while there are insufficient funds for any major project which needs to be done and monitored. 
 
Considering the financial situation of Sucuraj Tourist Board, which operates in the area of ​​Sucuraj Municipality, where the limited income is mainly related to private accommodation and we have an active car camp, we cannot make more than 185.000,00 kn due to the payment of the sojourn tax, which is the only income of the Tourist Board. 
 
It ultimately means that during the year built-in expenses — the director's salary — eats up most of the Tourism Board's revenue, so there is no funding for further investment. The director has to work seasonally in the summer so that the Office and info desks work 14 hours. Therefore, most of the proceeds go to salaries and there’s only enough left over for five to six smaller events, where the Tourist Board co-finances the events of the Associations in the Sucuraj Municipality.
 
One would assume that the 319 local tourist board are part of the national tourist board structure in Croatia, but actually they are all controlled by the Mayors of the destination, and the Mayor is the de facto President of the Tourist Board. This means that, as with most official positions in Croatia, there is a large amount of nepotism and party politics. Traditionally, the position of director has been a thank you from the ruling party for delivering enough votes, or sometimes the Mayor and President rewards his girlfriend or mistress with the position. Tourism qualifications to do the job rarely came into the equation. 
 
As with nepotism with jobs, in many cases, the local tourism budget is also available to reward their own. Certain projects and events got funding (thank you for your votes) and certain ones didn't (try again at the next election). As a naive apolitical fat foreign blogger trying to get Total Hvar off the ground back in 2011, I couldn't understand why the local tourist boards did not want to support the project. 
 
"You need to join a political party," a local friend told me over a beer. 
 
How right he was, as I subsequently learned as I got more acquainted with the realities of life in The Beautiful Croatia.
 
Until recently, local tourist boards had the following main functions and duties:
 
1. To register guests. This is now done online with eVisitor, and so a massive part of the job no longer exists. 
 
2. To educate owners of rental apartments on the rules, regulations and requirements. The sad thing is that the many local tourist boards don't seem to understand the rules. But there is a much more efficient way of doing this expertly and clearly. It is called video. Webinars. One expert from the head office who can give one consistent message (many thanks to my wife, who worked as a director to cover a maternity a few years ago, for her insights into this issue). So have the webinars, and then have a call centre in somewhere like Vukovar (we are always saying how we want the east to rise, so why not create some jobs?) with three smart and talented people who can answer all questions by phone and email, while having a hotline to the person who makes up the rules, so that there is a clear line of communication. 
 
3. To give out information. The number of local tourist board websites which are not even in English is embarrassing. There is no unified logo or message, just every destination for itself. People would also prefer to be able to get their information from their phone sitting in a cafe rather than queuing up at a tourist office. And today, we have something called technology. 
 
One of the great revelations of this year for me happened two weeks ago. I went to the Slovenian border with PR legend Kreso Macan (until recently he was Director of Communications for Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic) to see what the story was on the ground. It was a really fascinating morning
 
On the way back I asked why we didn't have a Viber resource for travel info like the excellent koronavirus.hr viber group which is followed by half a million people and gives great updates. 
 
"Why don't we make one?" he replied. 
 
 
Macan is a beast to work with at times, but he gets results. He had a vision of how to get things done, and things at times were far from pleasant for interns Ivan and Jakov and myself, but in just a few days, he had what he wanted - a superb daily travel update which is now pretty automatic linking to everything (as well as CNN and others linking to it), that takes 3 minutes a day to update. I am really proud of the guys and what we achieved with this. You can bookmark the update here.
 
 
Can't find the answers to your questions? Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community (you will need to download the app) and ask your question. In any language. Questions are being answered in real time. In Hungarian thanks to the cool Viber translate feature. And the community is posting its own real life border crossing experiences. It is a fantastic resource. 
 
We started answering the questions in the Viber community, and we worked really hard to fine-tune that master travel update. It took 10% of my day, perhaps 20% of Macan's and perhaps 30% of our two hero interns. And now we have a product that can answer pretty much anything (or send people to the right place to ask if we do not know). 
 
And we got some amazing feedback. People were waiting 5 days, 8 days, 9 days and no response to their tourist enquiries from the official email address. So they booked holidays to Spain and Greece instead. With all those 319 tourist boards, 20 regional tourist boards, national tourist board, ministry of tourism and those chaps over at the Chamber of Economy, there was nobody left to answer the questions of the people who contribute 20% of Croatia's GDP. - the tourists. 
 
And yet Macan, two interns and I could do it while doing 3 million other things simultaneously. 
 
I met the fabulous guys from CroAI yesterday. They have invited me to speak at an event this week alongside the Israeli Ambassador, Minister of Public Administration and the President of CroAI - little old me who had to ask one of the interns to help me download Viber to my desktop. I am sure I will be a train wreck.
 
We talked about our Viber community. 
 
"Do you know how simple it would be to have that running 24/7 with chatbots in those 24 languages?"
 
Uff. 
 
We talked. 
 
"And so I have written about 10,000 articles about Hvar in the last 10 years. If I emptied my head of info into your machine, could you create a Hvar guide in 24 languages, available 24/7 without me having to answer a question again?"
 
"Of course."
 
"And then to take it one step further, then with the right partners and some investors, I could then create my own national tourist board structure, powered by the community, with our own brand and marketing strategy, promoted through TCN. How cool would that be?"
 
Shall we try? I have a concept in my head which I will put onto paper in the next week. Anyone who is interesting in joining or supporting the information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Croatia 2.0 Tourism. 
 
4. So the local tourist boards no longer need to register guests, help private owners with rental regulations, or give out tourist information. But they are also responsible for events, which is how the cousins get their payback. We will still need a tourist board presence (at least in the areas where there are actually tourists, but only in the months when they come), but if we take the planning and budget out of the mayor's control, that is one less bit of public money that can be used for cronyism. 
 
Some local tourist board directors agree with me, some are angry at me. One told me recently that that is just how Croatia is - the law needs to change before we can change the system. 
 
And I agree. And the solution is very, very simple.
 
Pass a bill through Parliament which abolishes the Croatian National Tourist Board and all the regional and local ones. Pass a bill which abolishes the Ministry of Tourism. Pass a bill which abolishes (preferably the entire) Croatian Chamber of Economy. 
 
And start again. 
 
Build a structure for the future. A digital solution to meet the needs of the modern traveller. Get the CroAI guys involved to build a modern tourism platform which will reflect the image Croatia needs to build on with its untapped strengths. Safety and LIfestyle, never more so than in the current times. 
 
Croatia has an AMAZING future if we can put this cronyism to bed, and corona has actually put it in a stronger position than before. Here is my vision for the future of Croatian tourism - it is called CROMADS
 
If you would like to participate in CROMADS and Croatia 2.0, send me an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Croatia 2.0. I am putting together a database of beautiful minds, and I think together we can create something rather fun.  
 
Let's see what our Minister of Tourism thinks about CROMADS when we meet tomorrow. 
Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Croatia and Slovenia Join Forces for Promotional Campaign in Australia

February 18, 2020 - The European Tourism Commission (ETC) has approved co-financing a joint project by the Croatian National Tourist Board and the Slovenian Tourist Board for the promotional campaign "Croatia and Slovenia: Full of Ways to Feel and Explore”, to be implemented in the Australian market by November 2020.

HRTurizam reports that the value and overall budget of the campaign is €200,000, half of which, ie, €100,000, is supported by the ETC.

"The joint promotion of Croatia and Slovenia in distant markets, and especially the one that will be realized in the large Australian market, is a unique example of successful cooperation in tourism promotion of the two countries. We know that guests from far markets usually realize their travels in the periods before and after the season when they visit several countries, which is why we cooperate very intensively with colleagues from the Slovenian Tourist Board,” said Croatian Tourist Board Director Kristjan Stanicic, adding that more than 242,000 arrivals and more than 741,000 overnight stays have been made in Croatia from the Australian market over the past year.

After European funds were approved last year for the "Experience Croatia, Feel Slovenia" campaign launched on the Chinese market, this year, the funds were approved for an Australian market campaign aimed at promoting and positioning Croatia and Slovenia as more attractive year-round destinations. A particular focus of the campaign will be on topics of active and adventure tourism, natural beauty and lesser-known tourist destinations for higher-spending guests. The campaign will also promote the rich cultural and historical heritage, eno-gastronomy, as well as other attractive tourist attributes of both countries.

"I am pleased that we have been successful this year in jointly applying for a European Tourism Commission tender, which confirms our excellent cooperation in promotion in distant markets. I am convinced that through a joint promotion campaign in the Australian market, we will present Slovenia and Croatia as destinations of unique experiences and sustainable tourism,” said the director of the Slovenian Tourist Board, Maja Pak.

As part of the campaign, workshops for agents and tour operators in Sydney and Melbourne will be organized, digital media advertising activities will be implemented, and cooperation will be established with selected Australian influencers who will visit Croatia and Slovenia next spring. Also, in cooperation with one of the leading online travel agencies in the Australian market, an online campaign will be devised and implemented through two waves, where Croatia and Slovenia will be presented to guests who want to enjoy unique and authentic experiences beyond the peak tourist season.

The Croatian National Tourist Board and the Slovenian Tourist Board have successfully withdrawn funding through the ETC Call for Co-financing of Transnational Promotional Campaigns in Distant Markets, and under the Destination Europe project and the new Horizon 2022 strategy, a total of 18 applications were received, while 11 received support.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Croatian National Tourist Board to Pay 8 Million Kuna for New Portal

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes on the 21st of January, 2020, the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) expects the new portal to be positioned as a central place for the inspiration of its users in the decision-making process when it comes to choosing a holiday in Croatia.

The Croatian National Tourist Board has announced a tender for the creation of a new tourist information portal, Croatia.hr, as well as for the collection and management of databases necessary for the establishment of public e-services of the portal. The tender is being announced as part of the Croatian Digital Tourism (Hrvatski digitalni turizam) project, which is an EU project, managed by the Ministry of Tourism, and the total value of this procurement is 8 million kuna.

As the Croatian National Tourist Board explained, the project is funded by two European Union funds, namely the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund, and they play the role of project partner.

The e-tourism project envisages the development and improvement of five public e-services, which will be completed by the end of this year, which will integrate the procedures of several public administration bodies into an integrated state information system. These are the Central tourist register, the e-Visitor guest check-in and check-out system, the Croatia.hr platform, and e-services for both administrative and non-administrative procedures.

''There are two components to the Croatian National Tourist Board, the upgrading of the eVisitor system and the creation of a new Croatia.hr web portal, which will integrate the complete Croatian tourist offer in the future. Accordingly, the procurement process was initiated, the subject of which is the procurement of website services for the tourist information system and the establishment of an IT system, the management of databases necessary for the establishment of public e-services, and the tourist information portal,'' the Croatian National Tourist Board explained.

The goal of the new portal is to connect all tourist boards into one system, so that each destination and tourist board will have its own promotion space on the national website, or on its subdomains. It is also expected to increase page traffic, have better SEO and page ranking and strengthen brand identity.

When it comes to technical features, the new portal needs to be supported through a user-friendly and efficient CMS with different administrative rights and responsibilities.

As explained in the tender documentation, the Croatia.hr pages must be made in accordance with all the latest technological solutions and requirements, responsive to display on all devices, multilingual, capable of commenting and sharing content on all platforms, and should be able to connect with different systems such as the Central tourist register and eVisitor.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Croatian Tourism Days to Be Held for First Time in Five Slavonian Counties

ZAGREB, September 15, 2019 - The Tourism Ministry has recently made public the programme of this year's Croatian Tourism Days, to be held in a number of towns in the region of Slavonia on October 2-4, which is the first time the traditional meeting of tourism workers will be organised in inland Croatia.

More than 1,000 participants, tourism professionals and other actors in Croatia's tourism and related sectors, as well as central and local government officials and foreign guests, will attend the event, organised by the Tourism Ministry, the Croatian Tourism Board (HTZ) and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

Recalling that the incumbent government placed emphasis on the economic development of Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli said that Croatian Tourism Days would be held in the country's easternmost regions in order to additionally accentuate the importance of regional tourism.

HTZ director Kristjan Staničić said that Slavonia and the continental part of the country had great potential for year-round tourism and that the HTZ's activities were geared towards promoting continental tourism.

"This year's two-digit increase in tourist turnover in inland Croatia proves that the continental part of the country has exceptional potential for further growth and development," he said.

Croatian Tourism Days will be held in all five Slavonian counties, which HGK head Luka Burilović said had a lot to offer to visitors - a rich cultural heritage, splendid scenery and an increasingly diverse cuisine, which is the main reason for visiting Croatia for around 30% of guests.

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

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

HTZ Announces 5% Increase in Tourist Arrivals from January to August 2019

September 10, 2019 - The Croatian Tourist Board, also known as HTZ, announces the tourism numbers for the first eight months of 2019.

According to the eVisitor system, from January to August, Croatia recorded 16.5 million arrivals (+5 percent) and 90.1 million overnight stays (+2 percent). Foreign tourists achieved 14.7 million arrivals (+5 percent) and 79.1 million overnight stays (+1 percent), while domestic tourists recorded an increase of 10 percent in arrivals and 7 percent in overnight stays.

"The first half of 2019, as well as the previous two peak months, July and August, are in line with our expectations and plans this year. In total, since the beginning of the year, we have achieved five percent more tourist arrivals and two percent more overnight stays. But apart from tourist traffic, what particularly delights us is the positive financial results. Namely, according to the Tax Administration, since the beginning of the year, a total of HRK 20.6 billion was realized in providing accommodation and food and beverage services, which represents an increase of 8 percent or HRK 1.6 billion,” said Minister Gari Cappelli, adding that these results are an excellent announcement for the overall results of tourism revenues in 2019.

"After a successful peak season, we are entering the post-season, for which we launched campaigns in 14 European markets in mid-August. In September and October, we expect a repeat of last year's figures or, depending on the market, a further increase in the number of arrivals and overnight stays, primarily from the far-away markets of the US, China, and Korea, but also from Russia and France. Also, very intensive preparations are underway for the next tourist year,” said HTZ director Kristjan Stanicic, adding that the strength of Croatian tourism is confirmed by the latest report of the World Economic Forum, according to which Croatia is ranked 27th in terms of tourism competitiveness, which is an improvement of five-places compared to 2017.

During the first eight months of 2019, the highest number of overnight stays were recorded in Istria (24.3 million), Split-Dalmatia County (16.9 million overnight stays), and Kvarner (16.2 million overnight stays). Zadar County follows with 12.9 million overnights and Dubrovnik-Neretva County with 7.2 million overnights. Sibenik-Knin County recorded 6.2 million overnights, while Lika-Senj County recorded 3 million overnights. Zagreb achieved 1.7 million. 

In continental Croatia, not including Zagreb, 840,000 arrivals (+8 percent) and 1.7 million overnight stays (+8 percent) were recorded, while in the counties, the most overnight stays were recorded in Karlovac (511,000), Krapina-Zagorje (258,000), Zagreb (157,000), Osijek-Baranja (145,000) and Međimurje (144,000).

At the national level, during the first eight months, most overnight stays were recorded from the markets of Germany (17 million), Slovenia (9.5 million), Austria (6.3 million), Poland (5.4 million), Italy (4.9 million), the Czech Republic (4.7 million) and the United Kingdom (3.5 million). When looking at accommodation, most overnights were recorded in households (34.5 million), hotels (19.4 million), and camps (16.2 million). The top destinations in the first eight months, according to overnight strays, are Dubrovnik, Rovinj, Porec, Split, and Medulin.

In August, there were 5 million arrivals and 33.1 million overnight stays in Croatia, which represents an increase of 8 percent in visitors and 3 percent in overnights compared to August 2018. In August, the most overnight stays were recorded in Istria (8.7 million), while in Kvarner and Split-Dalmatia County, 6.3 million overnight stays were recorded. This is followed by Zadar County with 5.2 million overnights and Sibenik-Knin County with 2.5 million overnights. Dubrovnik-Neretva County recorded 2.3 million overnight stays, while Lika-Senj County achieved 1.2 million overnight stays. Zagreb reached 289,000.

In August, 191,000 arrivals (+8 percent) and 421,000 overnight stays (+6 percent) were made in continental Croatia, of which the most overnight stays were achieved in Karlovac (197,000), Krapina-Zagorje (48,000), Zagreb (36,000), Međimurje (32,000) and Varazdin County (32,000). At the national level, most overnight stays in August were recorded by the markets of Germany (6.5 million), Slovenia (3.3 million), Italy (2.9 million), Poland (2.1 million), Austria (2.1 million) and the Czech Republic (1.7 million).

You can see the HTZ results here.

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Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Croatian Tourism Presented in Australia for the First Time

For the first time ever, the Croatian Tourist Board organised the presentation of Croatian tourism in Australia. The presentation and the workshop were attended by 70 Australian tourist agents and seven largest tour-operators in Melbourne. It was organised together with the Tourist Board of Slovenia, under the title "Experience Croatia, Feel Slovenia".

Kristjan Staničić, the Croatian Tourist Board's director, commented on the event, saying that the number of people attending made everyone at HTZ very happy, as presentations and workshops are held so often. Last year, more than 243,000 people visited Croatia from Australia, which is a significant growth of almost 15 percent when compared to the year before. Australians visit Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split the most, and those three destinations see almost 70 percent of all Australian arrivals.

But, HTZ presented Istria, Slavonia and other regions of Croatia in Melbourne as well. In 2019, the growth compared to the same period of 2018 is around 7 percent.

11 Croatian tourism organisations participated at the presentation and the workshop: The Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board, Rijeka - European Culture Capital 2020, Croatia Airlines, the City of Zagreb and the Dubrovnik region's tourist boards, Katarina Line Cruises and Tours, Atlas Plus, Navigare Yachting, Bagatin Clinic, Aronda Adriana Travel, and Olivari. Four Slovenian partners were also there to present our neighbours.

Australians have been travelling much more lately, and many factors contribute to that: a strong Australian dollar, globalisation, which lead to lower airfare prices and made travelling to Europe simpler. They are known to be active and adventurous on their travels and stay in their European and American destinations for longer (which makes sense).

Most Australian tourists come from New South Wales, which is where the presentation is going next: after the first presentation in Melbourne, Croatian and Slovenian tourism will next be presented in Sydney on July 4th - it wouldn't make much sense to make the journey just to have the one presentation!

Read more tourism stories on TCN Travel page.

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