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.

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

Monday, 19 August 2019

Croatia's Off-Season Tourism Being Advertised in 14 European Countries

ZAGREB, August 19, 2019 - The Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) has launched a huge marketing campaign to promote Croatia's off-season tourism on 14 European markets.

The campaign, which will last until 31 October, will be run in Germany, Austria, Poland, Italy, Great Britain, Hungary, The Netherlands, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia and Spain.

In a press release on Monday, HTZ said that the marketing activities would be conducted via offline and online communication channels - television, print, display panels, YouTube and social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The campaign is particularly focused on activities in nautical tourism and promoting local cuisine and wines and Croatia's scenery and cultural heritage as the main motives for tourists to visit Croatia in that period.

HTZ Director Kristjan Staničić was quoted as saying that until the end of October a marked number of flight services will connect Croatia with Austria, Great Britain, USA and France and that tourists from these destinations prefer to travel in the post season.

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

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

French Tourists Should be Targeted to Extend Season, Says HTZ France

France has seen a steady increase in visitors to Croatia in recent years, at an annual difference of between 5-10 percent. This year is no different, with 300,000 arrivals and more than a million overnights in the first seven months, which is up 6 percent from the same period last year, says HTZ France.

As Goran Rihelj of HRTurizam writes on July 30, 2019, the positive trend continued in July, with French tourists making 121,000 arrivals and 477,000 overnight stays, which is up 7 percent on arrivals and 10 percent on overnight stays compared to July last year.

"We are extremely pleased with the positive impressions of the French who, upon their return from Croatia, emphasize our hospitality and authenticity, preserved nature, beautiful coastline and islands, quality gastronomy and rich cultural heritage. The results achieved are even more significant if we consider that the French market is very complex, primarily because of their well-known trend of staying and spending their holidays in French destinations, that is, the strong promotion of domestic tourism,” said Danijela Mihalić Đurica, Director of the HTZ Office in France. Đurica added that French guests are ideal for extending the season precisely because of their many school holidays, national holidays and public holidays and on average a shorter working week.

Most French tour operators are delighted with the bookings and results, especially for July and August, but also for September and October, the HTZ said.

This is confirmed by the statistics of the Association of French Travel Agencies Les Entreprises du Voyage, according to which Croatia ranks fourth in the list of France's top-selling foreign mid-range destinations, which is up 11 percent compared to the same period last year.

Thus, the proportion of French travelers organizing their holidays abroad using travel agency services this year has increased by 4% for long-haul destinations and 2% for medium-haul destinations, representing more than 3/4 of their summer vacation.

Interestingly, according to a report from Les Entreprises du Voyage, Turkey, which was a hit last year, returned to normal visitation levels, with Tunisia and Egypt reaching visitation levels before the "Arab Spring". These destinations are returning to the detriment of European destinations such as Spain, Greece, Italy, and Portugal. Otherwise, Turkey expects to achieve 50 million arrivals this year.

When it comes to longer stays, although the US and Canada lead, the French prefer seaside holidays: the Dominican Republic, Mauritius, and Mexico are the top three French destinations when it comes to longer trips.

“Active tourism, nature, culture, and gastronomy are certainly motives with which we can interest guests from France, especially in the pre and postseason. Otherwise, the French are known as the world champions in using their holidays and number of days off. Every seven weeks, French schoolchildren have two weeks of school holidays. That means they have two weeks off in April and two in October. Also, these are not guests who will be comfortable with lying on the beach and the sun and sea; they are extremely curious. They need a little more effort because they are very aware of the value for money,” Mihalić Đurica pointed out.

In announcing this tourist season, Mihalić Đurica revealed that Dubrovnik had been the most popular destination in Croatia for French guests for decades, and now Split is becoming more and more popular. Furthermore, French guests are increasing in numbers to Kvarner, Istria, and Zagreb.

"Positive trends from the French market are the result of expanding the offer and numerous promotional activities and quality cooperation with partners such as Ovoyages, Travel Europe, Top of Travel and Voyamar, which offer Croatian destinations, and every year new charter flights and direct flights to Split, Pula, Dubrovnik, and Rijeka are introduced from, for example, Lyon, Marseilles and Bordeaux,” said HTZ Director Kristjan Staničić, adding that he is especially looking forward to a continuous increase in the turnover of French guests, not only in traditionally strong destinations such as Dubrovnik or Split, but also in new ones like Zagreb, Slavonia, Kvarner and Istria.

The publications in the most prominent French media with a focus on Croatia's continental also contribute to the positive results. 

In Vukovar-Srijem County, the famous culinary show "Cuisine impossible" was successfully filmed, and a report about Slavonia is expected to be published in one of the most read French magazines Le Figaro. On the national television station TF1, last week's "Croatian Week" broadcasts reported on Krka National Park, Šibenik, Korčula, Hvar, Split, and Dubrovnik.

And finally, the national TV station France 2 saw more than 17 million viewers during a four-week promotional video about Croatia, concluded the HTZ.

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

Monday, 22 July 2019

Croatian National Tourist Board Director for Increasing Promotional Funding

ZAGREB, July 22, 2019 - In order for Croatia to keep its position on the tourist market and successfully fight the competition, it is necessary to increase funding for promotion on European markets as of next year already and expand activities overseas, National Tourist Board (HTZ) director Kristjan Staničić has told Hina.

This year, like in 2018, the focus is on China, where the HTZ opened an office in Shanghai last year and where it will attend the China International Import Expo in November. That same month there will be promotion in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, in Singapore in October, while in September the HTZ and the Slovenian Tourist Organisation will hold joint promotional events in Seoul and Tokyo.

Staničić says the US, South Korea, Canada, Japan and Australia are also important overseas markets this year, with increases recorded in all of them in the first half of the year, by almost 20% in arrivals and 10% in nights. Plans include promotion in India and South America as well.

In September and October, the HTZ will open offices in Los Angeles and Seoul, Staničić says, adding that focus on overseas markets will partly reduce the dependence of Croatian tourism on European markets and stimulate turnover in the off-seasons.

He says the HTZ plans to open an office in Madrid, with a decision expected by the end of the year.

As for European markets, he says this year's turnover is better or the same as last year, with a mild decrease in some of them, but notes that the peak July and August weeks are still ahead.

Staničić says the HTZ's promotional campaigns and cooperation with PR agencies in those markets contribute to results.

A recent survey conducted in the eight most important markets - Germany, Austria, the UK, Italy, Sweden, France, the Netherlands and Poland - shows that awareness of Croatia's tourism brand has risen from 57% in 2013 to 72% last year, he says, while understanding of the brand and what Croatia offers has risen from 25% to 31%.

Those percentages show that there are about 18 million potential visitors from those markets aware of Croatia's tourism brand now, he adds.

Staničić also credits the communication activities of local tourist boards, hotel companies and tour operators.

He says the HTZ is currently promoting Croatia in 18 European markets on TV, in key print media and on social media as well as in cooperation with world travel platforms and media such as Lonely Planet, TripAdvisor and the BBC.

A recent campaign with Expedia in the US has resulted in "more than 16 million impressions... the booking of 5,900 nights and the purchase of 7,900 airline tickets for Croatia totalling 2.8 million dollars," says Staničić.

He adds that by the end of the year the HTZ will promote the shoulder season in a number of European markets as well as health tourism, business tourism and Advent, while in cooperation with the Tourism Ministry it is preparing a special campaign to motivate domestic tourists to travel around the country in the post-summer season.

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

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Tourists Visiting Croatia Generate 3% More Bed Nights in First 6 Months

ZAGREB, July 9, 2019 - In the first six months of 2019, almost 6.9 million tourists visited Croatia and generated 26.2 million bed nights, which were increases of 6% and 3% respectively, compared to the same period in 2018 and all indications in tourism are good, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli said on Tuesday.

"The first six months were positive in tourism and it is important that in the first three months foreign tourists alone generated 25 million euro more in revenue than for the same period in 2018 and that is in the pre-season when prices are lower," said Cappelli, who along with the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) Kristjan Staničić, held a press conference to present the January - June results in tourism.

Noting that official indicators still foresee that the year will conclude with an increase of 2 or 3 percent on the year, Cappelli underscored that he is not worried about the summer season either and particularly not with the post-season considering that that autumn already has good bookings. He said in those places where there were more investments in improving quality, the results and fullness are improving.

He considers that physical numbers (arrivals and bed nights) are important even though revenue is more important.

"Based on the Tourism Strategy to 2020, we have come close to physical numbers but we still haven't achieved the foreseen 14 billion in revenue for 2020, however we are somewhere in the vicinity of 12 billion euro. We will see how the entire year will end and in 2020, I believe that along with quality we can come close to that," he said.

Staničić said that the top 10 markets in the past six months were led by Germany, Austria, Slovenia, UK and Poland, which along with the Czech Republic and Slovenia, were the only three countries to record a decrease in Croatian tourism in H1 this year.

More tourism news can be found in the Travel section.

Friday, 5 July 2019

HTZ Director: Australia's Interest in Croatia Exceeded All Expectations

The Croatian National Tourist Board, or HTZ, organized a presentation of the Croatian tourist offer in Australia for the first time in history, reports HRTurizam on July 4, 2019. 

After a successful week-long presentation in Melbourne, there was an even bigger interest in Croatia in Sydney, said HTZ, where the Croatian tourist offer was presented to leading Australian tour operators and 82 Australian tourist agents. This workshop was organized in cooperation with the Slovenian Tourist Board under the slogan "Experience Croatia, Feel Slovenia".

"I must admit that the interest in Croatia and Croatia's tourist offer in Australia exceeded our expectations. We presented to the leading Australian tour operators who already offer Croatia their programs, but what is especially delightful for many tourist agents is that they want to cooperate with Croatian tourist companies because of the great interest of Australians traveling to our country,” said the HTZ director Kristjan Staničić, adding that this year, Croatia is focusing on increasing the country’s promotion in faraway markets such as China, the United States, Canada, Singapore, South Korea and especially Australia.

As highlighted by the HTZ, the presentation in Sydney was attended by tour operator Experience Croatia & More, a company with more than 40 years of experience in the tourism industry that first introduced Croatia as a tourist destination on the Australian market; Greece and Mediterranean Travel Center, an Australian agency specializing in the sale of Greece, Egypt, Italy, Spain, Malta and Croatia; Excite Holidays, the leading Australian, but also global, travel platform for travel, accommodation, transportation and Sun Island Tours, specializing in the sale of Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.

"The interest of Australians traveling to Croatia year after year is growing, they are travelers who do not like, but love adrenaline, sports, good fun and great food, and your country is abundant in that. Croatian Australians want to see and explore,” said Paul Polyviou, CEO of Sun Island Tours, praising the release of a special brochure devoted exclusively to cruise journeys on the Croatian coast this year.

The city of Zagreb looks forward to being a ‘city break’ destination.

"The Australian market is extremely important to our city because Australian guests stay longer in the destination, and for them, Zagreb is a great value for money and is the starting or ending point of a long journey to Croatia and the neighboring countries. Zagreb is presented as a year-round destination with countless events all year long, and this is exactly what is important as we recognize it as a ‘city break’ destination in Australia. Another focus is also on health tourism which is of particular interest to tourists from Australia, and the rich cultural offer the city of Zagreb makes it one of the most important cultural and tourist destinations,” said Zagreb Tourist Board Director Martina Bienenfeld.

Since 2015, Zagreb has recorded a steady rise in visitors from Australia. In 2018, there were 30,636 arrivals and 64,288 overnights, which is an increase of 81 percent in arrivals and 91 percent in overnight stays compared to the year before. 

Luka Olivari, a representative of Rijeka - European Capital of Culture 2020, noted that Rijeka was highly acclaimed by Australian travel agents. "Australian tourist workers are particularly interested in art, education and pop culture, which Rijeka has been at the forefront of for years. Rijeka has so far been a lesser known destination for Australian travelers and these workshops have contributed to increasing the tourist attractiveness of the whole region and strengthens the identity of the city,” concluded Olivari.

In order to fully complete the promotion of the Croatian tourist offer in Australia, the Croatian tourist delegation will host a presentation on Friday, July 5th, in front of twenty leading Australian travel and lifestyle media like Travmedia, Get Lost Magazine, Marie Claire, Gourmet Traveler, Travel Weekly Australia on July 5th in Sydney , SBS, Harper's Bazaar, Travel Tolk, KarryOn, Escape, Luxury Travel Magazine, MiNDFOOD, The Australian Women's Weekly, and more. 

The presentation and workshops were attended by 11 Croatian tourist entities, namely TZ Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Rijeka - European Capital of Culture 2020, Croatia Airlines, TZ Zagreb, TZ Dubrovnik, Katarina Line Cruises & Tours, Atlas Plus, Navigare Yachting, Bagatin Clinic, Aronda Adriana Travel and Olivari while Slovenia's tourist offer was represented by four Slovenian partners such as KNM Travel, Ljubljana tourism & Ljubljana Castle, Palma travel DMC and Happy tours.

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

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Promotional Project "A Week Worth of Rest" Starts in Croatia

The Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian Tourist Board are starting the program "Tjedan odmora vrijedan” (translates to English as "a week worth of rest"; the phrase rhymes in Croatian).

The goal of the project is to increase the interest of the people of Croatia for domestic travel, as well as increase the level of tourist activity in Croatia outside of the high-season summer months. The target audience are the tourists in Croatia, with the aim of encouraging them to engage in more tourist activities before and after the high tourist season.

This project will help all of the citizens of Croatia to get to know and visit different parts of our country, provide as much as 50 percent in discounts for them for various tourist products, including acommodation, transportation, entry fees to various sites, events...

The "Week Worth of Rest" project would take place twice a year, in October and March, and hrturizam.hr has unofficially found that the first one should take place in October of this year, in the period of October the 17th until the 27th.

The Ministry and the Croatian Tourist Board will invite all of the businesses which are tourist-related to participate and offer discounts during the week. All of the offers they prepare will be listed on the www.tjedanodmoravrijedan.hr, which is still not active but is owned by HTZ. The first public presentation of the project is expected to happen during July.

One question that will probably be raised related to this project is what happened to the somewhat glamorously announced project of the so-called "Cro Cards"?

Most people don't even remember that idea, which suggested giving the people who live in Croatia a type of a credit card where their employers could give them their bonuses which wouldn't be taxed and could only be spent in Croatia.

It has been a while since it was initially proposed, and it seemed that it was not really going anywhere, but in April of this year, Minister Cappelli said that the project needs to be worked on more. One of the obvious problems with the idea of the Cro Card as it is usually described, is that the EU doesn't really appreciate such ideas, in order to protect the single market of the Union.

So, we'll have to wait and see what will come of those projects, but it's safe to say that the Week Worth of Rest project might serve as a great incentive for continental tourism in Croatia, if people take it seriously and adopt a proactive attitude towards it. 

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Croatia Airlines to Introduce "Full of Taste" Campaign Next Year

Croatia Airlines has announced that it will join the Croatia National Tourist Board in a new campaign next April named “Full of Taste”.

“The Croatia Airlines Full of Taste project will be a gastronomic and enological presentation of Croatia on our aircraft. We will work together with renowned Croatian chefs, restaurants, wineries, wholesalers, and other local producers of autochthonous Croatian products,” said Jasmin Bajić, CEO of Croatia Airlines, for Ex Yu Aviation on June 20, 2019.

"Every six months, in summer and winter, we will completely change our onboard menus and their visual presentation in accordance with the various concepts of the Croatian gastronomic map, in order to further elevate the passenger experience,” Bajić concluded.

Recall, this news comes after the airline introduced a new menu for business class travelers, which will further promote Croatia's tourist and gastronomic offer. The new gastronomic offer on flights was created by the celebrated Croatian chef Dino Galvagno and Leopold Botteria of Uje Oil Bar, partners with whom Croatia Airlines launched the project ‘Inspired Croatia’ at the end of 2016, in which business class passengers are offered meals prepared using native recipes and ingredients of the coastal and continental Croatia.

The new business class menu, which was introduced on board on June 19, is primarily motivated by the dishes of Zagreb cuisine such as ham, turkey with mlinci, kale with minced meat, štrukli, and other dishes made from local ingredients which have been used in these areas for centuries and are found in all Croatian kitchens. 

As a national carrier and a company that continuously improves service, Croatia Airlines wants to offer added value to passengers within these projects and bring them closer to the gastronomic wealth of Croatia through taste, smell and color,  concluded the airline in their announcement.

Croatia Airlines was also named among Eastern Europe's best airlines at the World Airline Awards as part of the Paris Air Show on Tuesday. Namely, Croatia Airlines came in 8th place in the top 10 carriers of Eastern Europe. Air Serbia cam in 4th, while Adria Airways came in 9th. 

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

Monday, 17 June 2019

Croatian Tourist Board Nominated for Best Tourist Board of the Year

Virtuoso, the leading organisation of the travel organisers in the segment of luxury tourism published their list of the nominees for the 2019 Virtuoso Awards.

On the list are the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ), along with the tourist boards of Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand and Slovenia. The winner will be announced on August 12th 2019, during Virtuoso Travel Week, one of the most significant tourism-business related events on the American continent. Virtuoso is the network of the best American tourist agencies dedicated to luxury travel. It includes over 17.500 advisers from all over the world, and more than 1700 partners including high-end hotels and resorts, tourist agencies, airlines etc. Their guiding principle is to provide carefully planned and unforgettable travel to their customers.

"Each nomination we get, and which is a result of the high quality of our work, makes us happy. Especially when it comes from such a renowned organisation such as Virtuoso. It's a recognition of the work done by all of the people working at HTZ, but also by all of the tourist workers in Croatia. It also confirms the excellent positioning of Croatia on the large market of the United States.

Each year, the number of visitors from the US is increasing, and we expect an even more significant growth with the establishment of the direct Philadelphia - Dubrovnik route", Kristjan Staničić, HTZ's director said, adding that Croatia will be even more visible on the American market, when the second Stateside office of the Croatian Tourist Board opens in Los Angeles. 

Croatia is among the top fastest-growing destinations on the American market: in 2018 Croatia received 585 thousand arrivals and 1.6 million overnight stays from the US, which represented around 20% growth compared to 2017. The positive trend has been maintained this year, too, with the growth in the early months at around 14% compared to the same period last year. That makes the US market the biggest far emissive market for Croatia.

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