Monday, 4 March 2019

Croatia Hoping German Tourists Will Not Abandon It

ZAGREB, March 4, 2019 - Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli and the director of the Croatian Tourism Board (HTZ) Kristjan Staničić have said before departing to Berlin for the ITB travel trade show that they expect a similar number of German tourists this year, that is about three million, as in 2018.

The ITB Berlin, which takes place in the German capital from 6 to 10 March, brings together over 10,000 exhibitors from 190 countries, including Croatia.

The HTZ stand comprises 23 exhibitors – companies and local HTZ offices – and Staničić has said that the tourist statistical data in the first two months give rise to optimism.

Thus, in January and February, the e-visitor system registered 485,000 tourist arrivals in Croatia, which was 9% more compared to the corresponding period in 2018. The overnight stays rose 4% to 1.3 million.

Although at the global level a rise in the tourist industry is expected, some of the regions have more cautious forecasts ahead of the ITB Berlin show than in the past few years.

Such caution has been prompted by deceleration in bookings for the summer season, notably in Mediterranean destinations.

For instance, Spain and Portugal have experienced a decline in bookings, whereas in Croatia a slowed down rate of bookings has been noticed.

In this context, Minister Cappelli has called for patience. "I know that there is some nervousness due to deceleration in bookings on foreign markets. However, we should be patient and be recognisable on markets by quality without lowering prices," he said.

Deceleration in bookings is also due to the fact that there are now more capacities on the market than two or three years ago when migrants and political crises were in Turkey, Greece, Egypt and other north African countries, which are now more stable and tourists have now more options to choose, the minister says. He also believes that last-minute booking will be more pronounced this year.

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

Monday, 4 March 2019

Will Reduced Bookings Force Price Corrections in Croatian Tourism?

Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli and the director of the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) Kristjan Staničić, ahead of this week's ITB Berlin, pointed out that they expect a similar number of German tourists as last year, or about 3 million, and that despite somewhat slowed early bookings, they believe in a good overall annual result in Croatian tourism, reports on March 4, 2019. 

The largest international travel trade show ITB Berlin, which will be held from March 6 to 10, will gather more than 10,000 exhibitors from around 190 countries, including Croatia, whose tourist offer will be presented to a business audience from the German and other markets by the HTZ and more than 30 tourist companies and communities.

Hundreds of Croatian tourism professionals traditionally present at the ITB, who will negotiate concrete business deals with partners and hear about current trends in business and market interest for the tourist offer.

And while there should be international growth in tourist travel this year, for some regions, unlike the last two or three years, announcements ahead of this ITB are somewhat more cautious, with slower or smaller bookings for the coming months and summer, especially in the Mediterranean, which is one of the most visited tourist regions in the world.

For example, Spain, one of the strongest tourist countries in the world, recorded a decline in bookings in the first months of this year compared to the same period last year, especially from the British market, with Portugal and some other countries in the minus, while Croatia has also slowed down.

On the other hand, Turkey is pushing a great offer, has a price advantage and is investing in marketing, similar to Greece, Egypt and other countries in North Africa, who are seeking to attract as many tourists as possible since they lost them in the last two or three years due to political and other instability. 

"I know that there is anxiety because foreign markets are slower, but we need to be patient and impose quality without lowering prices, which I am against. Slower bookings are happening because now there is a lot more capacity on the market than two or three years ago when there was migrant and political turmoil in Turkey, Greece, Egypt and other countries in North Africa, which are now more stable, so tourists have more places to choose from and it is certain that this year there will be more prominent 'last minute' bookings, that is, they will wait for more favorable prices,” said Cappelli.

He is aware that those in the tourism sector are a bit nervous, but that the market will do its part. Nevertheless, Cappelli advises the sector to listen carefully to the market in the next two to three weeks, and then decide whether it is necessary to react with price corrections or other measures.

Cappelli also says that there is no panic from the big hotel houses, for the time being, and that summer bookings are now similar to last year, with slightly better pre-season bookings, which the Minister points out as more important, because “the peak season will work out last minute and come to the previous level, and there should be no problem here.”

"The ITB will show a lot, especially from the German market, for which we have already taken additional activities and investments in marketing actions. We anticipated 2.5 million kuna, which is the most for a particular market from the total, recently additionally allocated 10 million kuna for promotion from the HTZ budget for all markets. We expect Germany to keep the same figures as in 2018, and this can be confirmed by previous talks and information from our German partners, who said that Germany would not be reducing the number of trips this year,” says Cappelli.

Both Cappelli and Staničić recalled that Germany is still the most critical market for Croatian tourism, which in a certain way signals to many and what they should do.

“After the ITB, we will have clearer information about the status of bookings from the German market, from which almost 3 million tourists visited us last year. To further boost bookings and attract German tourists to Croatia, there is a large campaign on the 11 most popular German TV channels, and at the beginning of March, a pre-season campaign on 12 markets with an emphasis on the promotion of cultural, active tourism and eno-gastronomy,” Staničić.

At ITB, they will meet with representatives of numerous partners, such as TUI, FTI, Condor, British Airways, Eurowings, Jet2 and others, as well as representatives of the National Tourism Organization of Albania, and participate in the international the manifestation of the Danube countries “Donavausalon”, which this year Croatia is a partner country.

"At the HTZ booth at ITB we will have 23 co-exhibitors/companies and tourist boards, and we believe in a great presentation, as we believe that this tourist year will show good results. This optimism is thanks to the first two months of this year, where according to eVisitor, almost 485,000 tourists visited Croatia, which is 9 percent more than the same period in 2018. An increase of 4 percent was also recorded with 1.3 million overnight stays,” Staničić concluded. 

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

Friday, 22 February 2019

Is Continental Tourism Croatia's Future? Zagreb and Slavonia Presented

The stand of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) with its 24 exhibitors is the largest at this year's Munich Tourism Fair, with the tourism potential of both Zagreb and Slavonia having special emphasis placed on them. Gari Cappelli believes that continental tourism is the future for Croatia's tourism offer.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of February, 2019, through the variety of Croatian snacks prepared by famous Croatian chefs, master chef Branko Ognjenović and the chef of the Croatian football team, Tomica Đukić, numerous visitors to the International Tourism Fair 2019 - which, as we reported recently, is being held in Munich, Germany, from the 20th to the 24th of February this year, had the opportunity to get better acquainted with the gastronomic offer of Slavonia and the City of Zagreb yesterday at the stand of the Croatian Tourist Board.

The Slavonian gastro scene showcased Ilok cellars (Iločki podrumi), Kutjevo, Belje, Brzica and Feravino. The promotion of Croatian tourism also includes some of the legends of FC Bayern - Slavonia native Ivica Olić, Giovani Elber, and Andreas Jung.

The tourist fair is otherwise the largest and most visited tourist fair in Bavaria, stretching to over 88,000 square metres, and this year, boasting as many as 1,300 exhibitors from 70 countries across the world, it is bigger than ever before.

The Croatian Tourist Board's stand, with its 24 exhibitors, was the biggest at the fair. Unlike in previous years when Croatia promoted its popular destinations on the coast mostly, this year the often overlooked Croatian continent, more specifically the capital of Zagreb and the Eastern region of Slavonia, which both have a lot to offer to tourists, are taking the limelight. The promotion of Slavonia as a desirable tourist destination is an excellent move for the Days of Croatian Tourism, which is set to be held on 4th to 9th October in the Slavonian region of Osijek.

Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli, and Director of the Croatian Tourist Board Kristijan Stančić participated in the presentation of the Croatian tourist offer along with the director of the Zagreb Tourist Board, Martina Bienefeld, Osijek-Baranja County Prefect Ivan Anušić and the domestic manager of the tour operator for Croatia, Selimir Ognjenović.

''Of the three million tourists coming to Croatia from Germany, 1.2 million of them come from Bavaria. So I can say that the Munich Fair is always some sort of indication for us to know what's going to happen this year in regard to tourism. The Germans are the type who appreciate the quality of Croatian tourism, because when those three million tourists return home to Germany, there's a lot to talk about.

Interestingly, we're not presenting the coast but the continent, because I think that's the future through health tourism, special forms of tourism, hunting, fishing, cyclotourism...'' Gari Capelli told Poslovni Dnevnik.

Nera Miličić, head of HTZ in Germany, says that there is a sense of pride in announcing the expansion of the Croatian tourist offer with "The most beautiful Croatian tourist secret" - Slavonia, and the triple winner of the most beautiful European advent - the Croatian capital city of Zagreb.

''We're especially delighted to have organised the largest presentation of the Croatian continent in Bavaria with our partners so far,'' noted Miličić.

''Given that for Croatian tourism, Germany is the emitive market from which we have the largest tourist turnover, we've created a rich and original event program at the Croatian stand that is attracting the attention of numerous visitors.

This is also the confirmation of a well-founded cooperation with FC Bayern Munich which gives us additional promotional value on the Bavarian market, where every other German tourist comes to us from,'' commented HTZ director Kristjan Staničić.

As a tourist destination, Croatia is a serious competitor on the German market. During these times of major changes, an increase in the amount of airline passengers from Germany to Croatia has been recorded, which has positioned Croatia among the most competitive destinations, alongside Spain, Turkey, Greece, Portugal, Egypt and Tunisia, countries which many tourists seeking package deals are usually attracted to.

Although Croatia was otherwise perceived as a destination to drive to from Germany, through the country's camping and private accommodation offer, it has also entered into the package holiday segment (hotel, transfer, flight) which is sold through a tour operator network. All in all, the interest of German tourists for Croatia remains very high indeed.

Numerous tour operators are continuing to expand their programs, smaller operators have begun ''selling'' Croatia, and some airlines are continuing to announce new lines.

The Germans are still in the leading position when it comes to the number of overnight stays realised by foreign tourists in the Republic of Croatia. In addition, the largest number of tourists from Germany come from the regions of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Bavaria, and Baden-Württemberg. However, the Germans typically enjoy more family oriented holidays, often bypassing potentially more ''specialised'' types of tourism on offer.

Therefore, the presence of Croatia's more specialised tourist offers at such fairs is crucial to boost the awareness of German tourists to the country's more numerous tourist offers, and in particular to awaken tour operators to Croatia's more luxurious package of arrangements,'' stated Dragan Kovačević, Vice President of Agriculture and Tourism at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), who is also representing Croatia's tourist offer in Munich.

Make sure to stay up to date with more on continental tourism, the Croatian Tourist Board and Croatia's various tourist offers by following our dedicated travel and lifestyle pages.

Monday, 11 February 2019

K. Staničić, Director of Croatian Tourism Board about 2019 Tourist Season

Kristjan Staničić, director of the Croatian Tourist Board, gave a lengthy interview to Globus weekly, about the prospects for the 2019 tourist season, interest thus far, rise of the competitors etc. We'll translate the most interesting highlights from the interview.

He starts off by saying that the numbers from the fairs that were held so far are comparable to last year's, but that it's still too early in the year to be making projections. Situation is optimistic, but now is the time to take promotional activities up one notch, in order to secure succesfull year. Croatia's visibility on foreign markets is continually rising as well, as the activities undertaken in that direction have shown results. The journalist asks Mr. Staničić about the first numbers for the 2019 tourist season on the German market, which are supposedly not too optimistic. Mr. Staničić, however, says that the numbers are very preliminary and that there's no reason for concern about the largest Croatian tourist market. He adds that there are no surprises on any other major markets either.

Asked about the destinations that have been making a comeback in the past two years, such as Turkey, Greece, countries in Northern Africa, the director says that their come-back is noticeable, because of the large investment into promotion, as well as the very low prices they are promoting. Croatian response to that needs to be in the further increase of the quality of our tourist offering, and insisting on the fact that the value for money is still amazing in Croatia. Comparing Turkish tourist strategy to Croatian, he says that in Turkey the guest is much more within resorts, with all inclusive deals, while in Croatia the tourists are much more in touch with the local folks and their authenticity.

He discussed markets that are a bit further from Croatia, saying that the guests from the far East, the US, Canada and Australia are very important, as they are less oriented towards the summer, sun and the beach; rather they enjoy pre- and post-season, which is very important for Croatia. He talks about the importance of attracting larger number of tourists arriving by plane, so he welcomes Ryanair's increased presence in Croatian airports. 



Saturday, 26 January 2019

Croatian Tourism Board Wins Award for Best Video at Madrid Travel Show

ZAGREB, January 26, 2019 - The Croatian Tourism Board (HTZ) won an award for best promotional video in competition with 58 videos presented by 11 countries at the Fitur international travel show in Madrid on Friday, the HTZ said.

The video "Croatia, Full of Life" was promoted on the Spanish market under the title Los Embajadores del Turismo Croata, or Ambassadors of Croatian Tourism. It features footballers Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitić, Mario Mandžukić, Dejan Lovren and Mateo Kovačić, tennis player Marin Ćilić, basketball player Dario Šarić, painist Maksim Mrvica and the duo 2Cellos.

The Grand Prix Fitur Award was accepted by Viviana Vukelić, head of the HTZ office in Italy, which covers Spain. The award was presented for the first time.

Awards were given in other categories as well, and the videos "We Love Zagreb" and "Dubrovnik Riviera" were shortlisted.

The Fitur fair is one of the largest travel shows in Europe. It opened on Wednesday and closes on Sunday evening. Eight Croatian tourism companies and travel agencies are present at this year's exhibition.

The number of Spanish tourists visiting Croatia increased by 14% in 2018 from the previous year, and their number is expected to continue to grow thanks to new flight services between the two countries and the popularity of Croatia after its national football team reached the World Cup finals in Russia last year.

Croatian destinations are becoming increasingly attractive to Spaniards, and all year round, the HTZ said. Last year, 290,000 Spanish tourists visited Croatia, up 14% over 2017, generating 641,000 bed-nights, which is an increase of 13%.

One of the reasons for the growth are flight services, as five airlines fly between the two countries - Croatia Airlines, Iberia, Iberia Express, Vueling and Norwegian Air.

"We expect a further increase in the number of tourists from the Spanish market, and not just Spaniards, but also visitors from Portugal and Latin America," said Jelena Babić of the Zagreb-based travel agency Abacus Tours.

More news on the Croatian Tourism board can be found in the Travel section.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Croatia Wins Big at Travvy Awards in New York City

Croatia and Croatian tourism have been awarded at the prestigious American travel awards, the ‘Travvy Awards’, held at Gotham Hall in New York City. 

Namely, Croatia won the silver in the category of the best European destination and bronze in the category of the world's best destination, while the Croatian National Tourist Board won the silver in the category of the best European tourist organization, HTZ reported on January 24, 2019. 

The awards were accepted by Croatian National Tourist Board Director, Kristjan Staničić.

“What the Academy Awards are for film and the film industry the Travvy Awards are in the world of tourism industry! This is exceptional news for the entire Croatian tourism sector as it is confirmation of the popularity and the excellent position our country enjoys on this extremely large and important market that is not easy to win. The awards belong to all Croatian tourists who, with much effort and love from year to year, raise the quality of services and content of Croatian tourism. I am particularly proud of the silver in the category of the best European tourist organization because this award confirms that the Croatian National Tourist Board is carrying out creative and innovative promotional activities recognized by American professionals. Namely, acknowledgments are even more important when you consider the fact that they are granted solely on the basis of the votes of US tour operators and travel agents, that is, by the profession. Our goal is to further strengthen Croatia's market position through the implementation of key promotional activities which will ensure the retention of the growth trends from America, which is the market where we have the largest tourist turnover when it comes to far-away countries,” said Staničić at the awards ceremony.


Marijana Marinović

In the category for the best European destination, Greece won the gold and England the bronze. In the category of the world's best destinations, Australia won the gold, Barbados the silver, and Croatia the bronze, while in the category for the best European tourist organization, Switzerland won the gold and Croatia (HTZ) the silver.

The Travvy Awards are presented annually within the organization of travAlliancemedia to highlight the best examples of excellence and achievements in the tourism industry and are awarded to various stakeholders such as national tourist organizations, destinations, travel agents, products, and more. This year, the awards were given on the basis of more of 120,000 votes which represents the largest base of independent American travel agents.


Marijana Marinović

“We are extremely excited to see our work, but also the position of Croatia, recognized by reputable representatives of the US tourism economy. This is a great start for us this year and additional motivation to market Croatia further on the American market. We will continue with the dedicated work in cooperation with colleagues from the Croatian tourism sector, who have made a strong contribution to winning these prestigious awards,” said Ina Rodin, director of the HTZ Representative Office in New York.

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

Friday, 11 January 2019

Flights to Croatia: Three New Connections for Netherlands and Zadar

Three new flights to Croatia are on the cards as Croatia's rich tourist offer impresses the Dutch in Utrecht.

As Morski writes on the 10th of January, 2019, the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) has been presenting the Croatian tourist offer at the Vakantiebeurs fair, which takes place in the Dutch town of Utrecht from January 9th to the 13th, 2019. The fair is intended for both a business and a wider audience, and on the first day of the fair alone, the Dutch have shown huge interest for various Croatian destinations, especially for the Croatia's camping segment. Owing to the level of interest from the Netherlands, three new flights to Croatia from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Einhoven are ready to take off in 2019.

''The presentation at the Utrecht fair starts with the presentation of the Croatian tourist offer at the most important fairs with key emission markets. The Croatian National Tourist Board will organise the presentation of the Croatian tourist offer at a total of 22 fairs in 2019, of which there are 17 general ones, and five specialised ones, including three nautical fairs and two camping fairs,'' said the Croatian National Tourist Board's director Kristjan Staničić, adding that during 2018, almost 500,000 arrivals and about 3.2 million overnight stays were realised by Dutch tourists, representing fairly significant growth of nine percent in terms of arrivals and of five percent in terms of overnight stays made by the Dutch back in 2017.

Within the scope of the current Utrecht fair, numerous meetings with representatives of various tour operators, travel agents and airline companies such as TUI, Thomas Cook, Transavia, D-Reizen, Rotterdam-Den Haag Airport, Travel Counselors Association and others are also taking place.

Such meetings are aimed at discussing activities and better cooperation in the upcoming period. The first information which can be concluded from Dutch tour operators is that the interest level of the Dutch for Croatia is currently at last year's level, but the real period of intensification lies not too far ahead.

''We're extremely pleased with the increasing interest of air carriers for Croatia, as evidenced by the announcement of the introduction of three new air lines from the Netherlands to Croatia, more precisely to Zadar in 2019. The Transavie line will connect Zadar with Rotterdam, Ryanair will link Zadar with Eindhoven, and Easyjet will link Zadar to Amsterdam,'' said Ivan Novak, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board's representation for the Benelux countries.

Make sure to atay up to date with flights to Croatia and other travel trends by following our dedicated travel page.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

6.5% More Tourist Arrivals, 4% More Overnights in 2018, HTZ Says

ZAGREB, January 1, 2019 - Croatia recorded 19.7 million tourist arrivals and over 106 million overnights throughout 2018, which was respectively by 6.5% and 4% more than in 2017. These statistics were presented by the director of the Croatian National Tourism Board (HTZ), Kristjan Staničić, in the resort of Opatija on the first day of 2019.

He said that activities promoting Croatia's tourist trade were being intensively conducted on the markets from which large numbers of tourists usually come to Croatia.

Staničić commented that investments in the tourism sector in 2018 amounted to a billion euro and that the same level of investments could be expected in 2019.

More news on the Croatian tourism industry can be found in our Travel section.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Croatian National Tourist Board Commits Large Sum to Strategic Projects

In line with the fact that the Croatian National Tourist Board's budget is facing an increase, the plan is to allocate a hefty amount to strategic promotional campaigns, as well as to joint advertising.

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of December, 2018, the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) has announced a tender for the selection of PR agencies and media agencies on as many as sixteen different broadcasting markets.

The aforementioned tender launched by the Croatian National Tourist Board for the selection of PR and media agencies will last from December to March.

The total lease budget for all broadcasting markets included in the 2019 tender amounts to more than a massive 42 million kuna, as was decided by the Croatian National Tourist Board's Tourism Council during a recently held session.

As is already well known, there are concrete plans to increase the Croatian National Tourist Board's budget during the coming year, the increase is expected to be one of around 14 percent and will amount to an enormous 331 million kuna, which is a result of the increase of the tourist tax revenue in accordance with the government decree.

Approximately 41 million kuna will be allocated for the implementation of the Croatian National Tourist Board's strategic promotional campaigns across various broadcasting markets, i.e, for strategic cooperation with numerous air carriers and tour operators who have organised programs for Croatia in their packages and offers.

When it comes to joint advertising, as much as 24.6 million kuna will be allocated. After the session of the Tourism Council, the ninth Croatian National Tourist Board parliament session was held, where the aforementioned budget for 2019 was adopted.

Make sure to stay up to date with more information like this by following our dedicated news and lifestyle pages.


Click here for the original article by Marija Crnjak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Friday, 7 December 2018

British Culinary Star Jack Stein Films 'Inside the Box' TV Show in Zagreb

The Croatian National Tourist Board, in cooperation with the British-Australian production, organized the first Food Box Day this week at the British Square in Zagreb. British chef Jack Stein was the special guest. 

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