Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Croatian Rental Owners Want Joint Decision Making With Tourist Boards

February the 23rd, 2021 - Croatian rental owners want to strengthen their own role as cogs of the machine of Croatian tourism, and get more of a say when it comes to decision making with local tourist boards.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, this week, for the very first time at the initiative of private landlords of Kvarner, Istria and Zagreb, which started up last summer, the National Association of Family Accommodation was founded.

''The main goals of the association will be to strengthen the role of Croatian rental owners and the private/family accommodation sector when it comes to decision making, raising the development and importance of small businesses, and then attracting funds from EU funds for quality improvement projects,'' revealed Goran Prskalo, a Zagreb landlord and one of the initiators an association that should defend the interests of hundreds of thousands of Croatian rental owners.

"In a country where 50 percent of the tourist traffic is realised by family accommodation, this segment is not represented in decision-making bodies at all, no one asks us anything, although many of us have a lot of experience in tourism, we know what the needs of guests are, what sort of destinations they like, and what the problems we need to solve together are.

That's why we're wanting to change the laws that prescribe representation in the tourist councils of the tourist boards, which include representatives of sectors that have nothing to do with tourism, and when it does come to the representation of tourism, in turn, mostly hotel companies are listed,'' said Prskalo.

Prskalo provided the example of the Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb, in which even telecoms have a stronger voice than family accommodation providers, which in recent years has gained significant momentum in Zagreb, and attracted hundreds of thousands of guests.

Prskalo doesn't plan to run for president of this association, which should hold its founding assembly this week, because he believes that the association should be led by someone from the coast, since this segment of accommodation has the strongest tradition along the Adriatic coast and is most represented in Adriatic towns and cities.

"The goal is to have an association whose members will all be equal and that those from more remote areas will also get their vote. The association will have county committees that will deal with issues specific to their area, and everyone would have a voice in their county, while issues at the national level would be discussed at the assembly of the association,'' explained Prskalo.

The goal of this representative association for Croatian rental owners is to gather as much experience from the field and examples of projects as possible, as many of their project ideas have so far not been able to be realised due to lack of money for implementation.

''Thanks to the bringing together of a formal body, opportunities are opening up for some of these projects to apply for some of the EU tenders and secure co-financing, which has been impossible so far,'' Prskalo pointed out.

His opinion is that family accommodation and Croatian rental owners should be understood as small businesses, which is something which isn't often recognised in Croatia.

"Croatian rental owners generate significant revenue and make a very important contribution not only to tourist traffic in various destinations, but also to the local economy. Many suppliers of family accommodation, even down to the retailers of furniture and equipment for such apartments, have have weight on their shoulders during this crisis,'' added Prskalo, who advocates that private renters should finally be seen as entrepreneurs.

The association also plans to engage in the issue of minimum requirements for the categorisation of family accommodation, which still doesn't respect the laws of this segment of accommodation and mixes it with hotel requirements.

“For example, you can't get four stars in an apartment in the city centre if you don't change the towels every single day, and that's difficult now if have a guest who doesn't want to see you all week because of the worries surrounding passing on the coronavirus infection. Instead of that, other things should be turned to, for example, the obligation to install carbon monoxide detectors isn't prescribed anywhere, which is the very basis of security,'' explained Goran Prskalo, aware that there are still Croatian rental owners conducting this sort of business illegally, which the association also plans to fight against.

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Thursday, 11 February 2021

Croatian Virtual Get2Gether: Croatia Presented in 30 Virtual Presentations to 16 Markets

February 11, 2021 - This year, the Croatian National Tourist Board is launching a series of 30 virtual presentations and workshops titled Croatian Virtual Get2Gether, which will be held in the 16 most important markets.

The first in a series of presentations, which will be held via the online platform due to current market circumstances and prescribed epidemiological measures in the country and the world, was held in the Polish market in cooperation with Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Korčula, and the municipality Župa Dubrovačka, reports HTZ.

"Along with the main goal, which includes the promotion of Croatian tourism and the overall Croatian tourist offer, we want to gather the most important foreign partners and agents in one place in the markets and convey the current security situation in the country and Croatia's readiness for the upcoming tourist season," said the director Croatian National Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić.

Most of the Croatian Virtual Get2Gether workshops and presentations are planned for the first half of the year. In addition to the promotion of destinations and tourist products, they will also discuss epidemiological measures, the safety of Croatian destinations, and protocols during future tourist trips.

In Poland, in addition to today's presentation, an additional seven presentations and workshops are planned for June, within which Split-Dalmatia and Šibenik-Knin counties, Kvarner, Zadar, and Lika-Senj counties, the city of Zagreb, and Krapina-Zagorje County, the Slavonia Cluster, and the County of Istria will be presented, and a business workshop is planned for Polish and Croatian entities.

"Through virtual workshops and presentations to Polish tour operators and travel agents, we want to present Croatian regions, and the first in a row is the Dubrovnik region. All 50 available online places were filled in record time, which is proof that this activity has been well received by the Polish tourism industry. We hope and believe that Poles will come to Croatia in large numbers this year to show that they are true friends and lovers of our country," said Agnieszka Puszczewicz, Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board in Poland.

Croatian Virtual Get2Gether workshops, in addition to the already mentioned Polish market, are also planned for the markets of Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, the Netherlands, France, Great Britain, Belgium, Sweden, Russia, China, and the USA.

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Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Croatia Wish List 2021: Croatian Tourist Board to Kick Off With New Campaign

January the 19th, 2021 - Travel for tourism purposes is more and more restricted and continues to be plagued (literally) by constant alterations and sometimes impossible complications despite the advent of the coronavirus vaccine. The Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) however, is still continuing to plan for the season ahead. Meet Croatia Wish List 2021.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB) is currently implementing a new campaign for Croatian tourism in 2021 across social media, called "Croatia Full of New Beginnings/Hrvatska puna novih pocetaka" combined with the label Croatia Wish List 2021, which aims to promote Croatia through new beginnings and positive wishes.

The CNTB launched the campaign on Monday and is running it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok with the hashtag #CroatiaWishList2021 across fifteen European markets - Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Netherlands , France, Slovenia, Sweden, Norway, Belgium and Switzerland.

"With this campaign, our goal is to maintain the visibility and presence of Croatia on our most important emitting markets by presenting more undiscovered locations and proposals for planning a holiday this year in Croatia, with which we want to inspire our followers on social networks and motivate them to create their own wish lists for Croatia, places they want to visit and things they want to experience as soon as all of the necessary conditions for travel are created,'' said the director of the CNTB, Kristjan Stanicic.

At the end of January, he'll be announcing a separate campaign that will communicate all the advantages of Croatia as a safe tourist destination through seven specially prepared videos, and in February a campaign for digital nomads, focusing on the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Sweden will be launched.

"As of spring, we will launch intensive so-called invitational marketing campaigns, and overall in 2021 we expect better tourist results than we had in 2020 and we also expect to maintain the position of Croatia as one of the leading destinations in the Mediterranean,'' concluded Stanicic when discussing the upcoming CroatiaWishList2021 campaign.

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Saturday, 16 January 2021

Special COVID Protocols Prepared for 2021 Tourist Season in Croatia, HTZ Reveals Plans

January 16, 2021 - Which unique COVID protocols are planned for the 2021 tourist season in Croatia? Croatian Tourist Board Director Kristjan Staničić gives us a closer look. 

After the Croatian National Tourist Board launched the communication platform "Croatia Full of Magic" on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at the end of last year, which will be active for a few more days, a new online campaign, "Croatia Full of New Beginnings," marked #CroatiaWishList2021, will begin in target markets, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

The beginning of the year is usually a period of travel planning. Still, as the coronavirus pandemic has turned all established patterns of life upside down, it has dealt one of the strongest blows to tourism. Its recovery will largely depend on the development of the pandemic, and in the Mediterranean, workers in the tourism industry agree, a battle will be fought for every guest. The keyword “safety” will play a significant role when choosing a holiday destination.

For example, Turkey, whose huge advertising budget Croatia cannot compete with, is conducting a fierce campaign on digital platforms under the slogan "Safe in Turkey," and on the website "Safe Tourism Go Turkey," it is possible to find everything a tourist needs to stay in that country - from potential accommodation and catering facilities to travel agencies, and transportation, with the indispensable label of safety.

Greece is also at a low start, where the introduction of COVID passports is mentioned. Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis announced that there would be two categories of tourists by the end of the pandemic, those who have not been vaccinated and those who have. For them, he explained, the condition for entering Greece would be neither quarantine nor a negative COVID test, but only a vaccination certificate and the option of mutually recognizing certificates between countries of departure and destination is being considered.

For those tourists who are not vaccinated, Greece plans to expand border control measures, which could affect the flow of guests and ultimately contribute to fewer holidays in the country. Minister Theoharis believes that the vaccination will affect tourist reservations from the countries they are interested in, namely Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and France.

Will Croatia implement special COVID protocols for tourists in 2021? And will Croatia introduce COVID passports? Slobodna Dalmacija asked Kristjan Staničić, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB).

"Croatia is a very active member of the European Travel Commission (ETC) at whose last session the emphasis was placed on the importance of the post-pandemic recovery of tourism, i.e., the importance of implementing uniform health and hygiene protocols and promoting tourism and tourism products through joint promotional campaigns. In this context, a large global ETC campaign has been announced this year, and co-branding and transnational campaigns are planned, which will be partly co-financed by the European Union," says Kristjan Staničić, emphasizing that the level of security in Croatia will be further raised through active vaccination of tourism workers, who themselves are aware of how important the safety segment is in these market circumstances.

"The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is also preparing a special safety label that will be available to all tourism service providers if they meet all prescribed epidemiological safety measures and protocols. Namely, an important message to everyone is that the precondition for a successful season will be a high degree of vaccination of the population," adds the Croatian National Tourist Board director.

Thus, he reveals, the CNTB will launch a unique campaign in February that will highlight all the advantages of Croatia as a safe tourist destination through seven specially prepared "safety" videos, which will show all potential guests that Croatia is a well-prepared destination that guarantees a quality and safe stay.

"The campaign will be conducted on our subpage, which is updated daily with all relevant information related to travel in these new circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic. We will start implementing the main promotional and invitation campaigns in March, i.e., in the spring when the first major realization of tourist traffic in Croatian destinations is expected," says the Croatian National Tourist Board director.

He believes that this year, especially its first quarter, will be marked by the intensity of epidemiological measures being taken in significant markets to slow down and curb the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, he explains, we cannot hope to establish more substantial tourist flows. Still, the arrival of spring and periods of nice weather will undoubtedly positively affect the epidemiological situation and travel.

"We expect a distinct last-minute demand, as well as that for safe, and at the same time quickly and easily accessible destinations. There will be greater demand for accommodation that provides additional security, such as holiday homes, accommodation on boats, in camps, and staying outdoors in nature. A positive effect is also expected from the vaccination of the population, which is confirmed, for example, by the data of the tour operator TUI Nordic, which recorded an increase in reservations as soon as the news of the vaccination process was published. In general, this year we expect, measured by overnight stays, achieving about 60 percent of the results from the record 2019, as well as maintaining the position of our country as one of the leading destinations in the Mediterranean," Kristjan Staničić concluded optimistically.

The online campaign "Croatia Full of New Beginnings" will be active until mid-February, focusing on 18 markets.
"The campaign aims to draw attention to Croatia through new beginnings and new beautiful and positive wishes in 2021. Visuals of lesser-known Croatian places will be used, with short and interesting stories as suggestions on what to visit, taste, and how to spend a holiday in Croatia. The focus will be on products such as eno-gastronomy, natural beauty, hiking trails, and nautical tourism. From the end of January, we will start implementing a special promotional campaign to position Croatia as an attractive destination for digital nomads, especially in the US, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, and Sweden," said the Croatian National Tourist Board.

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Friday, 18 December 2020

Croatian Beauties in Popular French Show 'Echappées Belles'

December 18, 2020 – The popular French travel show "Echappées Belles", or "Beautiful Escapades", dedicated one episode entirely to Croatian beauties.

The Croatian National Tourist Board reported that the show "Echappées Belles" dedicated to Croatia was broadcast in primetime on the French state television station France 5.

Danijela Mihalić Đurica, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board in France, said that the popular show "Echappées Belles" will significantly help maintain Croatia's visibility in the French market, given that more than 1.5 million viewers watch the show. Positive promotional effects are expected at the time of the resumption of sales and reservations.

"Namely, due to the epidemiological situation this year, many French people spent holidays at home, which is why it is expected that next tourist season they will travel mostly to close, accessible, and safe destinations. Therefore, we believe that Croatia will take one of the leading positions in the French market," said the director.

This travel episode about Croatia was created due to a collaboration between the French television station France 5 and the Croatian Tourist Board, with the support of the tourist board system. The show shows famous tourist destinations, revealing to viewers unknown facts about the local population's lives and customs.

This time, the show presented Istria and the islands of Pag and Cres as locations of incredible natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, emphasizing gastronomic potential and exceptional hospitality.

An article about Mljet, Hvar, and Korčula, published by one of the most influential French women magazines "Femme Actuelle" confirmed that Croatia is positioned on the French market as a fascinating and attractive tourist destination. The magazine, which has a circulation of half a million copies, is followed by more than three million readers. The author of the article is the renowned French journalist Thierry Lacour, who emphasized that he is fascinated by Mljet's natural beauties, the urbanism of Korčula, the scents of Hvar's lavender, and the impressive vineyards.

"In a country with more than a thousand islands, diversity is constant, and Mljet, Hvar, and Korčula are a concentration of the best that Croatia has to offer, preserved nature, as well as an abundance of historical heritage," said Lacour.

However, the French media have previously highlighted Croatia as a top destination. "Echappées Belles" presented Croatian tourist offer back in June 2017, as well as Istria last summer, when the popular French show "Cuisine Impossible" on French TV channel TF1 also promoted Slavonia and Croatian islands. Other French media also wrote about Croatia, including the prestigious French weekly magazine Le Figaro, which dedicated many pages to Sinj Alka.

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

Monday, 14 December 2020

Croatia More and More Sought-After by Swedish Tourists

ZAGREB, Dec 14, 2020 - Croatia is an increasingly attractive destination for holidays in 2021 among Swedes, according to data collected by TUI Nordic tour operator, the Croatian National Tourism Board (HTZ) has recently reported.

Vedran Susic, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board Representation in Sweden, has been quoted as saying on 7 December that twice as many trips were booked in Sweden last week than in the week before that.

Croatia is among several Mediterranean destinations that are chosen most frequently by Swedes for holidays in 2021, the other destinations being Crete, Rhodes, Cyprus and Antalya.

According to HTZ data, from 1 January to 30 November this year, about 41,000 travellers from Sweden visited Croatia and made 228,000 overnight stays, which was equivalent to 15% of their arrivals in 2019.

Sunday, 29 November 2020

ETC's Marketing Group to Hold Annual Meeting in Croatia Next Year

ZAGREB, November 29, 2020 - The annual meeting of the European Travel Commission's (ETC) market intelligence and marketing group will be held in Croatia in April next year, the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) announced in a statement earlier this week following the 100th ETC general meeting.

HTZ director Kristjan Stancic attended the meeting, which was held online, in his capacity as ETC vice-president.

The HTZ highlighted the importance of next year's ETC meeting in Croatia for the promotion of the national tourist industry and for strengthening cooperation with European counterparts.

"We expect that the meeting in April will bring together about a hundred marketing and market research experts as well as the heads of the national travel organisations of the ETC member states," Stanicic said, adding that this was a great recognition for Croatia.

He said that the general meeting focused on the post-pandemic recovery of the tourist industry, the importance of implementing healthcare and hygiene protocols, and the promotion of tourism and tourism products through joint promotional campaigns.

"In the time ahead the ETC will promote sustainability, climate-neutral travel and travel aimed at  reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It also underlined the importance of establishing a common European travel protocol to facilitate travel and include tourism in national recovery plans," Stanicic said.

The ETC has four representative offices overseas - in China, Canada, the United States and Brazil - and is planning to open two more - in Japan and Australia.

Franka Gulin, the director of the HTZ office in China, has been appointed vice-president of the ETC office in China. She stressed the importance of China for Europe's tourist industry.

"The ETC has big plans on the Chinese market in the coming years, especially in the context of promoting Europe as a tourist destination. I am very glad that, as part of the leadership of the ETC office in China, I will have the opportunity to even more strongly represent the interests of our country on the large Chinese market, which will be the most potent in the post-pandemic period," Gulin said.

Saturday, 28 November 2020

HTZ Projects Its Revenues in Amount of €38 m in 2021

ZAGREB, November 28, 2020 - The Tourism Council of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) on Friday adopted the programme and financial plan for 2021, and the revenues for next year are projected in the amount of 285 million kuna, the HTZ said in a press release after its online meeting.

The HTZ is set to ramp up marketing and PR activities next year to offset a decline in the intensity of marketing activities at the level of local HTZ branches.

The press release says that according to data collected by the e-Visitor system, over 54 million tourist nights have been registered year-to-date, which is half as in the corresponding period in 2019.

The HTZ is a national tourist organization founded with the aim of creating and promoting the identity and reputation of Croatian tourism domestically and internationally. 

Its activities "include both planning and implementing the promotional strategy, as well as proposing and implementing promotional activities that are of common interest to all entities in tourism, and raising the level of quality of the entire Croatian tourist offer," the HTZ says on its website.

Friday, 18 September 2020

Croatian Intangible Heritage: Google and Croatian Tourist Board Cooperate

As Novac/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 17th of September, 2020, the tourist champion of the Mediterranean has a new ace up its sleeve to attract tourists, but also to promote its very own culture. As of today, Croatian Intangible Heritage is available on Google on the pages "Croatia: Hearts & Crafts" in both Croatian and English.

Croatia is one of the countries with the largest number of intangible cultural heritage sites in the whole world. Croatian intangible heritage is under the protection of UNESCO, and is now available on the Internet through the cooperation of Google Arts & Culture and the Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB/HTZ).

The Museum of Arts and Crafts and the Museum of the Sinj Alka participated in the project, thus becoming just some of more than 2,000 cultural institutions from 80 countries participating in the Google Arts & Culture project.

Kristjan Stanicic, the director of the CNTB, says that this is the first large and comprehensive project of the Croatian National Tourist Board and Google which promotes Croatian intangible heritage in an innovative way.

"As part of this project, we've revealed 25 Croatian intangible traditions to the world that will, I'm sure, contribute to further positioning our country as a tourist destination with a rich and diverse offer with emphasis placed on our cultural and historical heritage, which we're all very proud of,'' said Stanicic.

Intangible cultural heritage that refers to traditions or living expressions that are passed from one generation to another are being presented through this joint project in four sections, ie through the knowledge of crafts, folk songs and dances, and then festivities and food.

Amit Sood, director of Google Arts and Culture, says 2020 has been a challenging year for travellers around the world. He is convinced that this project to showcase Croatian intangible heritage through cooperation with Google will bring even more people closer the rich traditions and history of Croatia, which is already known for its natural beauty and picturesque cities.

"Using technology and innovative storytelling techniques, this project in cooperation and under the auspices of the Croatian National Tourist Board is aimed at preserving and promoting selected aspects of Croatian intangible heritage to a global audience. This is also the first global presentation of Croatian intangible heritage on Google Arts & Culture,'' stated Sood.

Some of the examples included in the project are the making of Agave lace, which according to tradition originates from the Canary Islands, and which today in Croatia is made only by nuns from the Benedictine monastery in Hvar Town on the island of the same name. The incredible Sinjska Alka, held every year in August on the anniversary of victory over Turkish invaders in 1715, when 700 Croatian soldiers from Sinj managed to repel the onslaught of 60,000 Turkish soldiers, as well as the traditional Tribunj donkey race, which is held every year on the first day of August.

The project also includes Nijemo kolo from the Dalmatian hinterland, which is unique in that it is performed in a circle or in pairs almost exclusively without any musical accompaniment, klapa singing, traditional polyphonic homophonic singing without the accompaniment of instruments dedicated to love or to the community in which the singers live, the art of preparing strukli, from Zagorje a salty or sweet dish made of dough stuffed with cheese, the most famous specialty of Hrvatsko Zagorje, and the folk singng, becarac, is also described, and much more.

It's also worth mentioning that by using the Google Street View feature, people around the world can virtually navigate through many places, and with just one click they can find out additional information about Croatian treasures or immerse themselves in high-resolution photos. They can visit the glittering coastline and dive into the crystal clear Adriatic sea, explore Korcula, the home of the Moreska sword dance, or travel to Omis, where the Festival of Dalmatian Klapa takes place. They're free to stop by the island of Lastovo, known for its natural beauty, Venetian architecture from the 16th century and a traditional events, and much more.

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Tuesday, 8 September 2020

HTZ Director Kristjan Stanicic Appointed Vice President of European Travel Commission

ZAGREB, September 8, 2020 - Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) Kristjan Stanicic has been appointed vice president of the European Travel Commission (ETC), which is the first time Croatia has a representative in the ETC presidency since becoming a full member in 1997, HTZ said on Tuesday.

The ETC is the most important and oldest international tourism association in Europe, comprising 33 national tourist organisations and associate members such as agencies, service providers in tourism and transport providers.

Stanicic was appointed at the 99th ETC general assembly held online, with Luis Araujo from Portugal appointed as ETC president.

"I thank my European colleagues for their trust, which is also proof of the quality work of the Croatian Tourist Board on the European markets, but also distant markets. This is also credit to Croatian tourism and Croatia, which has confirmed its status as the safest tourist destination in the Mediterranean even in this demanding year," Stanicic said in a press release.

 

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