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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Saturday, 5 September 2020

CNTB Must Write off Kompas Bankruptcy Debt Due to Mail Error

As Dora Koretic/Novac writes on the 4th of September, 2020, it seems that the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) will have to write off a debt of 14,864 kuna, which it owed the recently bankrupt company Kompas, due to the fact that this organisation failed to file a claim for bankruptcy in time in accordance with the appropriate regulations. The Kompas bankruptcy officially occurred early last year.

Namely, the company Kompas formally and legally went bankrupt on January the 3rd, 2019, and the deadline for filing creditors' claims was prescribed by March the 4th at the latest.

The Kompas bankruptcy debt left to the Croatian National Tourist Board by the collapsed company Kompas referred to the organisation of the tourist fair in Madrid, Spain, and the Croatian National Tourist Board sent the claim by mail on the last day of the prescribed deadline. However, it was established that the application was actually sent to the wrong address - instead of the bankruptcy trustee. as formally and legally prescribed, the application was sent by mistake to the address of the bankruptcy debtor.

''Immediately after learning that the application was sent to the bankruptcy debtor's address, the Croatian National Tourist Board informed the bankruptcy trustee in writing by sending them a letter stating that the application was sent to the bankruptcy debtor's address instead of the bankruptcy trustee. The said letter was sent on the 5th of March 2019, the day after the bankruptcy claim was sent, and was received by the Bankruptcy Trustee on the 7th of March 2019. Therefore, the bankruptcy trustee was informed without delay that the consignment in question had been sent by mistake to wrong address,'' they explained from the Croatian National Tourist Board.

A new mail with the filing of the Kompas bankruptcy claim was then sent to the address of the bankruptcy trustee on March the 12th, but the bankruptcy court still issued a Decision rejecting the filing due to the aforementioned missed deadline.

After that, the Croatian National Tourist Board appealed the decision, but a cold shower arrived from the High Commercial Court: this body, namely, assessed that sending the application to the address of the bankruptcy debtor, and not the bankruptcy trustee is to the detriment of the tourist board, and the claims of this organisation are far from further helped by the fact that the bankruptcy trustee was informed that they could pick up the application at the address of the bankruptcy debtor.

"Unfortunately, given the fact that the Bankruptcy Law no longer recognises the subsequent filing of bankruptcy claims and that the court didn't take into account the fact that the Croatian National Tourist Board tried to act in good faith, although it informed the bankruptcy trustee representing the Kompas bankruptcy debtor, a decision was made to reject the appeal. Considering that this is a decision of the High Commercial Court, it is no longer possible to file a regular appeal against it,'' they explained from the Croatian National Tourist Board.

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Monday, 31 August 2020

310,000 Tourists in Croatia, Great Results in August

August 31, 2020 - There are currently about 310,000 tourists in Croatia, of which 240,000 are foreigners, and 106,000 came during the last weekend of August, the Croatian National Tourist Board revealed on Monday, whose director Kristjan Stanicic assessed the results in August as extremely good given the circumstances.

"August is behind us, in which we have achieved extremely good results given the circumstances. Our further strategic and marketing activities will primarily depend on the epidemiological picture of Croatia and the surrounding countries, and uncertainty in this regard requires flexibility and readiness for rapid and continuous adaptation. We are witnessing that some countries in the region have started to close, which we also consider when defining activities in the off-season," Stanicic said for HTZ at the end of August.

Stanicic presented eVistor data according to which slightly more than a million overnight stays were realized on the weekend of August 28 to 30, of which 319,000 were realized by German tourists, followed by Poles (109,000), and Slovenes (83,000).

Over the weekend, the highest number of overnight stays was again in Vir (52,000), followed by Rovinj and Crikvenica. Vir and Rovinj, according to eVisitor data, are the top two destinations in the total number of overnight stays for the whole of August - Vir with 756,000, and Rovinj with 651,000.

Medulin, Porec, and Crikvenica are among the top five destinations per night in August.

A total of 2.6 million tourists came to Croatia in August, more precisely until August 30, with 20.7 million overnight stays, which is 64 percent of last year's result in the same period.

The German market maintained its leading position with 5.2 million overnight stays, followed by domestic tourists with almost four million overnight stays. Slovenia is third with 2.7 million overnight stays in August, while Poland and the Czech Republic are fourth and fifth with 2.2 and 1.3 million overnight stays, respectively.

By counties, most overnight stays in August were realized in Istria County - slightly more than five million, while in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, there were 4.1 million overnight stays, in Split-Dalmatia County 3.9 million, in Zadar County 3.7 million, and Sibenik-Knin County 1.6 million overnight stays.

Noting that complete statistics of arrivals and overnight stays for August and the first eight months of this year can be expected in the first part of September, the Croatian National Tourist Board adds that given the pandemic, they have prepared several different communication concepts to apply depending on the market and circumstances.

"If the situation allows, in the autumn we plan to launch a campaign 'A week's vacation is worth it' for domestic tourists and encourage their consumption in the off-season by using tourist services in the country at lower prices," announced Stanicic.

In conclusion, he emphasized that "domestic tourists have a share of 20 percent in the total result of the current part of the tourist year, which is an important share, and that their contribution is expected in the off-season with shorter and weekend trips."

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