August 16, 2017
 
the Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB)

Lucijana Natalija Jerkovic, Croatian National Tourist Board, talks about Croatia still going strong as a travel destination and how the country has managed to record outstanding results in the first six months of 2017

Anju Anna Alex

Comment on Croatia’s growing popularity and current standing as the 4th most popular destination in Europe. We understand that 2017 was a record breaking year for Croatia Tourism.

The strong figures regarding inbound tourism are a result of the various promotional activities launched by the Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB), demonstrating that Croatia has plenty to offer both in the summer months and throughout the rest of the year. According to official data collected by CNTB, Croatia achieved a total of 5.7 million tourist arrivals and 22.9 million overnight stays, representing an increase of 22 percent in arrivals and increase of 23 percent in overnight stays compared to the same period of the previous year. The Croatian tourism sector also expects to see a growth of tourist visits above the European and Mediterranean average in the coming years, which will be accompanied by numerous new investments in infrastructure, as well as the quality and content of the offer. Regarding investments, we expect a total of 800 million Euros investments in the tourism sector this year, 300 million Euros is expected as investments in the public sector and 500 million Euros in the private sector. These positive trends are expected to be continued during the whole year, especially in the peak of the season so this year will be definitely the best one in Croatian tourism history.

Zagreb had won the title of Lonely Planet’s best Destination in Europe 2017, comments please
During the past few years, tourism results in Zagreb have been amazing. These positive trends were recognized by many foreign tourists and organizations such as Lonely Planet and European Best Destinations - which held a competition where Zagreb has won the title of Best European Christmas Market for two years in a row. That is a great achievement because contenders include some of the most famous markets in the world, such as those in Vienna, Prague and Munich. During the first six months this year, Zagreb has recorded an increase in arrivals of 23% and in overnight stays of 19%.

Marketing and Promotional Activities for 2017-18
CNTB is a national tourist organization founded with a view to promoting and creating the identity, and to enhance the reputation of, Croatian tourism. The mission also includes the planning and implementation of a common strategy and the conception of its promotion, to propose and execute promotional activities of mutual interest for all subjects in tourism in the country and abroad, as well as raising the overall quality of the whole range of tourist services on offer in the Republic of Croatia. Accordingly, CNTB organizes appearances at fairs, workshops, study trips for journalists and bloggers, marketing and PR projects etc.

Most visited cities of Croatia
The most visited cities in this year are: Dubrovnik, Rovinj, Poreč, Medulin, Umag, Split, Zagreb, Mali Lošinj, Crikvenica and Zadar.
Croatia has the most number of visitors from Germany. Where does India stand or do you see India as an important market?
Most Croatian tourists are residents of European countries, although visitors from distant markets, such as the United States, Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Australia and India are also present. Long distance markets are very important for the Croatian tourism sector because those tourists like to travel outside of the peak season. During the first six months of this year we have recorded 27.514 arrivals (growth of 85%) and 61.135 overnight stays (growth of 75%) from India. India is definitely a high-potential long-distance market for Croatian tourism in the future.

Impact of mass tourism in the heritage sites like Dubrovnik, Hvar
Croatia has many sites under the UNESCO’s protection with Dubrovnik and Plitvice Lakes National Park being amongst the most popular. There are several studies which have analyzed the impact of mass tourism. For example, in Dubrovnik we have digital counters of visitors and there is the possibility for reducing the number of visitors from cruise ships from 2019 onwards. The main goal of all activities is to prevent the devastation and erosion of these sites and to keep safe all the cultural and natural heritage areas.

Image Credits: Dubrovnik_ Author Ivo Pervan_Source CNTB

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