New strategic marketing plan for Croatian tourism expected by year's end

ZADAR, 27.10.2013.

A new strategic marketing plan for Croatian tourism in the 2014-2020 period is expected to be completed by the end of the year, the Director of the Head Office of the Croatian Tourism Board (HTZ), Meri Matesic, and Assistant Tourism Minister Davor Izakovic said at a presentation held as part of Croatian Tourism Days in the coastal city of Zadar on Friday.

The plan will define marketing tools and tactics, brands and the slogan of Croatian tourism and will be carried out by the HTZ, while the Ministry of Tourism, acting in cooperation with the tourist sector, will draft a bill to reorganise the system of local tourism boards with a view to creating destination management organisations (DMOs).

The plan will be drawn up in cooperation with the HTZ by the firms THR and Horwath Consulting for HRK 4.5 million inclusive of VAT. Of six planned market surveys, four have been conducted online to date, showing that a third of foreign respondents are familiar with what Croatia is offering and perceive Croatia as an attractive tourist destination.

The surveys showed that Dubrovnik was the best known Croatian tourist destination for 40% of the respondents, followed by Split, Istria, Dalmatia, Zagreb and Zadar. The slogan of Croatian tourism, "The Mediterranean As It Once Was", which has been in use for more than 10 years now, was rated 5 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Izakovic presented a programme for the development of DMOs which would serve as a platform for amending the laws on tourist boards and tourist tax, which if all goes according to plan would take effect on January 1, 2015.

Regional tourist boards would be transformed into DMOs which, in cooperation with the private sector, local government and other regional stakeholders, would manage the development of tourist services in a region. Surveys have shown that 84% of the respondents in the private sector are unhappy with the functioning and efficiency of local tourist boards, mostly because of their political nature and bureaucracy. (Hina)