UNWTO secretary-general, Croatian tourism minister attend ETC assembly

OPATIJA, 12.5.2014.

United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General Taleb Rifai said on Monday he was pleased with the development of tourism in Croatia and that the Croatian tourism development strategy up to 2020 was well-done.

Speaking in the northern Adriatic resort of Opatija, Rifai said he was happy about the continuous growth of tourism turnover in Croatia and destination development, notably ahead of the main season, as well as with the progress in the realisation of the development strategy's goals.

Rifai visited Opatija on the occasion of the 87th general assembly of the European Travel Commission (ECT), a non-profit organisation in charge of promoting Europe as a tourist destination. Croatia was hosting the event for the first time. It drew about 50 guests, of whom 30 representatives of ECT members - national tourist boards. Croatia's National Tourist Board has been a member since May 1997.

Rifai noted that this was his third time in Croatia and supported Croatian Tourism Minister Darko Lorencin, who was also in attendance.

Lorencin underlined the importance of UNWTO support for the development of Croatia as a destination, and said Europe could be an even better destination, more interactive and attractive, notably in faraway markets.
Croatia and Slovenia appear on such markets together and northeastern Italian regions will join in, he said, adding that such linking was the future of tourist development and a formula for success.

Asked by the press if he expected a lot of applications for the post of HTZ director, the minister said he hoped so and that the director must be a professional and a top manager.