Croatian tourism minister on tour of Asian markets

ZAGREB, 10.11.2014.

 Croatian Tourism Minister Darko Lorencin has started his visit to the Republic of Korea by meeting the country's Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister, Kim Jongdeok, the Tourism Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

This week, Lorencin will visit several Asian countries with the aim to promote cooperation in the tourism sector and help increase arrivals from those markets in Croatia.

Jongdeok said that he was familiar with Korean tourists' great interest in Croatia, notably its culture, which he said was also owing to a popular Korean reality show filmed in Croatia.

Lorencin spoke about Croatia's tourism development strategy for the period until 2020 and a new strategic marketing plan defining marketing activities until 2020, aimed at re-branding Croatia as a tourist destination.

Lorencin also met with representatives of the Korea Association of Travel Agents and the country's leading travel agencies to whom he presented Croatia's tourism industry and future investments, primarily brownfield investments related to the re-purposing of former military property.

He was told that Croatia is one of the most popular destinations in that country and that local travel agents selling package deals in Croatia this year saw an increase in sales of 600% compared to last year.

Since Korean tourists are mostly interested in the coastal resort of Dubrovnik, one of the topics Lorencin discussed with his hosts was how to improve the airline service between the two countries and a possibility was mentioned to introduce direct flights to Croatia or more flights connecting Prague and Vienna with Zagreb and Dubrovnik.

Lorencin discussed the same topic with representatives of Korean Air, the first Asian company to introduce charter flights to Croatia in 2010. The company's vice-president, Keehong Woo, said Croatia was still a new destination to Korean tourists, which was why the company would increase the number of its charter flights in the period from May to September.

Later this week, Lorencin will also visit Japan and China.