Minister hopes Croatia's results in tourist trade to be the same as last year's

BERLIN, 11.3.2009.

This year Croatia will try to repeat last year's results in tourism despite the fact that 2009 will be a very difficult and uncertain year for global tourism, Croatian Tourism Minister Damir Bajs said at a news conference on Wednesday, the first day of the ITB Berlin (11 to 15 March), a leading travel trade show in the world.

Speaking of Croatia's advantages, the minister cited its vicinity to Germany, good motorways, beautiful scenery, safety and a relatively good value-service ratio.

He admitted that the global crisis could produce adverse effects for the Croatian tourist trade.

About 85 percent of tourists in Croatia come from foreign countries hit by the crisis, he said, adding that trends in those countries were being closely monitored so that Croatia could be prepared for changing this season's projections.

Bajs did not rule out the possibility for the country to further step up the promotion of its tourist trade, adding that funds intended for that purpose had already been increased three times in comparison to last year, and they now amounted to EUR 26 million.

When it comes to value for service, Bajs cited findings of a German survey showing one euro in Croatia was worth 1.10 euros. A similar survey in Austria showed that EUR 100 in Croatia is worth EUR 129. (Hina)