Croatia Boat Show opens in Split

SPLIT, 28.3.2009.

Tourism Minister Damir Bajs opened in the southern seaport of Split on Saturday the 11th international Croatia Boat Show, at which 1,355 exhibitors are showing some 450 boats, including about 30 sailboats.

The fair was organized by the Profectus Company and is open until April 5.

photo: FaH, Veljko MARTINOVIĆ

"When many fairs around the world are closing because of the coming economic crisis, this boat fair is being organized in Split and will prompt guests from around the world to arrive in Split aboard some 200 private planes. Fifty thousand visitors are expected at the fair which, with extensive media coverage, is an important promotion of Croatia as a tourist destination," said Bajs.

He recalled that Croatia Boat Show was also a sale show at which Croatian shipbuilders would present their product.

photo: FaH, Veljko MARTINOVIĆ

Bajs stressed that nautical tourism generated six per cent of arrivals in Croatia and 10% of overall tourism revenue and that more than 80% of nautical tourists had university degrees and earned more than EUR 3,000 a month.

"They are the most demanding, but also the most rewarding guests. They want more, but are ready to pay, so fairs like this one are very important."
Bajs said nautical tourism expected the smallest losses this summer because of the crisis.

He announced that Croatia planned to build 15,000 new berths for boaters, but that in building new marinas it would see to preserving nature and protecting the environment.

The state secretary for the sea, Branko Bačić, said this was part of the government's strategy to build 15,000 new berths in 15 Croatian prestigious destinations along the Adriatic in the next 10 years and to reach HRK 15 billion in annual revenue from nautical tourism. He added that last year nautical tourism brought Croatia EUR 800 million. (Hina)