Croatian tourism minister issues message ahead of World Tourism Day

ZAGREB, 26.9.2009.

Tourism Minister Damir Bajs issued a message on Saturday to mark this year’s World Tourism Day, which is observed on September 27.

Noting that this year's theme was "Tourism - Celebrating Diversity", Bajs expressed hope that all areas of Croatia would become aware of how their diversity was valuable and interesting.

Fortunate for us, diversity is at the core of tourism's appeal and it is its future, Bajs said, adding that apart from the city walls of Dubrovnik and Plitvice Lakes, Croatians should also take pride in the plains of Slavonia as their breadbasket, the craggy mountains inland from the coast and an invaluable wealth of gastronomy and customs.

Tourism provides a unique opportunity for small towns to offer their stories, keep their heritage alive and attract new generations of tourists who are not spending their holidays just lying on the beach, but who are looking for something new and are willing to pay for it, he said.

Tourists are expecting to see something different from what they are used to in every day life. They are bored by uniformity and so they seek a return to the lost heritage. They do not want just glamour, golf courses, luxury and five-star hotels, but they also want to find out how people actually live, take new paths, eat meals with unusual names, spend a day with their hosts, and Croatia has a lot to offer in that regard, Bajs concluded. (Hina)