Croatia participating in London's World Travel Market

LONDON, 9.11.2009.
Results best describe Croatia's tourism this year as the country recorded a mild increase, whereas the world recorded a seven per cent and Europe an eight per cent decline in foreign arrivals, World Tourism Organization secretary-general Taleb Rifai said on Monday.

He was speaking at the Croatian stand at the 30th World Travel Market (WTM) opened in London today, which he visited after a Croatian press conference.

Croatia is among the 200 countries participating in the WTM, which features more than 5,500 exhibitors.

Tourism Minister Damir Bajs told the press that after a good 2009, Croatia was entering next year cautiously but confident that with good measures and good cooperation between the public and private tourist sectors, 2010 could be another good year.

Bajs said foreign tourists assessed Croatia as an increasingly attractive destination which offered good value for money, adding that in 2010, as was the case this year, prices would be adapted to the market, which he said was important for agreeing cooperation with foreign tour operators.

Bajs thanked eight British tour operators for their cooperation and combined advertising, saying they were happy with the cooperation, too, and willing to resume it next year.

In 2010, 11 British air companies will fly to Croatia from 19 airports, a total of 80 flights per week, which Bajs said would repeat, if not even exceed, this year's arrivals from Great Britain.

In the first nine months of this year, Croatia recorded 228,600 British arrivals, down four per cent on the year, who generated 1.18 million nights, up 2 per cent.

The head of the Croatian National Tourist Board's Main Office, Niko Bulic, said Croatia would be marketed for the first time as a lifestyle destination. (Hina)