Croatia presents its tourist industry at World Travel Market in London

LONDON, 8.11.2010.This year Croatia has recorded good tourism results from the British market, with a rise in the number of arrivals and overnight stays, and British tour operators have recommended Croatia as the best emerging travel destination close to Britain by giving it a Travel Agent Award. This was said by Croatian tourism officials at a press conference at the opening of one of the world's biggest tourism fairs, World Travel Market (WTM), in London on Monday.

The award was received by Croatian Tourism Minister Damir Bajs and Croatian National Tourism Board (HTZ) Director Niko Bulic, who said that next year, just as this, priority would be given to cooperation with tour operators and airlines.

Today the HTZ published an invitation for bids for joint tourism activities for 2011 in the WTM's official publication and in several British newspapers, as part of the government's tourism action plan which aims to maintain Croatia's competitiveness on the European tourism market, Bajs said.

More British tourists visited Croatia in the first 10 months of 2010 than in entire 2009 -- over 250,000 holidaymakers made more than 1.3 million overnight stays, a rise of four per cent in arrivals and five per cent in overnight stays compared to last year.

At the same time many other countries recorded a decline in the number of British visitors, with France and Spain reporting 250,000 and 300,000 fewer British holidaymakers respectively.

Although the number of British tourists travelling abroad is projected to fall 10 per cent next year, Bajs said he expected the number of British holidaymakers in Croatia next year to be at least the same as this year.

The WTM, which closes on November 11, has drawn over 5,000 exhibitors from some 200 countries, and Croatia is being represented by 33 exhibitors.

Organisers said that exhibitors were more optimistic than last year and that nearly 50 per cent of them believed in a stronger recovery of the tourist industry next year. (Hina)