94 contracts signed to bring more air tourists to Croatia

SPLIT, 30.1.2011.
Ninety-four contracts worth EUR 8 million were signed at Split's airport on Tuesday, joining public and private tourism sector funds for promotional activities aimed at attracting more air tourists to Croatia.

The contracts are part of the 2011 Croatian Tourism Action Plan and were signed by the director of the Croatian National Tourism Board (Hrvatska turistička zajednica - HTZ) Niko Bulic and representatives of county tourism boards, tour operators and private travel agencies.

Tourism Minister Damir Bajs was in attendance, saying the goal was to bring 650,000 tourists to Croatia by air, a quarter more than last year.

He said 90 per cent of tourists arrived in Croatia by road, adding that the contracts were aimed at introducing new flights and bringing new airlines.

Bajs said 2011 would be a difficult year for tourism and that Europe expected a growth of only two per cent.

Asked if the current troubles in Tunisia would redirect air tourists to Croatia, Bajs said that regardless of that, it was important that Croatia's tourism measures were good and timely.

"Unless new flights are introduced, I don't think that any tourist would come to Croatia if they decide to replace Tunisia with another destination."

Asked about terrorist threats around the world, Bajs was hopeful that Croatia would remain a safe destination this year as well.

He said that over the past two years, Croatia had jumped from 38 to 34 on the World Tourism rankings.

Bulic said the HTZ would attend fewer world fairs this year, but that this would not cut down on Croatia's promotion as county tourism boards would be able to attend the fairs.

He announced that promotion would be stepped up in Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and Poland, strongly pursued in Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, and that Croatia would be the partner country at a Belgrade tourism fair at the end of February. (Hina)