Germany records higher tourist bookings for Croatia

BERLIN, 9.3.2011.

The crisis is over for the German tourist market and more Germans than in 2010 can be expected to travel to other countries, including Croatia, especially in the summer months, the opening of the ITB Berlin travel trade show heard on Wednesday. A Croatian delegation led by Tourism Minister Damir Bajs presented at a press conference what is new in Croatia's tourism services. Croatia is taking part in the 45th annual ITB fair, which closes on Sunday, alongside a record-high number of 11,163 exhibitors from 188 countries. Bookings for Croatia, Spain, Turkey, Bulgaria, Italy and Cyprus see two-digit growths in comparison to last year at this time.

Bajs said 1.5 million Germans vacationed in Croatia in 2010 and that more were expected this year, adding that all major German tour operators and airlines were present in Croatia this year again. He said contracts had been signed with many of them for joint advertising.

Bajs said Croatia was being recommended and promoted as this year's destination by the European Travel Agents and Tour Operators Associations. He called on everyone at the news conference to visit Croatia "just before it joins the EU," which he said would almost certainly occur in 2012.

Asked by the German press what the EU would bring to Croatia's tourism, Bajs said it would encourage investors to come to Croatia and a stronger development of regional programmes. Asked about the impact of current protests in Croatia on tourism, the minister said they would have no impact as long as they were peaceful and nonviolent. (Hina)