Minister says positive pre-season results usher in high tourist season

SPLIT, 4.7.2011.

After many years, Croatia is expected to enter the high tourist season with positive results from the pre-season for the first time and the first two weeks of July are crucial for that, Tourism Minister Damir Bajs told reporters in Split on Monday.

At the conference, the 6th ADRIAN project - the selection of the best family and small hotel - was presented. The selection, under the auspices of the Tourism Ministry, is organised by Slobodna Dalmacija daily in cooperation with Zagreb Airport, the National Association of Small and Family Hotels, and Hypo Alpe Adria Bank.

Bajs said the first weekend of July showed that tourists vacationing along the Croatian Adriatic mainly arrived by road and that domestic arrivals were higher than in the first weekend of July 2010.

He said this year positive results could be expected from the German, Austrian, Slovenian, Slovakian and Czech markets, goods results from the Russian market, and negative results from the Italian and Japanese markets.

Croatia has about 100,000 hotel beds, including 15,000 in small family hotels, but these hotels account for 25 per cent of all hotel nights, Bajs said, adding that small family hotels worked 180 days a year, as against 122 days of the other hotels. Bajs said a little over HRK 2 billion was invested in the building of small family hotels in recent years.

Zagreb Airport director Tonci Peovic said the need for small airports, notably on the islands, would increase with Croatia's accession to the European Union. He added such airports exist on Brac and Hvar and would be building on Vis and Korcula. (Hina)