Government commission says tourist season very good

DUBROVNIK, 28.8.2011.

The tourist season has been very good so far, about 6.2 million tourists have visited Croatia, up eight per cent on the year, and the first three weekends in August saw 300,000 more arrivals, Tourism Minister Damir Bajs said at a meeting of the government's commission monitoring the tourist season in Dubrovnik on Sunday, adding that announcements for September and October were excellent.

The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, who said one of the reasons of the season's success was the fact that Croatia had been recognized as a stable and safe country. Commenting on the 0.8 per cent GDP growth, she said it was small but that it showed that the trends were positive and that some European Union countries also had such a growth rate.

The meeting focused on visitors arriving aboard cruise ships. Croatia expects 1.2 million tourists on cruise liners and the number of passengers in Croatian ports who arrive aboard them to rise by 100,000 from 2010, it was said.

National Tourism Board director Niko Bulic said one of the next steps should be putting Dubrovnik on the list of seaports in which guests began and ended their cruise trips, adding that, with some infrastructure work, such as building a fast road between the port and the airport, Dubrovnik could compete with Venice, Genoa and Barcelona.

Mayor Andro Vlahusic said Dubrovnik had reached the maximum when it came to the number of cruise ship tourists it could accommodate and that it should not be increased.
After the meeting, Kosor visited the Noordam liner owned by the Holland America Line company. (Hina)