Croatia, Slovakia sign tourism cooperation protocol

SIBENIK, 21.10.2011.

Croatian and Slovakian tourism representatives met in Sibenik on Friday as part of Croatian Tourism Days, at which Slovakia was the guest country, discussing bilateral tourism and economic cooperation as well as experience in the absorption of European Union structural funds, and signing a cooperation protocol.

Slovakia is an important market for Croatian tourism, Croatian Tourism Minister Damir Bajs said, adding that in the first nine months of 2011, Croatia saw a 6.5 per cent year-on-year increase in Slovakian arrivals and a 8.5 per cent increase in nights. Slovaks love Croatia, they feel at home here and this is why it has been their favorite summer destination for years, said Stanislav Rusinko, the general director for tourism at the Slovakian construction, transport and regional development ministry. He added, however, that few Croatians visited Slovakia, saying promotion would be intensified, as Slovakia had plenty to offer, but had branding problems.

Speaking of the absorption of EU funds, Rusinko suggested that Croatia prepare projects and the necessary documentation before accession to the European Union.

Kristijan Sustar, president of the UPUHH association of hoteliers, pointed to a change in trends among Slovakians tourists, saying the number of those who stayed in hotels this year was 15 per cent higher than in 2010. (Hina)