Germany Croatia's main tourist market, minister says

ZAGREB, 13.8.2012.

Germany is the biggest tourist market for Croatia, as the first seven months of 2012 saw 920,000 arrivals and 6.6 million nights, up 12.6 and 15 per cent on the year respectively, Tourism Minister Veljko Ostojic said on Monday during talks with the new German ambassador to Croatia, Hans Peter Annen.

This past July alone saw 22 per cent more German arrivals on the year, Ostojic said, adding that in 2011, Croatia recorded 1.7 million German arrivals and 12.5 million nights, up nine per cent from 2010.

Ostojic said Croatia's preparations regarding Germany for this tourist season included participation at the f.re.e. fair in Munich and meetings with Bavarian Economy Minister Martin Zeil, ADAC representatives and political subjects in charge of tourism as well as tourism subjects.

Annen said he had vacationed in Croatia many times, adding that a delegation of the German parliament's tourism committee would visit Croatia in October, which would be another opportunity to strengthen Croatian-German cooperation in tourism.

Future cooperation will be based on tourist turnover growth and potential brownfield and greenfield investments, while Croatia, upon joining the European Union, which is scheduled for next summer, will benefit from Germany's experience in the use of the EU's funds for tourism.

"Croatia wants to be a weekend destination as well as a golf, gourmet, cultural and cycling destination. Aside from the fact that it has the nearest warm sea and has excellent transport links with Germany, we want to create new motives for arrivals, thus extending the season and attracting tourists that have never been to Croatia," said  (Hina)