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Croatia National Tourist Board celebrates 25th anniversary in the U.S.

CNTB

Croatia National Tourist Board marked 25 years of promoting Croatia in the U.S. at the Croatian Embassy in Washington, D.C., showcasing cultural heritage and celebrating growth in American tourism.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Croatia National Tourist Board (CNTB) celebrated a significant milestone yesterday, marking 25 years of promoting Croatia as a premier travel destination for American tourists. The event, held at the Croatian Embassy in Washington D. C. showcased the rich culture and heritage of Croatia, attracting over 60 travel agents, media representatives, and key stakeholders.

The celebration was hosted by Mr. Pjer Šimunović, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to the United States of America, and organized by the Croatian National Tourist Board office in North America, represented by its director, Ms. Leila Krešić-Jurić. The Ambassador emphasized the strong and growing bond between Croatia and the United States, highlighting the increasing number of American visitors exploring the picturesque landscapes, unique culture, and historic sites of Croatia.

Over the past 25 years, U.S. visitors to Croatia have seen remarkable growth. From modest beginnings, the number of American tourists surged to over 700,000 arrivals in 2023, representing a 33% increase from the previous year, and over 2,000,000 overnight stays, a 22% increase from the previous year. As of May this year, arrivals have increased by 106% year-over-year, and overnights by 103%.

To cater the growing demand, Croatia has significantly expanded its portfolio of hotels and accommodations. New luxury hotels, boutique accommodations, and eco-friendly lodgings have opened across the country, enhancing the overall visitor experience and supporting sustainable tourism. The significant increase in awareness in the U.S. market has been driven by targeted marketing efforts and enhanced travel connections. As an example of these efforts, after many years of membership in Signature and Virtuoso, Croatia became a proud member of Internova Group last year, enabling close collaboration with advisors from Travel Leaders and Global Travel Collection.

Reflecting on the achievements of the past 25 years, Ms. Leila Krešić-Jurić stated, “Our mission has always been to highlight the rich heritage and stunning landscapes of Croatia to American travelers and surprise them with tasteful local dishes and indigenous wine varieties. Nowadays, we are proud to be on the bucket list of numerous Americans and look forward to continuing to inspire them to discover the unique and diverse treasures our country has to offer.”

The reception at the Croatian Embassy featured an array of local cuisine and cultural displays, providing attendees with a taste of Croatia’s outstanding gastronomy and wine. Highlights included the special cheese of Pag Island from the Zadar region and awarded-winning wines from Hvar Island. The famous all-female music group Klapa Neverin attended from Croatia, performing a few songs to showcase the unique polyphonic harmonic singing that originated in Dalmatia, recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Heritage.

As part of the celebration, the following key stakeholders were recognized for their outstanding and ongoing efforts in promoting Croatia in the North American market: Niko Hazdovac and Peter Hazdovac from Adriatic Travel Tours; Boris J. Miketić from Croatia Travel Agency; Wanda S. Radetti from Visit Croatia – Tasteful Croatian Journeys; and Ivica Glavinić from Pan Adriatic Travel Agency.

Notable guests who attended the event included Michaela Kadija, managing director at Zadar Tourist Board, and Nena Komarica, first director of CNTB in the U.S.

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