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Croatian National Tourist Board

Croatia announces on target visitor arrivals for 2005

REPORT – WTM2005: Speaking at WTM in London, Mr Niko Bulic, Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board

REPORT – WTM2005: Speaking at WTM in London, Mr Niko Bulic, Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board   confirmed that Croatia was well on target to achieve a total of 255,000 visitors from Great Britain by the end of this year.

He showed that during the first 10 months (Jan-Oct) 251,920 Brits had visited Croatia and the prognosis for the full year result was looking good.

This represents a 26% increase on 2004 and has been greatly assisted by more tour operators and flights to Croatia.

He commented “it is the UK tour operators and partners who have had the confidence to operate so many flights and for being prepared to take a risk in Croatia. We are all sharing in our country’s success”.

He continued to confirm that there are now over 100 tour operators offering Croatia and that new operators who introduced the destination for 2005 were mainly upmarket specialists including Cox & Kings, Bales Tours and Tapestry.

After confirming that over £200 million pounds had been invested in Croatian tourism during 2005 (in hotels, resorts and campsites) Mr Bulic stated that the government was strictly controlling all new buildings by means of stringent planning conditions both in size of building and the types of materials used.

The ecological preservation of the sea comes into this category too and despite sailing holidays being a huge growth area with 50 marinas and over 15,000 sea moorings, development here was now also strictly controlled.

He added “we have won 111 International Blue Flags this year and the quality of our sea water remains of the highest standard year on year as analysed by international bodies. We are not going to risk this by polluting our seas or overbuilding on the coast and islands. Croatia will not become a concrete jungle and all new buildings have to pass extensive planning applications. Many are already being declined if they do not meet the criteria. The government is actively encouraging restoration of traditional stone buildings and further renovation and upgrading of existing hotels.”

He closed by applauding the new winter services to Croatia by both Croatia Airlines and British Airways and recognised the commitment of UK tour operators in developing a new winter season short break market.

Theodore Koumelis
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