Boating, gastronomy, culture… to diversify its tourism, Croatia is betting on new offers

“Croatia does not sum up Dubrovnik! “recalls Daniela Mihalic-Durica, who manages the destination’s tourist office in Paris. Indeed, in a decade, Croatia has come a long way to diversify its its offer and get out of the “sun destination” image it received when it started. From being a carry-over destination when other countries like Tunisia faced crises, Croatia now wants to assert its full identity its, developing its tourism strategy in this sense… and its offer. “We focus on selected products, such as boating, green products, gastronomy, islands, culture,” explains Daniela Mihalic-Durica.

A segmentation that allows Croatia in particular to better distribute tourists throughout the territory, to adjust seasonality, while targeting tourists with higher purchasing power through certain areas. “The goal is not necessarily to have more tourists, but to have tourists who spend more, to protect our environment, Daniela-Mihalic Durica said in a recent interview. The pandemic has allowed us to step back and ask ourselves what tourism we need. We thought about what we can improve, what we can do to move towards something better. »

In its press briefing held on Thursday in Paris, the Croatian Tourist Office chose to highlight the destination’s cruise offer, with in particular CroisiEurope, which has been present in Croatia since 2007 with its ship. The Beautiful Adriatic (99 cabins with outdoor view), and allows exploring Dubrovnik, Mljet, Korcula, Hvar, Šibenik, Trogir, Split and Vis. Presenting itself as the first tour operator in Croatia, TravelEurope/Visit Europe also operates cruises in Croatia, with a fleet of four yachts from 16 to 20 cabins, exclusively chartered. The tour operator, which has two subsidiaries in Pula and Dubrovnik, also launched two new tours with the destination this year, with Croatia – Montenegro – Albania and a Croatia (Istria) – Slovenia. Ponant has also been sailing in Croatia for a long time. Some of its cruises that started and ended in Venice will now be offered starting and/or ending in Dubrovnik.

A workshop for pros on March 16

For the destination, 2023 will undoubtedly be marked by the entry into force of the euro and the traffic rules of the Schengen area, which should make life easier for travelers and tourism professionals.

Another recent innovation, in July 2022, after more than 300 years, the Republic of Croatia was completely reconnected thanks to the Pelješac Bridge. The bridge facilitates access to the south of the coast, including Dubrovnik and the islands, without passing through the Bosnian enclave of Neum, thus avoiding going through Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On the hotel side, the Tourist Office highlighted the opening of the Valamar Amicor Green Resort in Hvar. A 97-room hotel that is very oriented towards sustainable development, hence the 2030 sustainable tourism strategy plan carried by the destination.

Other significant investments are expected in 2023 from the largest Croatian hotel chain, Valamar, as well as Bluesun, Plava Laguna, Jadran and other attractive hotels, the Tourist Office also reports.

In 2022, Croatia recorded 530,000 arrivals and almost 2 million overnight stays by French travelers, i.e. 38% and 36% more than in 2021. If it is still 18% less than in 2019, optimistic Daniela-Mihalic Durica that the performance of tourism will improve. this year. And to see one day the French market move into the top 10 source markets in Croatia. Currently, the top three are occupied by Germany, Slovenia and Austria. All markets combined, Croatia recorded 91% of arrivals and 96% of overnight stays in 2019, the record year for tourism, with almost 19 million travelers in 2022.

To make its offer better known, Croatia will organize a workshop for tourism professionals on March 16 at 2 pm at the World Tourism Fair in Paris.

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