British, Croatian tourism professionals talk cooperation, security, migrant crisis


In their talks with Croatian tourism professionals, British tour operators attending the ongoing World Travel Market (WTM) event in London are mostly interested in a possibility of closer cooperation and even though they inquire less about the security situation and developments regarding the current migrant crisis in the region, some say that that could have a negative impact on tourists’ choice of destination.

A survey conducted ahead of WTM shows that British tourists and travel agencies consider security one of the most important facts influencing their choice of destination in 2015 and 2016, followed by nature, culture, entertainment etc.

British partners consider Croatia a safe country and commend its efforts regarding the migrant crisis, but they are also concerned about it because British tourists have already experienced situations with migrants in Greek islands this year, they helped them and were saddened by those situations, Croatian exhibitors at the fair said.

None of them doubt that a further increase in British arrivals next year is possible.

Goran Huic, director of Guliver Travel, which is part of the TUI group, underlines the interest of that leading world travel agency in Croatia, notably in Zadar, Split and the island of Brac.

The head of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Romana Vlasic, said that with more direct flights throughout the year the number of British visitors would exceed 122,600, which was the number of British arrivals in the first ten months of this year. She expressed hope that this would happen soon considering an ongoing project for the modernisation of Dubrovnik Airport.

Another coastal city, Zadar, this year too saw an increase in arrivals, of 15%, and the head of the local tourism board, Zvonko Supe, said that this was also owing to the support of business entities from that area to the Irish low-tariff airline Ryanair, which he said would continue next year.

Split County has seen an increase of 40% in British arrivals, which is a result of marketing activities on the British market and new attractive products introduced in the last few years, the head of the county tourism board, Josko Stela, said.

The head of the Zagreb Tourism Board, Martina Bienenfeld, expects the most British visitors around the end of the year, especially during the Advent season.