The Croatian National Tourist Board presents the overall Croatian tourist offer at the FESPO fair, which takes place in Zurich from February 1st to 4th. The special feature of this year’s performance, i.e. the presentation of Croatian tourism on the Swiss market, is Croatia’s status as a Partner country of this year’s fair, which means that Croatian regions, destinations, and tourist products have special promotional visibility compared to other countries that are represented in Zurich.
The Croatian tourist delegation led by the Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac and the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić was also present at the fair, who, along with the official delegation and representatives of the FESPO fair, participated in the ceremonial opening of the fair, which was held as part of the Croatian exhibition area.
The opening of the fair was also attended by Andrea Bekić, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia in Switzerland, Branimir Tončinić, director of the CNTB Representative Office in Austria, which also covers the Swiss market, Stephan Amstad, general manager of the fair, representatives of 13 Croatian co-exhibitors, i.e. tourist entities, as well as more of 50 foreign media representatives.
Director Staničić emphasized that a lot of work and effort is being invested in order for Croatia to enjoy the status of a quality and sustainable destination, i.e. one of the most popular destinations in the Mediterranean.
“At the FESPO fair, we will present all the beauties and peculiarities of Croatia with an ever richer and richer program that awaits all visitors to the Croatian stand. We recognize the potential of Croatian destinations on the Swiss market, and the great interest of the Swiss in traveling to our country, especially in the pre- and post-season, is extremely important to us”, said Staničić, additionally emphasizing the commonality and connection between the two countries in the sphere of culture, sports and gastronomy.
In addition to the promotion of Croatia and destinations, the Croatian delegation during the fair will meet with numerous partners and representatives of tourism entities such as Croaticum, a tour operator specializing in Croatia, and ID Riva Tours GmbH, a tour operator specializing in Croatia and which sales programs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The meeting will also be held with Meersicht, a travel organizer that, in addition to Croatia, is also a specialist for certain other countries from the region, and joint cooperation will be discussed with representatives of Travel Magazine, the main professional tourist magazine in Switzerland.
“Tourists from the Swiss market are focused on sustainable travel, nature, camping, active vacations, gastronomy, quality of service, and that is why we present Croatia at this fair, where we are a partner country for the second time, as a country with year-round, sustainable and high-quality tourist offers. Last year was a record for the Swiss market, with more than 300,000 arrivals and almost 1.4 million overnights, and since the beginning of this year, the Swiss have achieved 11% more tourist traffic in Croatia compared to January last year.
All the activities that the Government has done for the development of sustainable tourism – from the strategic and legislative framework to the secured record financial resources have also influenced the improvement of the quality of Croatian tourism offer and the turn towards sustainability, which tourists are increasingly recognizing, and we received confirmation from The European Commission, where in the strategic document for the development of tourism in the EU “Transition path for tourism”, Croatia is listed as an example of good practice when we talk about the Strategy for the Development of Sustainable Tourism until 2030 and the financial resources provided for the implementation of the reform through the NPOO, stated. Minister Brnjac.
Part of the rich program of representing Croatia is, among others, the Alkari from Sinj, crossbowmen from Rab, majorettes and cultural and artistic societies, whose performances show the great cultural and historical heritage of our country. As part of the fair Tourist Board of Split-Dalmatia County, is presenting the Dalmatian Brunch project (marenda), and it is an authentic and traditional Dalmatian meal that will bring visitors closer to the tradition and richness of smells and tastes of the Dalmatian region. The extreme south of Croatia will be presented, among other things, through specially designed cocktails made of rose and lavender liqueur, and the city of Zagreb with one of the best gins in the world. Also, the presentation of top Croatian wines is organized by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.
The importance of the appearance at the Zurich fair is additionally confirmed by the results our country achieves on the Swiss market, from which 4 percent more overnight stays were achieved last year compared to 2022. Swiss guests spent the most overnights in Istria (480 thousand overnights), Split-Dalmatia county (255 thousand overnights) and in Kvarner (225 thousand overnights), and in terms of destinations in Rovinj, Split, Poreč, Dubrovnik and Pula. In this year, the continuation of positive trends from the Swiss market is expected, as well as the growth of tourist traffic.