The Croatian National Tourist Board and its Representative Office in the USA presented the Croatian tourist offer at the New York Travel Adventure Show, which was held on January 28 and 29 in New York.
Given that Croatia is the only European country with the status of a partner of this year’s edition of the fair, a Croatian tourist delegation led by Kristjan Staničić, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, is also staying in New York, which on this occasion organized a special “Croatian pavilion” as part of which its offer at the fair was represented by 46 Croatian entities, who had the opportunity to hold their own presentations in front of the most important partners from the American market. The fair was also visited by Pjer Šimunović, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia in the USA, and Nikica Kopačević, Consul General.
“Croatia’s presence at the fair in New York and the general visibility of our country on the US market is multiple important for the entire Croatian tourism sector. Namely, it is our most important distant market from which we traditionally generate the largest tourist traffic, and this is confirmed by last year’s data, according to which Americans spent more than 1.6 million nights in our country. With this, we achieved more than 90 percent of the results from the record year 2019, which is an excellent result. Also, we must not ignore the fact that Americans are among the guests with the highest spending and that they like to travel all year round. The potential for further growth is very large, and the best indicator of this is the large number of Croatian and American entities that used this fair for numerous mutual business meetings and meetings”, said Director Staničić.
During the first day of the fair, as part of the Croatian stand, the Sell Croatia business workshop was held, which brought together more than 120 American travel agents and where more than 50 tourist entities from Croatia presented themselves, including tourist boards, hotel groups, destination management company (DMC) and charter company.
“We are extremely pleased with the excellent response from Croatian as well as American tourist entities, which in turn confirm the growth of our country’s popularity among American travel enthusiasts. We successfully maintained, and I would say further strengthened our position in this market. I believe in the continuation of the positive and upward trend, and since it is a distant market, we will focus most of our attention and activities on the further strengthening of airlines and strategic cooperation with tour operators in order to make our country as accessible as possible to Americans”, said Leila Krešić Jurić, director of the CNTB in New York, adding that the meeting was also held with representatives of Collette, one of the largest and oldest American tour operators.
Also, the Croatian delegation used its stay in New York to meet with numerous partners outside the fair, so meetings were also held with representatives of Internova, a new partner on the market that represents by far the largest consortium of travel agencies, agents and travel consultants in the USA, which has over 6,000 agencies in 80 countries and over 100,000 agents. They discussed the possibilities of establishing cooperation on an annual basis, based on the already existing and very successful cooperation with associations such as Virtuoso and Signature.
With the representatives of the tour operator Downtown Travel, the largest renters of seats of United Airlines, it was discussed about the initiation of cooperation through the creation of special “tailor made” offers for different types of American agents adapted to different groups of American tourists.
With a long-term partner, Turkish Airlines USA, headed by general manager Emre Ismailoglu, they discussed the possibilities of further increasing tourist traffic to Croatian destinations, conducting joint campaigns and events, as well as the introduction of new airlines for Croatia with an emphasis on flights in the pre- and post-season.
Representatives of the Croatian National Tourist Board also participated in the IMM TravMedia event, during which meetings were held with representatives of media specialized in travel. On that occasion, the Croatian delegation met with journalists and media representatives such as AFAR, CN Traveler, Travel & Leisure, BBC, CNN, Wall Street Journal, etc., and discussed the possibilities of cooperation in the promotion and positioning of Croatia on the American market.
Let us add that the tourist boards of Counties Dubrovnik-Neretva, Split-Dalmatia, Šibenik-Knin, Zadar and Lika-Senj, Kvarner and the cities of Zagreb and Pula, as well as Plitvice Lakes National Park and about 30 other entities, agencies and hotel groups from Croatia were presented at the fair.
According to official data, last year the New York Travel Adventure Show was visited by about 14,000 visitors, of which about 3,000 were from the segment of travel agents, tour operators and the media, and even higher and better attendance figures are expected this year. (CNZB)