THE Croatian National Tourist Board was in Australia last month to help solidify the Australian appetite for Croatian holidays by educating local agents.

The workshops aimed to strengthen the exchange of knowledge with the local travel trade and build on the current growth trend which saw 217,000 Aussie tourists flock to Croatia in 2018, a 17% rise over 2017.

Speaking with travelBulletin at the recent workshop in Sydney, Croatian Tourist Board spokesperson Kristina Mamic said the reason for its big B2B marketing push in Australia is because of the country’s unlocked potential as a strong long-haul market.

“Australia is still a pretty small market but it has great potential for growth,” Mamic said.

“Australians really love our coast, our beautiful islands and our nature, but why we like Australian guests in particular is because they are not visiting in our summer so you are coming during the whole year and that distribution is very good for us,” she added.

The rationale for combining efforts with The Slovenian Tourist Board, Mamic said, was attributable to a great brand alignment between the two neighbouring European nations.

“Slovenia is a very green country, it offers a different experience to us so the tourist product is quite different — we have a beautiful coast and beautiful islands and they have amazing green spaces and forest,” she said.

While Croatia has enjoyed growth from source markets such as Australia, as well as globally (up 7% in 2018), the country’s tourism efforts also incorporate a strong sustainability ethos.

“We know that tourism is working well when the tourists are happy and the locals are happy too so we are doing a lot of education around sustainable tourism,” Mamic said. “We have problems with crowds in places like Dubrovnik and Split, so we are working to keep Croatia beautiful and not devastate that.”

Subscribe To travelBulletin