Croatian National Tourist Board organized the presentation of the Croatian tourist offer at the BIT fair held in Milan once again this year. Croatian stand was visited by the Director of the Croatian Tourist Board Kristjan Stanicic, who met with key strategic partner, talking about the co-operation and future projects and opportunities for developing new initiatives in order to keep positive trends from this traditionally strong market for Croatia.
-BIT Fair in Milan was an excellent opportunity for meetings with partners that have numerous Croatian destinations as part of their offerings. I am pleased to confirm the competitive position of Croatia on the Italian market, which is characterized by a somewhat later booking, which is why more intensive sale arrangements are expected ahead. This year's excellent schedule of holidays in the pre-season is positive too, since many Italian tourists will decide for shorter trips to foreign, but closer destinations. I'm sure the entire Croatian tourism sector recognizes the opportunities offered in the Italian market, and see that we will achieve good business results in 2019 - said Stanicic, adding that there were 1.2 million arrivals from the Italian market last year and 5.3 million overnight stays, which represent three percent growth, placing guests from Italy on the sixth place of the top markets with the largest number of tourist arrivals.
Director Stanicic met with Ivana Jelinic, president of the Italian Association of Travel Agencies FIAVET and its regional presidents of the Sicilian, Venetian and Sardinian associations, as well as representatives of tour operators, airline companies and shipping companies. Rosario Piscitelli, SNAV's commercial director, who has been connecting our two coasts for many years, emphasized that Croatia is a strategic partner for them and that they believe in this year's excellent sales. A meeting was also held with Valeria Rebasti, a commercial director of the Volotea airline, who talked about new flights and cooperation through strategic projects and advertising. Positive trends are confirmed by the representatives of the tour operators Solo Croazia, who has been successfully bringing Italian guests to Croatia for 20 year, as well as Gomo Viaggi, who connects Pesaro and Cesenatico with Rovinj, Losinj, Rab, Novalja and Zadar.
Viviana Vukelic, the director of Croatian Tourist Board Representative Office in Italy, emphasized that with the BIT fair starts the intensive promotion of Croatia in this important market.
–On the first day of the fair we already have gained an increased interest of the audience for the Croatian destinations and that is what we especially look forward to. We also used BIT Fair for very important meetings with representatives of key partners with whom we talked about co-operation and common goals regarding the continuation of positive trends from the Italian market. In order to be successful, we have planned good marketing and PR activities, and the thematic study tours of journalists and bloggers, as well as publications in the Italian media - said Vukelic, adding that they will also work on the promotion of Croatia Airlines flights on the Zagreb- Milan route.
In addition to the Croatian Tourist Board representation in Italy, which was the holder of the event, BIT's offer was presented by the tourist boards of the City of Zagreb, Kvarner and Split-Dalmatia County, as well as Jadrolinija, Solo Croatia and Vir tourism. The BIT Fair is one of the most important international events for the B2B and B2C segment in Northern Italy, visited by 46,000 visitors from 128 countries last year, who saw the offer of 1,300 exhibitors. The main topics of this year's BIT were "A bit of taste" for the area dedicated to eno-gastro tourism and "BIT4JOB" for the area dedicated to work and opportunities for tourism and hospitality growth. The fair also hosted "BIT MICE 2019", that is, conferences and workshops dedicated to business tourism.