Virtuoso, the leading association of travel organizers in the luxury tourism segment,nominated Croatian Tourist Board for the Best Tourist Organization in the World in 2019. The 2019 Virtuoso Award Ceremony was held last night in Las Vegas as part of the Virtuoso Travel Week, and the Best Tourist Organization award went to Switzerland. The final selection also included national tourist organizations of Australia, New Zealand and Slovenia. This nomination is also a confirmation that Virtuoso has recognized the innovation and creativity in the work of the Croatian National Tourist Board, as well as the potential of Croatia as a destination for luxury tourism.
-We are extremely pleased that the Croatian National Tourist Board has competed in the final selection for the best tourist organization in the world. The nomination itself among the top five national tourism organizations is a big deal and recognition for a small country like Croatia. This recognition is even more important to us when it comes from a reputable association like Virtuoso, which further confirms the excellent position our country has on an important US market. This is the result of the work and contributions of all tourism professionals who are committed to promoting and developing Croatian tourism throughout the year. This will certainly be a great boost for our further work, and on this occasion I thank all my colleagues for their dedicated work and contribution - said Croatian National Tourist Board Director Kristjan Stanicic, adding that positive trends are confirmed by US tourist traffic, showing an eight percent increase in arrivals and overnight stays in July.
Also, Croatia is among the top five fastest growing destinations on the US market, which is confirmed by the strong growth of tourist traffic in recent years. When it comes to the last year, in Croatia about 585 thousand arrivals and 1.6 million overnight stays were generated from the US market, which represents a growth of 22 percent in arrivals and 18 percent in overnight stays compared to 2017. Positive trends were also maintained in 2019, during which a high 11 percent growth was recorded in arrivals and overnight stays. The additional importance of this market is evidenced by data from the TOMAS survey, conducted by the CNTB in cooperation with the Institute of Tourism, according to which American tourists are the best consumers with an average of 158 euros daily consumption.
Virtuoso's nomination was also commented by Ina Rodin, director of the Croatian Tourist Bord Representative Office in New York. -In recent years, Croatian Tourist Bord has achieved valuable success and recognition in the North American market, and the Virtuoso nomination is of great importance as it confirms that Croatia has finally entered the company of leading destinations for guests of refined taste and deep pocket. This is also the second nomination for Croatia, which confirms to all stakeholders of Croatian tourism that their work is recognized on the American market - Rodin said.
In addition to the category for the best tourist organization, Virtuoso also gave awards in other categories, so the Croatian agency Calvados Club Luxury Travel from Split won the prestigious award in the category "Best on-site partner", in a large competition of agencies specializing in luxury travel from France , Italy, New Zealand and Vietnam.
Virtuoso is a network of top US luxury travel agencies with more than 20 thousand advisors worldwide, with an annual turnover of more than 26.4 billion dollars. The Virtuoso network includes more than 1,800 partners, including top-class hotels and resorts, tour operators, airlines, agencies, and the main goal of the network is to offer clients in-depth and unforgettable trips. Croatian members of this prestigious network are Calvados Club Luxury Travel, Leonidas Travel, Fortuna Travel, as well as Villa Dubrovnik hotels, Boutique Hotel Alhambra, and this year's Monte Mulini. The network of Croatian members is expected to expand further as there are hotels that also meet the high standards and criteria of Virtuoso, a community that is extremely important for the development and growth of luxury tourism.