Tuesday, 21 May 2024
Trends in Croatian Tourism: Asian Groups Return as Croatians Increase Travel Facebook UHPA/Foto: O. Crnalić, Izvor: TZ grada Rovinja

Trends in Croatian Tourism: Asian Groups Return as Croatians Increase Travel

Written by  Mar 19, 2024

The Annual Assembly of Travel Agencies, UHPA, kicked off on Tuesday in Umag with the signing of contracts designating Istria as the recommended destination by the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies for 2024. The President of the association, Tomislav Fain, delivered a message stating that agencies anticipate a good season and are vital for year-round tourism traffic.

The Days of UHPA (Association of Croatian Travel Agencies) is being held from March 19th to 21st at the Residence Garden Istra Plava Laguna hotel in Umag, with the support of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Croatian Tourist Board, as well as the tourist boards of Istria County and the city of Umag, whose representatives also participated in the opening ceremony on Tuesday evening.

In collaboration for stronger promotion and results in Istria, prior to the opening, UHPA signed a business cooperation agreement with the Tourist Board of the Istria County as part of UHPA's long-standing project "Domestic Destinations of the Year," aimed at developing new specific tourist programs, enhancing promotion of the destination, and increasing tourist spending.

"Istria is already a strong tourist brand in national terms, a region with the highest number of overnight stays for years, and with investments in tourism development. Now, through cooperation, we want to draw a little more attention to that region, to promote its interior and the possibilities of organized arrivals," said Fain regarding the agreement.

As part of this collaboration, the director of the Tourist Board of Istria County, Denis Ivošević, presented the planned activities for 2024, aiming to further position Istria as a destination of top-notch offerings with a wide range of products.

"UHPA is a very important partner and support for us over the years, and with additional partnership this year, we have opened the door to new possibilities for jointly presenting Istrian specialties. I believe that through this collaboration, we will make a successful step forward and set some new trends through the collaboration of two tourism brands," emphasized Ivošević.

Overall agency business in Croatia, including UHPA members in 2023, was considered good by Fain in an interview with Hina, and it is expected to further improve in 2024, achieving physical results comparable to the record-breaking 2019. Financially, they are more or less stable, but due to loans taken out during the COVID crisis for the 2019 results, it will take a few more years, he said.

“Everyone needs to be prepared for the season, concrete, positive, and of high quality, and to welcome guests as best we can, despite all the problems and challenges that we actually constantly face in tourism," believes Fain, also noting the trend of increasing demand from domestic travellers in agencies for travel both in Croatia and abroad.

This is evident, he says, in the increase in the number of sold arrangements and the number of passengers compared to 2019, which he finds encouraging, because despite the rising travel prices due to inflation, geopolitics, fuel, and other factors, more and more Croatian citizens, like others in Europe, are seeking and wanting to travel, see something new, and experience.

The return of groups from Asia is also visible, so agencies expect a good pre-season, which starts with an earlier Easter, and believes that positive trends will last throughout the year.

"Tourism is changing in every aspect, and very quickly, so are bookings and sales in agencies, hotels, and with everyone else. It is important to follow trends and adapt and stimulate demand, as well as to engage in sustainability in business, which agencies are already doing," concluded Fain.

During the Days of UHPA, participants will have the opportunity to attend a series of presentations and panel discussions on current topics, engage in discussions with directors of foreign tourist representations and service providers, and explore destinations and the tourist offerings of Umag and the Istria County.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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