Croatia Is Best Country for Adventure Tourism Development in Region

Total Croatia News

Croatia wins top spot for adventure tourism in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

In its annual report, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) proclaimed Croatia to be the leading destination for the development of adventure tourism in the region which includes Eastern Europe and Central Asia, reports on October 3, 2016.

Croatia took the first place thanks to large resources for the development of adventure tourism, on the basis of which it is possible to develop a number of outdoor activities, from bird watching, hiking and rafting to rock climbing, caving and paragliding. ATTA is the leading association that gathers about a thousand travel agencies, tourist boards and investors in adventure tourism. In addition to the Croatian National Tourist Board, about a dozen Croatian tourist agencies are its members.

According to the Association, among the developed markets for adventure tourism, the best resources exist in Iceland, while the Czech Republic ranks first in adventure tourism among developing countries. As for the Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Croatia is followed by Turkey, Armenia and Kazakhstan. This is the first time that ATTA included regional classification in its annual index of development of adventure tourism, which puts Croatia into the focus for consideration by investors and agencies in this rapidly growing market segment.

The global market for adventure tourism, which includes outdoor activities and visiting cultural and natural attractions is worth about 263 billion dollars. Between 2009 and 2012, it grew by 65 percent. For comparison, the ship cruising market is worth about 120 billion dollars. It is not known how much the Croatian adventure tourism market is worth, but it is known that most developed sectors are cycling, mountain hiking, rafting and kayaking at sea.

“Adventure tourism is a chance for small businesses, self-employment and regional development, but also an opportunity to extend the tourist season”, says Željko Kelemen, the owner of the Huck Finn agency which has been on the market for almost 20 years. He has recently organized a tour of the island of Mljet for a group of tourists from Australia, South Africa and Great Britain. The tour was a combination of sailing, cycling, kayaking at sea, and visiting sparsely populated destinations, households with locally produced food, fresh fish…

“The Croatian market is still unregulated, and everyone thinks they can do this and take the incentives which are being offered. However, the development of the internet made it possible for tourists to recognize who offers them quality experience. They are ready to pay for it, much more than regular mass tourism services”, says Kelemen.


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