Kristjan Staničić, director of the CNTB, pointed out the following during the conference: “The conference gathered more than 300 professionals, many of them Croats with very successful foreign careers and business projects, and many potential partners interested in Croatia. In such an environment, our goal is to highlight the best of Croatian tourism, for which our country is the most recognizable in the global context. We are sure of many positive effects for our country as a whole, because during the conference, in addition to tourism, we talked about many other sectors and areas where there is room for exchange of ideas, additional networking and cooperation that will ultimately result in concrete projects. Staničić further emphasized that the US market is also the most important distant market for Croatian tourism, from which we generate the largest tourist turnover. The conference was also attended by Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Tourism and Sports of Croatia, who delivered a strategic address.
The cooperation between the Croatian Tourist Board and the Association of Croatian-American Professionals referred to the CNTB’s host in the evening program of the conference, but also as part of the panel discussion “Building a Sustainable Tourism Ecosystem”. The panel discussion was moderated by Leila Krešić-Jurić, Director of the CNTB Office in New York, and was attended by Ognjen Bagatin from the Bagatin Polyclinic, Iva Bahunek, Head of the CNTB Office in Los Angeles, Jeana Havidich, Head of the Working Group for Medical Tourism in Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Jan De Jong, co-founder of Webpower Adria and Antonija Urlić, director of the Association of Unique Croatian Hotels STORIES. Among other things, it was pointed out that Croatia is very well recognized in the world as a destination with extremely preserved and rich natural heritage, while the activities of STORIES were cited as a positive example of sustainable tourism through carefully selected small and unique hotels in Croatia. “The ACAP conference is the first business gathering of professionals from various economic sectors in Croatia and the USA after the pandemic, and the CNTB is a proud partner in the conference, which we expect to bring concrete business results through networking of Croatian companies and American investors. This is not just about tourism, but about various interdependent sectors, where tourism is a link, and often just the first step towards concluding business cooperation, “commented Krešić-Jurić.
At the same time, business workshops and presentations of the Croatian tourist offer were held in Chicago as a result of cooperation between the Croatian Tourist Board and Signature Travel Network, a well-known American association that brings together the most successful and prominent stakeholders in the tourism industry. In addition to the CNTB, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board presented itself in Chicago. According to the eVisitor system, Americans have made more than 135,000 arrivals and more than 420,000 overnight stays in Croatia so far this year, which is an increase of 385 percent in arrivals and 211 percent in overnight stays compared to the same period last year.
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