Minister Kliman Meets With Russian Ambassador Azimov After the Controversial Weekend Statement

Total Croatia News

Croatia is increasing its marketing activities in the Russian market and looking into methods to simplify the Visa procedure for Russian tourists

Croatian Minister of Tourism Anton Kliman met with the Russian Ambassador to Croatia Anvar Azimov on March 7, 2016, to discuss an obvious misunderstanding regarding Russian tourists after a statement made by Mr. Asimov over the weekend.

As reported by Novi List, and soon after by every other national news outlet, Mr. Azimov gave a statement after a meeting with the mayor of Rijeka Vojko Obersnel in which he said that he spoke to the representatives of our Tourism Ministry and informed them 300 000 Russians are planning on coming to Croatia this summer: “I thought they would be pleased to hear this, instead, they told me the Adriatic is already overbooked with guests from Austria and Germany and that I should try and cut those numbers down to 100 000”.


Even though I often criticize our tourism officials, this statement seemed a little unbelievable; especially when I know that both the Ministry and the Tourism Board have increased their activities in the Russian market drastically over the last few months, as we’ve reported on several occasions. Hoping it was just a bad translation, I decided to wait for the official statement from the Ministry. And of course, we didn’t have to wait long.

Press release was issued the next day confirming increased promotional activities and workshops across Russia. Furthermore, according to the press release, Minister Kliman met with the Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovač to arrange a much simpler and faster visa issuance procedure for Russian tourists. Last but not least, according to sources in the Ministry, no one from the Ministry talked to the Ambassador before today’s official meeting between Minister Kliman and His Excellency.

During the meeting, Ambassador Azimov confirmed that he was misinterpreted and invited Minister Kliman to visit the upcoming tourism fair in Moscow and to a joint meeting with Russian and Croatian tour agencies which will be arranged in April or May this year: „The Minister noted that it traditional for the minister of tourism to visit Russia on several occasions to add a more personal note to the frequent invitations for Russian guests to visit our country, and if his previous obligations allow, he will visit this year’s tourism expo in Moscow“ an official press release stated.

As far as the visa issuance problem is concerned, the press release states that 19 visa centres were open across the Russian Federation and all tourists with a valid Schengen visa can enter Croatia even though Croatia is still not a member of Schengen. Other visa issuing methods, like the ones used by older EU members, are also considered.

„Minister Kliman is aware that the Russian market is of strategic importance for Croatia, especially since Russian tourists travel in pre and post season. Office of the Croatian Tourism Board in Moscow is working around the clock, especially on B2B and B2C levels“ press release states.

Croatian Tourist Board will present its offer on the MITT expo in Moscow on March 23-26 Sell Croatia workshop took place in Moscow in January with more than 50 companies from Croatia and over 100 partners from the Russian Federation and promotional efforts will continue in upcoming months.  Press release also states that 113 000 Russian tourists visited Croatia in 2015 and both Ambassador Azimov and Minister Kliman hope to increase that number over the next 5-6 years to 500 000.


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