November 21, 2023 – The Croatian Tourist Board presented Croatia in Latin America for the first time. They held a special presentation of the Croatian tourist offer in the center of Chile, in the Croatian club Estadio Croata. The presentation was organized as part of the 28th Catad’Or, the most prestigious wine competition and evaluation of wines and spirits in Latin America. It was held in Santiago de Chile, where Croatia has the status of partner country for the first time.
Although all the riches of Croatian tourism were presented, writes the Croatian Tourist Board, the special focus of the presentation, held for 70 of the most important Chilean tour operators, agents, travel journalists and travel bloggers, was placed on nautical tourism, the indented coastline, the cleanliness of the sea, untouched nature, but also on the safety of Croatia as a tourist destination, as well as the excellent food and wine.
The national tourist offer was presented by Kristjan Staničić, director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Tomislav Fain, director of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies, and Tomislav Radoš, vice-president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) for industry and sustainable development, while the gathered participants were greeted at the beginning of the event by Mira Martinec, ambassador of the Republic of Croatia in Chile.
“Catad’Or is an opportunity to present our top wines, but also Croatia as a popular and desirable tourist destination in the Mediterranean. On a global level, Croatia is increasingly recognized as a safe holiday destination, however, we are also increasingly recognized as a high-quality wine and gastronomy destination. The country’s status as a partner at the prestigious Catad’Or provided an opportunity for an additional step forward in presenting our tourist offer in this distant market with great potential, especially when we know the number of the highly valued Croatian diaspora in Chile and throughout Latin America. I believe that with this we have brought our country even closer to all of them, which, as we have seen here, is very much loved even from a distance”, said director Staničić, adding that he believes that many Croats, who have not yet been, will come to the country and get to know the destinations of their ancestors.
When it comes to distant markets and travel agencies, according to Tomislav Fain of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies, interest in Croatian destinations is not waning despite all the global challenges. “Our country is globally recognized for various aspects of the tourist offer that make our country a recognizable and attractive tourist destination. It is very important for agencies to recognize the preferences of each individual market in order to create offers that will match the interests of the travelers we want to attract to Croatian destinations,” emphasized Fain.
Positive trends from the Chilean market are also confirmed by the data from the eVisitor system, according to which over 15,000 arrivals and 46,000 overnight stays have been recorded from this market so far this year, representing an increase of 18 percent in arrivals and 13 percent in overnight stays compared to the same period last year.
“The potential for even better and stronger economic cooperation between the countries of Latin America and Croatia certainly exists, especially in the fields of energy, pharmaceuticals, IT, food and electrical industry, but also tourism. Opening new business opportunities is a necessary step in strengthening tourist flows between countries, but also the economy in general”, said Radoš from HGK.
Mira Martinec, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia in Chile, emphasized that the presentation of Croatian tourism in Chile was a significant and very positive step forward in bringing Croatia closer to this area. “The possibilities offered by Croatia as a Mediterranean-continental tourist destination in the heart of Europe are numerous. This activity of the Croatian Tourist Board will surely result in significant interest in this large market, also due to the fact that the presentation was held for a large number of representatives of various activities in the tourism industry.
Chile does not have a single major tourist fair, so it is important to get closer to that large and underexplored tourist pool, where the potential of clients who can and want to afford interesting summer vacations in faraway places lies. Also, this is a country with over 250,000 people of Croatian origin, who are emotionally attached to the land of their ancestors, which they gladly visit as a family in groups of 20 or more family members,” concluded Martinec.
The Catad’Or competition in Santiago de Chile has been held since 1995, and at this year’s edition, a total of 1,300 samples from 20 countries were evaluated. With the support of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, the Kutjevo, Badel 1862, Jako vino and Agrolaguna wineries, as well as representatives of regional organizations in Croatia, will be presented at this year’s edition of the Catad’Or World Wine Awards event. 41 samples of wine (17 white, 20 red, 1 rose and 3 sparkling) and seven samples of distillates were sent from our country.