Advent in Zagreb: The Campaign Behind Europe’s Best Christmas Market

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How does Zagreb maintain its position as the best Christmas market in Europe? A presentation at the Society of Croatian Journalists at the recent FIJET Marco Polo awards on December 14, 2017, took a closer look at the planning behind the campaign. 

Let me start by saying that Advent in Zagreb this year really is fabulous, and if you haven’t yet been, I encourage you to do so. As Croatia looks to extend its season and turn into a 12-month destination, here is an event which has risen from literally nothing to one of the best events in the entire Croatian tourism calendar. A real lesson of what Croatia can achieve away from the beach with a little planning, innovation and thinking out of the box. 

At TCN, we write about tourism a lot, with one of the many themes being that of how much of the best tourism in Croatia happens by accident, or due to the efforts of a private individual or group. And so it was truly fascinating at the recent FIJET Marco Polo awards at the Society of Croatian Journalists in Zagreb, to watch a fluent presentation from the Zagreb Tourist Board at how Advent in Zagreb is getting stronger each year, and what the strategy is behind the project.  


There is perhaps not so much need for commentary from me, as the presentation of Advent in Zagreb told its own story in the Powerpoint presentation. 


A city that has truly come to life all over its various central regions in the last few years. 


With new attractions every year.



Whatever your interest or age group, there is something for everyone at this year’s Advent in Zagreb, and the variety of attractions for kids is extremely impressive. I am looking forward to my next visit just before Christmas to take five kids to the Harry Potter magic potion workshop hosted by the Ministry of Magic at the outstanding Enchanted Village with Here Be Dragons at Fuliranje, one of the outstanding additions to this year’s programme. 


Having the content is one thing, getting the message out to the target market is a huge job behind the scenes. This is how the Zagreb Tourist Board did it. A new slogan for Advent in Zagreb, tailored in several languages. Partnerships with two of the most important airlines coming into Zagreb in December, Croatia Airlines and Turkish Airlines. 


A comprehensive and multi-faceted marketing campaign, and TCN was pleased to play a small role in the campaign, a campaign which was recognised at the Marco Polo award ceremony where the presentation was taking place, as TCN picked up the Marco Polo award for best reporting on Advent in Zagreb 2016. 


You can read more about the ceremony and the other Marco Polo winners here. 


There were extremely targeted markets to attract visitors. 


Welcoming Advent messages on the trams of Milan, for example. 


A superb specialist application to help interested parties learn more and find their way around. 

And the results? Let the numbers speak for themselves. 


Tourism numbers up a staggering 250% in just six years, and if the numbers in Zagreb these days are anything to go by, a number that will increase once more this year. 


And nothing without a dedicated website and appropriate hashtags, of course. 

A lesson (for those who are interested in learning) on how to do tourism promotion effectively and intelligently. Bravo Zagreb!

Now learn more about what’s on and where to find it on the official Advent in Zagreb website


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