February 22, 2020 – The Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) is presenting its tourist offer at the f.re.e fair in Munich, one of the most important fairs in the German market, from February 19 to 23. This year, Croatia expects a 3% increase from German tourists.
HRTurizam reports that before the fair, a large tourist delegation from Central Dalmatia, namely 70 Alkars, Alka boys, and members of Sinj City Music, paraded in the very center of Marienplatz and delighted many passers-by in the Bavarian capital.
HTZ Director Kristjan Stanicic is currently in Munich, meeting with Michael Hinterdobler, Bavarian Government envoy and Assistant Minister for International and European Affairs, with Prince Leopold Von Bayern, Konig Ludwig Kaltenberg, who owns the Kaltenberg brand, but also with Evelyne Menges, Member of the Munich City Hall. State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism Tonci Glavina and President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Luka Burilovic also visited the fair on Friday.
“Presenting at the Munich fair is of utmost importance to us because Germans, especially residents of southern provinces such as Bavaria, have, for the most part, made up the total tourist traffic in Croatia for years. This year we have enriched our appearance at the fair with a great presentation of the Alkars and our 300-year unique event Sinjska Alka, and we met with key strategic partners such as FTI Touristik, the third-largest tour operator in Europe and IDRiva Tours, a tour operator specializing in bringing German guests to Croatia which forecasts market growth for Croatian destinations,” said Croatian National Tourist Board Director Kristjan Stanicic, adding that up to now, the German market saw an increase of 25 percent in arrivals and 18 percent in overnights compared to the same period last year, while overall traffic growth from the German market is expected to be up to 3 percent in 2020.
“The level of sales from the German market so far is higher than last year, which makes us very happy. Air connectivity has a big impact on the growth of tourist traffic, so this year we expect to continue establishing additional airlines from Germany. The tourism market is increasingly changing, thus increasing numbers of German tourists are turning towards sustainability, that is, products and offers with a built-in nature conservation component. Therefore, it is in this segment that we see the great potential and opportunity to strengthen our position in the future in this extremely important market for us,” said State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism, Tonci Glavina.
The Alkars are a special attraction at the fair and the main city square in Munich. After the Alkars paraded in the center of Munich, the fair hosted a program of the Alkar Knights Society and the Sinj City Music, through which Split-Dalmatia County was presented. With this presentation, they wanted to popularize the UNESCO protected knight’s competition, but also Central Dalmatia and the whole of Croatia as a tourist destination.
Head of the Croatian National Tourist Board branch in Munich, Nera Miličić, emphasized that it is her special honor to host the Sinj Alkars in Munich and to promote the Sinjska Alka at the largest Bavarian tourism fair.
“The Alka is a symbol of patriotism and I am proud that we have presented the UNESCO list of intangible heritage to the Bavarians, who are our most numerous guests, part of the Croatian culture and tradition. The ceremonial procession of the Alkars and the Alkar boys, together with the Sinj City Music, between the three medieval Munich gates, was a special attraction for the residents and visitors of Munich, as well as the pride of many Croats living in Bavaria,” said Miličić, adding that the Sinj Alka and the Bavarian Kaltenberg knights are part of Europe’s cultural heritage and have agreed on cooperation.
A special novelty at this year’s fair is the refreshed visual appearance of the HTZ booth, which is enriched with red and white squares as an ode to the upcoming European Football Championship. Visitors to the fair can taste commemorative Alkar and the Heart of the Adriatic cocktails, while top-quality Croatian wines are served under the brand name “Vina Croatia – mosaic wines” organized by HGK and HTZ.
Within the Croatian National Tourist Board stand, a total of 24 co-exhibitors are represented at the fair, including the Dubrovnik-Neretva, Split-Dalmatia and Vukovar-Srijem (Slavonia cluster) tourist boards, the Zagreb and Dubrovnik tourist boards, as well as numerous economic and tourism entities.
Last year, a record 3 million tourist arrivals and more than 21 million overnight stays were recorded from the German market, representing a 3 percent growth in arrivals compared to 2018.
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