Together with 18 Croatian co-exhibitors, the Croatian National Tourist Board (CNBT) presented the Croatian tourist offer at the virtual edition of the world’s leading tourist fair ITB in Berlin. For the first time after 50 years, the fair was held via the online platform ITB Berlin NOW.
As part of the fair, Croatia also won the special ITB Medical Tourism Destination Award, awarded for the first time by ITB with the HTI Conference’s (Health Tourism Industry) support.
The organizers recognized Croatia as an innovative and sustainable destination that provides a high level of medical tourism experience and services. Over 250 thousand guests visit Croatia annually for medical tourism, which confirms this recognition. Romeo Draghicchio, Director of the CNTB Representation in Germany, accepted the award. The award will, among other things, be an additional motivation in further medical tourism development in Croatia.
“By participating in the ITB Berlin fair, we maintain Croatia’s presence and visibility in our traditionally most important German market. We also maintain business contacts and relationships with key partners, agents, tour operators, airlines. Despite the current situation, we believe that the easing of restrictions will normalize the tourist traffic, and many Germans will place their trust in Croatia this year as well. This is supported by the recent inclusion of four Croatian counties on the list of safe regions by the German Robert Koch Institute, making Istria the only safe sea region in the Mediterranean. Also, the largest German airline Lufthansa announced to increase the number of flights to Croatia in the coming period,” said CNTB director Kristjan Staničić.
The fair was held from March 9 to 12, 2021. The Croatian delegation held a series of online meetings with representatives of major agencies, tour operators, and other partners such as DER Touristik, Schauinsland, Eurowings, BBC, Amadeus (one of the world’s strongest companies for new technologies in tourism), Holliday Pirates (large booking travel platform), and others.
During the meetings, the partners stressed that they expect a better tourist season than last year.
“Although the period of intensive booking is just ahead of us, partners in the German market have been noticing an increase in interest in travel since mid-February compared to previous periods. They are especially interested in the arrangements for the Easter holidays and spring, with an emphasis on Istria, for which restrictions and quarantine measures have been lifted when passengers return to Germany,” said Draghicchio.
Along with the Croatian National Tourist Board as the leading exhibitor, the Croatian stand also presented co-exhibitors, including the tourist boards of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Dubrovnik, and Zagreb, as well as Croatia Airlines, Jadrolinija, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Valamar, Maistra, Uniline, Laguna Novigrad (Aminess Hotels & Campsites), Liburnia Riviera Hotels, ID Riva, Abacus, Ban Tours, Perfecta Travel, Sunturist, Unlimited Croatia DMC, and Via Mea Travel.