Airlines EasyJet and Jet2.com announced the upcoming tourist season for Pula, with new connections to Amsterdam and Birmingham, and the extension of the already seasonal flight schedule, reports Denis Ivošević, Director of the Tourist Board of Istria County.
Ivošević added that he attended the World Travel Market in London primarily to secure an agreement with these two airlines, as they are both significant for Istrian tourism. This year, EasyJet almost doubled their turnover at Pula Airport in comparison to 2017 and became the number one company bringing passengers to Istria – with a total of 46,000 EasyJet passengers landing in Pula, reports Glas Istre on November 7, 2018.
“It was important to negotiate cooperation with them for 2019 now. EasyJet will introduce a new line from Amsterdam to Pula, and will fly twice a week from the end of June to the middle of September. In addition, they are planning to extend the flight period on four destinations. When they introduce a new line, they start flying in late June or early July, and as these have proved to be good, they will start in late April or early May. EasyJet plan brings 57,000 passengers to Pula airport, which is 11,000 more than this year,” says Ivošević, who, along with large hoteliers and the Pula agency Uniline, is representing Istria at the three-day fair attended by about 5,000 exhibitors and visited by more than 51,000 people. It is estimated that WTM contracts nearly 3 billion GBP.
Another important meeting was with representatives of Jet2.com, who split their time working with tour operators and with individual travelers. Jet2.com is planning on a 15-percent increase in the number of passengers to Pula next year, with the introduction of a new line from Birmingham and the extension of the remaining flights to London, Newcastle, Manchester and Edinburgh.
“The announcements of these key companies regarding increasing traffic to Pula is extremely important at a time when everyone is awaiting the outcome of Brexit on March 31. In general, the climate in England is rather pent up and information is contradictory as to what consequences Brexit can cause. There is a lot of talk about it, the media is reporting information that is very negative to the fact that withdrawing from the EU will not have any impact on the economy and opportunities on the island. Interest in travel, although it is still very early to talk, is 18 percent better than the same period last year,” says Ivošević.
“Connecting airlines to Croatia is one of the key segments to further position us in the British market, whose potential is indeed great, regardless of Brexit. Over the first two days of the fair, we have been very pleased with the results of the meetings and we can say that the announcements for the following year are extremely positive. We have made contacts with many new business partners and note the rise in demand from various global markets. Also, the British market has accepted our tourist products very well, and the current state of reservations is also in favor of it. The attendance at the fair is extremely high, both for tourism professionals and for the media. We are returning to Croatia with the latest travel trends for the next year, as well as many new jobs,” added Sandra Gobin of Uniline.
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