f.re.e., Fair for Leisure and Travel (Die Reise und Freizeitmesse originally) ist the largest tourism-related fair held in the German state of Bavaria, and one of the most important such fairs in Europe. Today it was opened in Munich, and the organisers say that this year’s installment is the largest for the fair in Munich.
It holds an additional layer of importance for the Croatian tourism, as a largest proportion of tourists in Croatia, especially in the Northern part of the Croatian coast, come from Germany, so the number of Germans is often seen as the most importan factor in determining the success of the tourist season. So, this year Croatian Tourist Board and the Tourist Board of Kvarner are participating – the Kvarner stand at the fair in Munich is shared by Krk Island Tourist Board, Kovačine camp and Kimen hotel, Rab and Lopar Tourist Boards, Poljana camp, Opatia Riviera, Crikvenica Tourist Board and Jadran Crikvenica Hotels.
On the first day of the fair a presentation of Žlahtina, a wine variety indgenous for the region was held (imagine what the rest of the programme for the expected 135 thousand visitors will look like, if they planned the wine presentation for the first day!) Tanja Augustinović from Kvarner Tourist Boards told Novi list about the importance of the guests coming to Croatia from Bavaria, as they are familiar with Croatia, Croatia is close to them so they visit on shorter trips as well (weekends in the pre- and post- season); however they’re always looking for novelties. This year a lot is being done to promote the health tourism of the region, as it is something to be proud of.
This year’s fair is oriented towards active vacationing and camping, so Croatian exhibition at the fair also includes a lot of information about that segment. Dina Blažević from Krk Tourist Board explains that the camps are very popular among German guests, especially the now five star camp in Omišalj, but also the other four and five star camps.
Representatives from Opatija Riviera are promoting their outdoor tourism segment at the fair in Munich, as it is the second time the comprehensive brochure of the outdoor activities in the region is presented. They are also promoting the numerous events held in and around Opatija, such as the carnival, marunada (chestnut festival) etc.