Croatia Expects a 20% increase in Russian Tourist Flow

Croatia Expects a 20% increase in Russian Tourist Flow

26.01.2007, 12:30
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Croatia Expects a 20% increase in Russian Tourist Flow
[IMG=22094-7925]On January 26th the Croatian Tourist Day took place in Moscow. The day comprised a press-conference devoted to the coming season, a workshop and a gala night. The event gave an opportunity for representatives of Croatian hotels, incoming companies and Russian tour operators to meet. The Director of the Croatian Tourist Board in Moscow pointed out that the flow of Russian tourists to the country is constantly increasing - three years ago 80,000 Russian people visited Croatian resorts, while in 2006 the numbers increased to 110, 000. In an interview with a BANKO correspondent, Mladen Falconi stated that: ‘in the 2007 season we expect a further 20% increase. Twenty-five charter flights will be operated from Moscow alone’. Meanwhile, Russian tour operators were concerned about the shortage of hotel rooms in Croatia that turned out to be a serious problem for the Russian market in 2006. But opinions were divided regarding the prospects for 2007. On the one hand, Vesna Mazich, Director of IBCI, said: 'In Split, for example, a new 5* hotel has opened. Besides, at the moment two more hotels are being rebuilt into higher category ones. I believe, Russians prefers high class accommodation. However, we also have many economy-class variants, but Russian tourists tend to book at the last moment creating the illusion of an accommodation shortage’. On the other hand, Vilma Butoras-Shtimak, Sales Manager of Maestral believes that the problem still exists, and that only 10,000 more rooms will solve the problem. At the moment economy class hotels are in higher demand as in every country, including Russia, as the number of wealthy clients is only 2–3% of the market. Investment has been sluggish, limiting rate of expansion of the hotel base in Croatia. The only bright spot are the small family-run hotels that appear practically every year.
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