Changes in tourism inevitable, says minister

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Minister Darko Lorencin said in Rovinj on Saturday that changes in tourism's structure and infrastructure were inevitable and that they would result in a different perception of tourism as an extremely important sector in the Croatian economy.

"I advocate a better offer and product that will enable Croatia to extend the season," he said at a panel, "If You Haven't Been to Croatia, You're a F***ing Idiot", as part of the annual 6th Weekend Media Festival, the largest regional communications industry gathering.

Tourism's product should include sporting and cultural events that will attract guests throughout the year. Croatia must strive for high quality tourism integrated into the economy so that citizens can benefit, said Lorencin.

"Tourism is business. We want mass and quality tourism with more products where the financial effects will be even bigger," he added.

National Tourist Board director Meri Matesic said the five per cent year on year increase in arrivals and three per cent in bed nights reflected the season's success.

She announced a market research and a new strategic marketing plan for the next five years.

Famous US TV producer Peter Radovich, who has Croatian origins, said Croatia was insufficiently present on the US market.

Matesic said the HTZ based its marketing plan on the budget, which is EUR 15 million for 18 markets, and that Croatia was working together with US tour operators, agencies and media, which she said often listed Croatia as one of the world's top destinations. (Hina)