Plitvice Lakes National Park has successfully showcased its tourist offer at the FESPO fair in Zürich, which took place between 1 and 4 February this year. This particular showcase was a great opportunity to introduce Croatian tourism to the Swiss market because Croatia was a partner at this year’s fair. Thanks to this special status, the visibility of Croatian regions, destinations and tourism products was boosted significantly, in comparison with the other countries which took part in the fair.
The Croatian tourism delegation attended the grand opening of the FESPO fair in Zürich: Nikolina Brnjac, Croatian minister of tourism and sport, Kristijan Staničić, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board at the Croatian exhibition area, Andrea Bekić, Croatian ambassador to Switzerland, Branimir Tončinić, director of the Croatian National Tourist Office in Austria, and Stephan Amstad, general manager of the fair. They were joined by the representatives of 13 Croatian exhibiting organisations and over 50 foreign media representatives.
“At the FESPO fair we intend to showcase all the beauty and uniqueness of Croatia and to welcome all visitors to the Croatian booth with our richest programme yet. We recognise the potential of Croatian destinations on the Swiss market and are very pleased with the great interest that the Swiss show in travelling to our country, especially during mid-season.” –Staničić said, highlighting also the connections between the two countries in the areas of culture, sports and gastronomy.
In the course of the fair, the Croatian delegation met with many different partners and representatives of tourism operators, such as Croaticum, ID Riva Tours GmbH, and Meersicht, travel agents specialising in Croatia. In addition, the delegation discussed cooperation with representatives of Travel Magazine, the leading tourism magazine in Switzerland.
“Tourists from the Swiss market are focused on sustainable travel, nature, camping, active vacations, gastronomy, and quality of service, which is why, for this fair, where we are partners for the second time, we have decided to present Croatia as a year-round, sustainable and quality tourist destination. Last season was record-breaking for the Swiss market, with over 300 000 arrivals and almost 1.4 million overnight stays. Results for this year are already excellent: tourist traffic from Switzerland to Croatia was 11% higher this January compared to January 2023. All the Government activities carried out towards the development of sustainable tourism – from ensuring the strategic and legislative frameworks to providing record financial resources – have contributed to the greater quality of the Croatian tourist offer and created a path towards sustainability, and we can see that tourists are recognizing this. We have received additional confirmation from the European Commission, which, in a strategy paper for the development of tourism in the EU called “Tourism transition pathway”, listed Croatia as an example of good practice for its Sustainable tourism development strategy until 2030 and the secured funds for implementing reform through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.” – minister Brnjac said.
The participation of the Plitvice Lakes National Park in the Zürich fair is very important, and the Swiss market results confirm this. Last year, the Plitvice Lakes National Park recorded 5299 overnight stays, which is 84% of the overnight stays in 2019 and an increase of 18% compared to 2022. Our camping options are especially interesting to visitors from Switzerland because they offer plenty activities, they are indeed becoming a favourite vacation option.
We expect the positive trends to continue and the number of Swiss visitors who come to enjoy the beauty of the oldest national park in Croatia to rise.