UNWTO and Croatia strengthen collaboration

UNWTO and Croatia have agreed to further advance sustainable tourism and maximize its contribution to economic growth, job creation and development in the country. Planned joint activities include the holding of the ‘First International Conference on Tourism and the Media’ in Zagreb next September.

Visiting UNWTO Headquarters on 15 February, the Croatian Minister of Tourism, Damir Bajs, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, in which both parties commit to deepen their existing collaboration. The MoU will translate into further cooperation on key issues such as governance, sustainability, competitiveness, innovation and promotion.

One of the first outcomes of this new cooperation framework will be the holding of the ‘First International Conference on Tourism and the Media’ to take place in Zagreb, Croatia. The Conference, jointly organized by UNWTO and Croatia, will focus on how to improve the editorial positioning of tourism in the media, stressing the sector’s relation with economic growth, country image and international positioning.

“This is a new quality in the already existing partnership relation between Croatia and UNWTO,” said Mr .Bajs. “I am especially glad that Croatia will be hosting the first ever international conference on tourism and the media. This conference will deal with the influence of the media and tourism on various segments of the economy and the overall image of a tourism oriented country”.

“This meeting has been extremely constructive and we very happy that as a result, Croatia will be holding this important conference,” said Mr. Rifai.

In the last decade Croatia has consolidated its position as a principal tourism destination in South-Eastern Europe. In 2009, thanks to a strong tourism strategy which included the enhancement of visa facilitation, support to the increase of airlift capacity and several agreements with tour operators, Croatia received over 9 million international tourist arrivals and US$ 9 billion in tourism receipts. Results for 2010 show continued growth with an impressive rate of 5% in international arrivals.

“Croatia is a true tourism success story and we look forward to continuing in this spirit of collaboration,” added Mr. Rifai.