During the official visit to the US, the head of the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) Kristjan Staničić participated at the 2017 USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace held in Hollywood, Florida from the 27th of November to the 1st of December 2017.
On this occasion, Staničić met with Terry Dale, the president of USTOA (United States Tour Operators Association), and arranged a more active engagement of HTZ, especially through holding presentations at upcoming conferences as well as by including Croatia in the research project ‘’USTOA’s Portrait of American International Travelers’’.
Apart from USTOA representatives, the head of the Croatian Tourist Board also met with other key partners on the US market such as representatives of the Signature Travel Network travel agency association and representatives of the global network of luxury travel agencies Virtuoso with which a long-term cooperation was arranged.
‘’One of the most important topics of our meetings with key partners in the US was the establishment of a direct flight between Croatia and the United States. We are very pleased that partners on this market expressed their strong support in realization and establishing this flight, which would be of a great significance for Croatia, not only in the tourist sense. I am optimistic and I believe that Croatia will have a direct flight with this large and globally important market in the near future’’, commented Staničić, adding that all partners confirmed this year’s excellent results and a 35 percent increase in arrivals and overnight stays, i.e. the popularity of Croatia on the North American market as one of the fastest-growing destinations.
Apart from North American tour operators, the conference in Florida also gathered representatives of tourist boards and the tourist industry from all over the world, tourist journalists as well as the Croatian tourist boards of the city of Zagreb and the Dubrovnik-Neretva County.
It is interesting to note that the luxury travel network Virtuoso also conducted this year’s traditional research among its members, the so-called ‘’Virtuoso Luxe Report’’. According to the research results for 2018, Croatia is included among the top ten destinations in three categories; Top Emerging Destinations, Top Global Destinations and Top Millennial Destinations.