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Main | Archive | Issue 2/2009

Russian Tourists in Croatia
Column: Diplomacy And Tourism



H.E. Mr. Nebojsa Koharovic, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Croatia to Russia, answers the questions put to him by Diplomat.

Your Excellency, why, do you think, more tourists from Russia have been going to Croatia?
There are, I think, several reasons why Croatia is so popular with Russian tourists, who are increasingly flocking to the usual vacation destinations on the Adriatic coast as well as to places in the countrys interior. One of the reasons is the closeness of the two Slavic peoples who speak languages that are very much alike. This makes the stay of Russian tourists in Croatia much easier. The affinity of the two peoples also manifests itself in their mentality.

The scenic beauty of our country is yet another reason. Besides the generally known gems along the coast, among which I would specially note Dubrovnik, the hallmark of Croatia, there are many breathtaking landscapes and recreation spots scattered around other regions of the country. The latter are still very little known in other countries, including Russia, but Im sure it is just a matter of time.

There are lots of remarkable and even unique sites for buffs of culture and history to see. Croatias cultural and historical heritage is rich: there are ancient Roman structures, such as the amphitheater in the town of Pula and the numerous medieval castles in the north of Croatia, many of which are included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I should also mention the national park The Plitvice Lakes, which is also on the list of UNESCO World Natural Sites. It is a hugely popular spot for one-day sightseeing tours.

What is the Embassy doing to increase the number of Russian tourists coming to Croatia?
Promotion of tourism, which is one of the main sectors of the national economy, is a priority for us at the Embassy. We cooperate with the Russian governmental bodies in charge of tourism, including the Russian Foreign Ministrys Consular Department. The whole year, we organize (on our own or in cooperation with the representative office of the Croatian National Tourist Board, the Croatian Journalists Club, and Russian travel agents) events for Russian tourists offering them ever new services. Frankly, our health resorts hardly need any advertising any more since Croatia has become a real tourist Mecca the last few years. Of course, we are pleased with what we have achieved, but we intend to increase our tourist potential even more. In 2009, the Moscow office of the Croatian National Tourist Board will be holding several meetings and seminars in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Petrozavodsk, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Kazan, Tyumen, Yekaterinburg, and Nizhny Novgorod as well as participating in two Moscow fairs, MITT and MITF, and in the TURSIB fair to be held in Novosibirsk.

How many Russian tourists do you think will visit Croatia in the year 2009 considering the world financial crisis?
Every year, the number of Russian tourists visiting Croatia increases. In 2008, one hundred and eighty thousand Russian vacationers came, or 20 percent more than in 2007. Naturally, we want the number of tourists from Russia to grow or at least remain at last years level in 2009. It will be easier to come now that there is visa-free entry into Croatia, provided there is a letter of invitation from a physical or legal entity or a tourist voucher. We do believe that this year, too, we will be able to hear content and relaxed vacationers from Russia on our shores!



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