The festival, organised by the Zadar Tourist Board, with the support of the Ministry of Tourism and the Embassy of Japan in the Republic of Croatia, was part of the new ‘Croatia 365’ initiative which aims to attract tourists to Croatia all year round.
Minister of Tourism Darko Lorencin, who had a go at rolling some sushi under the watchful eye of a Japanese sushi chef, Ambassadors to Croatia from Japan, France, Australia and Republic of Korea, businessmen from Japanese companies and representatives of tourist companies from the far east all attended the festival, which was covered by the Japanese national broadcaster NHK and other Japanese media stationed in Europe.
The festivals main aim was to link economy, gastronomy and the tourism offer of the Zadar region with Japan and the Japanese market.
“Companies from Zadar region are the largest exporters of tuna-fish in Croatia. According to cumulative indicators, in 2014 there was a significant increase of 53% in arrivals and 35% in overnight stays of Japanese guests in Zadar County compared to the last year. With this event, we actively support the trend of increasing tourist visits of Japanese guests and take the opportunity to further contribute to the recognition of our region in Japan,” the Zadar tourist board said, before adding.
“The month of January, during which the tuna is being harvested in local tuna farms, is the ideal period to encourage the development of an attractive and competitive destination offer aimed at the Far East markets like Japan, China and Korea on basis of the specific tendencies of the guests from the area, who visit European destinations outside of the traditional top-season summer months.”
The event represents the beginning of a long-term project that the Zadar tourist board plan to adapt and modify in the following years as a wider exchange of experiences of cultural, historical and natural resources together with the unique gastronomic experience. The education and training of culinary skills of Croatian chefs with the help of Japanese sushi masters will also be included in the future activities. (photo / vlada)