Dubrovnik Mayor Andro Vlahušić is off shortly to Beijing where he will investigate first hand why so few Chinese travel to the Adriatic coast. Daily Slobodna Dalmacija reports that the Mayor has announced that he will do all he can to make a Beijing – Dubrovnik flight service possible. In the first 7 months of 2013 there were 21,173 arrivals in Croatia from the world’s most populated nation. Despite the number of arrivals in Croatia being up 28.48% from 2012, Croatia’s most recognisable city Dubrovnik, did not see any growth at all this year. According to statistics from the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, 3,145 Chinese visited the southern Dalmatian city, almost identical to last year.
Vlahušić hopes his trip will help start them to understand the dynamics in China to attract more tourists to his shores and will have help from the tourist board to attract more Chinese next year.
“The Croatian Tourist Board, in cooperation with the Slovenian Tourist Organisation, took part in a tourist fair in 2012 in Beijing and organised a workshop in Shanghai. In 2013 we have organised two business workshops and presentations, in Shanghai and in Guangzhou, and also tow trips for Chinese journalists where they saw Zagreb, Plitvice, Opatija, Split and Trogir,” the Tourist Board told Slobodna Dalmacija. Removing complicated visa processes for Croatia in China may have to be the first step in the process.