Croatian Deputy Tourism Minister Robert Pauletic met with Russian government officials in charge of tourism at one of Russia's largest tourism fairs, MITT, which opened in Moscow on Wednesday.
Pauletic met with Olga Yarilova, head of the Tourism and Regional Policy Department, and Olga Andonieva, acting head of the International Cooperation Department of the Russian Ministry of Culture, who expressed their satisfaction over the establishment of a Russian-Croatian Working Group on Tourism Cooperation.
The working group is expected to hold its first meeting in Zagreb at the end of April to discuss activities and cooperation over the next three years. On that occasion a B2B workshop would be organised for Russian and Croatian tour operators, the Croatian Ministry of Tourism said in a press release.
Pauletic proposed holding a Russian Tourism Week in Croatia, possibly between May 25 and June 20 when there are school holidays in Russia, which could be a chance to encourage Russian tourist arrivals before the peak season in Croatia.
Pauletic also met with the director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR), Maya Lomidze, who said that despite the economic situation in Russia there had been an increased interest among Russian tourists in Croatia.
Pauletic said he was pleased that twice as many charter flights were announced for Croatia as last year, adding that the national carrier Croatia Airlines had announced flights between Zagreb and Saint Petersburg for this season.
The Croatian Ministry of Tourism said it expected the number of Russian tourist arrivals to increase by about 20 percent this year compared with 2015. Last year 113,000 Russian tourists visited Croatia, generating 866,000 bed/nights, which accounted for 1.08 percent of total bed/nights. This ranked them 16th among foreign tourists visiting Croatia.