JUNE 29 2015 17:43h
An action plan for cultural tourism, which is part of the national strategy for the development of tourism in the period until 2020, was presented in the eastern city of Vukovar on Monday ahead of the opening of the Vucedol Culture Museum set for Tuesday.
The action plan was presented by Tourism Minister Darko Lorencin and Culture Minister Berislav Sipus.
"Cultural tourism is one of the ten key tourism products recognised as a pillar of the Tourism Development Strategy for the period until 2020," Lorencin said, underlining the importance of cultural tourism for the growth of the entire tourist sector, notably during off-peak seasons, and noting that Croatia already had all the necessary conditions to become a leading cultural destination.
Noting that global cultural tourism grew at a rate of 20%, Lorencin said that some Croatian cities, such as Split and Dubrovnik, kept up with that trend very well.
Culture Minister Berislav Sipus said that he believed the Vucedol Culture Museum, to be opened on Tuesday, would in the future serve as an excellent example of how culture and tourism could be combined to benefit social and economic development, in this case of the Slavonia region.
Renata Tomljenovic of the Tourism Institute, which made the action plan for cultural tourism, said that 40% of all international travel contained the cultural component, which she said was preferred by people with an above-average financial and educational status.
Thirty-five percent of all foreign guests in Croatia choose the country as a holiday destination because of its cultural heritage and the share of guests visiting Croatia because of its architectural heritage is the same, she said.
The action plan envisages turning Croatia into a cultural destination, with emphasis on big cities as drivers of development and on the opening of new market segments.
The action plan underlines Croatia's rich cultural and historical heritage and the large number of cultural assets under UNESCO's protection.
It underlines that Croatia has more than 1,000 castles, manor houses and fortresses, which is seen as great potential for the future tourism development, notably of the continental part of the country.
The plan defines five programme areas and 16 measures to be implemented, the programme areas being development of the infrastructure for cultural tourism, product development, marketing, partnership and education.
The action plan is a result of cooperation between the ministries of tourism and culture and the Tourism Institute.