Adventure Tourism Needs More Promotion for Faster Growth

Adventure tourism in Croatia is growing, but considerably more slowly than elsewhere in Europe and the rest of the world, and needs more promotion, said Veselka Huljić, vice-president of the Adventure Tourism Association at the Croatian Chamber of Economy.

The Adventure Tourism Association held a meeting earlier this week to discuss plans for next year, focusing on B2B activities and strengthening cooperation with business partners, including hotel and restaurant owners.

"Adventure tourism is one of the fastest growing segments in the world, with annual growth of up to 65%, while in Croatia it is still modest and few agencies offer programmes of this kind," Huljić said.

She, however, added that more and more tourism services of this kind were being offered in Croatia as well, especially in the form of so-called soft adventure, which includes cycling, climbing, mountaineering, hiking, diving, potholing, paragliding, hang-gliding and ballooning.

The Association's president, Laura Popovac, said that adventure tourism was a good opportunity to extend the tourism season, but noted that it should be connected with other forms of selective tourism, such as culinary, cultural, environmental or sports tourism.

Popovac said that in order to extend the tourist season adventure tourism would need more promotion and more flight connections with Europe.

The Association currently has 60 members, mostly travel agencies specialising in adventure tourism. It estimates that 2017 might be a milestone year because of three adventurous events scheduled for the first half of the year: the Skraping trekking race in Tkon on the island of Pašman in March, the Zadar Outdoor Festival in April and the Dubrovnik Outdoor Festival in May, which are each expected to attract over a thousand visitors.