ZAGREB, March 17 (Croatia Sun News) – The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) will host its Destination Expo 2020 conference in Dubrovnik from 3 to 7 December, when almost 400 American travel agents will get to know Croatia.
ASTA Vice-President Robert Duglin said that during the conference American travel agents would find out how to sell Croatia as a destination. He emphasised that the association had 12,000 members, who sell 83% of travel packages within the USA, and 60% of travel packages from the USA.
In Greece, we have registered an increase of 60% in tourism from the USA one year after our conference. That is why we find it important to bring Americans to Croatia, because you offer a lot, from food and wine to history. Dubrovnik and Croatia are high on our list, Duglin said at a conference at the Valamar Lacroma hotel in Dubrovnik. He estimated that the coronavirus outbreak would have an impact on tourism for another month, and that in due time people would gather the courage to travel.
On behalf of the event co-organiser, the CEO of the AmCro Travel company, Elinda Ravlic, said that Dubrovnik was chosen in the face of fierce competition with Cyprus, Vietnam and Portugal.
“We believe that this is the most important event for tourism this year. The goal is to improve the quality of the structure of guests in Croatia and in Dubrovnik. ASTA is the largest association of travel agents in the world. Tourists go and flights are realised where they say,” Ravlic emphasised.
The Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, said he expected a significant response from the American market following the ASTA conference.
“The USA is our priority in general. We have direct flights to Philadelphia, and interest is bound to grow, which is our goal. I expect that the situation in tourism will return to normal by December,” Frankovic stated.
ASTA’s Destination Expo is a conference held once a year outside the USA with the goal of promoting the host country, and this year the host is Croatia. During the conference, a fair will be organised, as well as business meetings for arranging the sale of travel packages in the USA.
Moreover, participants will spend almost two weeks before and after the conference traveling around Croatia, from Dubrovnik and the Konavle region, to the Advent in Zagreb Christmas market and the ‘hunt for truffles’ and cheese tasting in Istria.
Destination Expo 2020 will be held in partnership with the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board as event sponsors, as well as with the Croatian National Tourist Board, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourism Board, and the HIT Dalmatia and Elite Travel travel agencies.
The conference was previously held in Tel Aviv, Athens, Dubai, Seville and Morocco.