Business / tourism
Tourism marketing strategy 2021
The Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB) chose marketing and PR agencies for developing and executing the advertising strategy for 2021. The agencies will be responsible for making creative solutions and implementing marketing activities in key international markets.
Tourism is one of the most important economic branches of Croatia. Croatia is popular among tourists for its nature and rich cultural heritage. While recommendations from peers are the top deciding factor for the majority of people, the main source of all important information is usually the work of advertising and PR agencies. For 2021, the Croatian National Tourist Board chose six agencies of different specialties to present Croatia to potential visitors and attract an audience.
We asked the CNTB for comment. ‘We are facing a very challenging year in which the implementation of quality and targeted promotional activities will be crucial in achieving good tourism results. In this part, we expect a strong contribution from selected agencies. We want to see effective implementation of marketing and PR campaigns that will ensure our country’s position on the international market as a safe, easily accessible, quality and well-prepared tourist destination that guarantees its guests a diverse offer and safe stay’, said Kristjan Staničić, the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, adding that the selection of agencies is crucial for its promotion and other activities in the emitting markets.
Three of the selected agencies are from Croatia – Real Grupa, MediaCom and Pro Media Group.
Real Grupa is a full-service creative agency operating on domestic and international markets. They have long experience working with big international brands. Last year, they won a CNTB contest for the Croatian pavilion at EXPO 2020 in Dubai, together with the architect Ante Vrban and Morium Company. The EXPO is postponed for 2021.
MediaCom is a global media agency with offices in 100 countries, and a part of the WPP network, the largest global holding company. The office in Zagreb was established in 2005. They work with CNTB for seven years in a row, presenting Croatia to the European markets. ‘We make sure that images and words about the beauties of Croatia reach travellers in a number of European countries. This makes us the agency with the most experience in promoting Croatian tourist destinations and we believe that our business is woven into the strong growth of visits that we enjoyed until last year’, said Danijel Štih, Managing Partner u MediaCom Hrvatska and added: ‘Even in the unusual 2020, communication in the markets entrusted to us has encouraged a number of people to see Croatia as a safe destination’.
For 2021, together with CNTB experts, they prepared for a scenario of maximum flexibility and rapid use of opportunities that will open up with changes in travel restrictions – which they expect to change frequently and suddenly.
The Pro Media Group, the last of the domestic agencies, is an award-winning independent integrated media agency group based in Zagreb. They also already have experience working with the Croatian Tourist Board as well as the other top Croatian companies like HT, Agrokor and Atlantic.
The foreign agencies in the mix are Aviareps, Check-in PR and Hills Balfour, each an expert on tourism marketing in their own specific field.
Aviareps Group is a general sales agent of airline and tourism representatives with offices in 48 countries. They are based in Germany and highly experienced in the tourism sector. They will coordinate media relations strategy in ten key international markets. The company published the news on its official page, along with the words of Thomas Drechsler, COO AVIAREPS Tourism, who mentioned the shift in travellers perspective that happened in 2020: ‘While beautiful landscapes and exciting attractions remain important, safety has become one of the most deciding factors for travellers. The CNTB has been working tirelessly with local health authorities to make Croatia one of the safest destinations possible, and we are honoured to bring this message to responsible travellers across Europe’.
Check-in PR is the first content PR marketing agency specialised in the content industry. It’s a small and relatively new small agency based in Amsterdam. They promote brands in Dutch and Benelux markets, tailoring the messages for the targeted audience. In the past, they also worked on making a brand experience for Slovenia.
The main name for tackling the social media part of the strategy is Hill’s Balfour, the UK’s leading travel, tourism and lifestyle communications partner. It’s a part of MMGY Global, the world’s largest marketing communications organisation dedicated to travel, tourism, hospitality and entertainment. They worked with CNTB in 2020, sending a group of influencers on a trip to Slavonija and Baranja, as well as some other seasonal engagement campaigns. They announced the cooperation on their official Linkedin page: ‘We are honoured to have been selected to represent the Croatian National Tourist Board as their social media and digital communication agency once more. As we navigate the road to recovery, our goal is to develop a stronger focus on safe and responsible travel. We are strong believers that a well designed and executed social media strategy garners more than just engagement, it inspires consumers and translates into action. We look forward to creating and promoting our 2021 campaigns across 13 European markets’.