The Tourist Board of the city of Varaždin participated in one of the largest Chinese fairs, which is a platform for tourism development, “16th Shanghai World Travel Fair”, held from 18 to 21 April in Shanghai. The fair was attended by tourist representatives from around the world, from representatives of travel agencies, institutions to hotels. This year, 750 exhibitors from 53 countries presented their products and services at the fair, which was visited by over 55 visitors. Photo: Varaždin Tourist Board Participation in the fair in Shanghai is a continuation of the Varaždin-China cooperation that began last year when a six-member delegation from Shanghai visited Varaždin and expressed a desire to intensify cooperation, among other things, in the field of tourism. During their stay in Shanghai, the Croatian delegation, which included the director of the Tourist Board, the directors of the Zagreb and Sisak-Moslavina County Tourist Board and St. Ivan Zelina, held working meetings on tourism with representatives of Chinese travel agencies. the needs of Chinese tourists, what interests and attracts them and how to attract and encourage them to visit a particular destination. Photo: Varaždin Tourist Board The Chinese travel all year round, in organized groups, and when they travel to Europe they mostly visit multiple destinations. They therefore stay in destinations for a short time and change their place of residence several times. In Croatia, they most often visit Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Plitvice, Split and Zadar, and sightseeing and gastronomy are their most important travel motives. “In Shanghai, we held working meetings with representatives of major Chinese travel agencies, CITS and Shanghai Sage, who expressed a desire in the coming period to include Varaždin in the program offered to Chinese tourists. Croatia is an attractive destination for the Chinese, but most Chinese travel agencies offer destinations on the Adriatic in their programs, so the representatives of these two large agencies have expressed a desire to be different from others and offer their tourists some new experiences from the interior of Croatia. very interesting. Chinese tourists are specific, for them tourism is not swimming in the sea, they are interested in historical locations and attractions, cultural sights and traditional food, and here we see our opportunity because Varaždin and Varaždin County can offer them all that. Thanks to good cooperation and intensive work since last year, an organized group of Chinese tourists will arrive in Varaždin in a few days, who come on our recommendation, and I hope that soon organized Chinese groups in Varaždin and Varaždin County will be on a weekly basis.”, Said Jelena Toth, director of the Tourist Office of the Tourist Board of Varaždin. By the way, according to the Croatian Tourist Board, the number of Chinese tourists coming to Croatia is constantly increasing. Last year, 45% more Chinese tourists came to Croatia than the year before, and this year about 300 Chinese tourists are expected in Croatia. The trend of increasing Chinese tourists is also visible in the area of the city of Varaždin and Varaždin County. In Varaždin, 1.630 overnight stays of Chinese tourists were realized last year, which is 400 percent more than the year before. The increase in overnight stays was, among other things, due to the excellent sports cooperation, so the young Chinese football players stayed in Varaždin at the sports camp last year. The trend of increasing Chinese tourists in Varaždin continued this year as well, so in the first 4 months of this year, according to data from eVisitor, three times more overnight stays were realized in the city than in the same period last year.