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36 REGION EUROPE ADVERTORIAL Georgia Welcomes the World Marija Labovic Director,, National Tourism Organisation, Serbia The past years have been very successful for Georgia: with the population of only 3.5 million, the country attracted 6 million visitors in 2016. The key factor is that Georgia is an appealing destination for many categories of visitors. It is attractive for fans of hiking, trekking, rafting, paragliding, for those looking for treatment with mineral waters, for food and wine connoisseurs, for party animals and for culture diggers. The country offers authentic experiences and is also quite affordable! Learning more about Georgia’s tourism development and meeting with its representatives is possible at the country’s stand in hall 15.1 Hall 15.1 / Stand 103 Serbia: Interactive, Compelling Online Tourism Marketing Following a new survey, Serbia is re-honing its tourism promotion. We asked the new director of the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia, Marija Labovic what is planned for this year… Our focus for 2017 will be on interactive, compelling online marketing! The National Tourism Organisation of Serbia (NTOS) conducted a survey in 2016 on attitudes and behaviours of foreign visitors to Serbia. According to preliminary data, the most interesting fact is that, foreign tourists most frequently used websites and often social networks (64%) as “sources of information about Serbia as a tourism destination”. These results confirm our aim to put an emphasize and to focus our promotional activities this year on the creation and implementation of e-marketing campaigns and other digital activities, with a very strong presence on social networks as generators of a significant number of tourists. One of the hashtags we will be using is #MySerbia, so follow us throughout the year! How important is the development of “responsible tourism” in your region and how are you promoting this? Responsible tourism is very important for Serbia, in terms of protecting our natural sites, local sourcing and on retaining a motivated workforce. Tourism is an important sector for our country, providing many jobs and opportunities, especially for the young generation and entrepreneurs. Serbia has never been and will never be a mass tourism destination, we rather want to focus on tourism that creates value for all those involved. Visitors can experience a true, authentic tourism product, for example during a stay at our traditional salas (farmhouses in the countryside), tasting local flavours and experiencing the renowned Serbian hospitality. But also in our cities you will find that our culture, lifestyle and local products are present wherever you go, in the kafanas, markets and in the many parks. There exist a number of ecotourism initiatives in Serbia, like in Western Serbia around the city of Užice, where the local tour guide association Kapedunum has instantiated a sustainable tourism project, which encompasses a nature experience trail in the protected area of Djetinja, hosting numerous events for the local community and tourists, such as a cross-country cycle race, a half-marathon for kids or photography classes Hall 1.1 / Stand 212 LJUBLJANA, EUROPEAN GREEN CAPITAL 2016, DEDICATES 2017 TO JOŽE PLEČNIK’S ARCHITECTURE Being the 145 th anniversary of the birth and 60 th anniversary of the death of the famous Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik, 2017 has been named as the Plečnik Year. This Slovenian architect left a lasting mark on three central European cities: Vienna, Prague and Ljubljana. After 1921, Plečnik’s greatest impact was on the appearance of his native Ljubljana. Plečnik’s Ljubljana rates among the 20 th century’s most prominent holistic art. According to Friedrich Achleitner, a renowned art critic from Vienna, Plečnik’s singular style may come to be considered the architecture of the future. Plečnik Year will also be marked by numerous events held in Ljubljana Hall 17 / Stand 109 Ljubljana, view from Ljubljanica river © Mihael Grmek ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 2 nd March 2017

OCEANIA REGION 37 Double Digit Tourism Growth for Australia & New Zealand Tourism expenditure up 13% in Australia – Chinese inbound up 22% MAIN TRAVEL DESTINATION As the two main tourism markets in Oceania, Australia & New Zealand are indicative of general trends in the region. In 2016, the trend overall has been extremely positive. There were 971,800 visitor arrivals to Australia during December, an increase of 8.1% relative to the same period of the previous year. This brings the total to 8.26 million visitor arrivals for year ending December 2016, an increase of 11% relative to the previous year and represents an extra 819,000 visitors on the previous year. Leisure arrivals (Holiday + VFR) continued to drive international arrivals growth, with an increase of 13.7%% over the 12-month period. Arrivals for the purpose of employment is showing signs of softening for the same period. Meanwhile in the “International Tourism Snapshot” to 30th September published by Tourism Australia, International arrivals and spending were both at record levels. Visitors injected .8 billion into the Australian economy over the 12 months. Total international aviation capacity to Australia also grew by 9% year-on-year. These strong gains in international tourism will help Australia continue to move towards attaining the lower bound of its Tourism 2020 growth target (5 billion per year) for overnight visitor expenditure by the end of the decade. With international visitors set to increase their share of spend from 31% of total spend in 2014–15 to 41% in 2024–25, and domestic overnight visitor spend continuing to grow, but at a moderate pace, total overnight expenditure is forecast to reach 7 billion in nominal terms by 2019–20 – continued on page 38. OCEANIA AUSTRALIA HALL 5.2 A / 119, 121A COOK ISLANDS HALL 5.2 A / 104 FIJI ISLANDS HALL 5.2 A / 103 NEW ZEALAND HALL 5.2 A / 120, 121B NEW CALEDONIA HALL 5.2 A / 104 Visitor arrivals now more than 3.5m New Zealand also records an 11% hike in arrivals PAPUA NEW GUINEA HALL 5.2 A / 106 SAMOA HALL 5.2 A / 104 SOLOMON ISLANDS HALL 5.2 A / 104 TAHITI HALL 5.2 A / 105 VANUATU HALL 5.2 A / 104 The number of visitors to New Zealand passed the 3.5 million mark with total arrivals up 11% for the year ending January 2017. The big drivers were holiday arrivals, up 15% on the previous 12 months. Leading the way were holiday arrivals from Australia (up 9%), China (up 13%) and USA (up 24%). Two key markets are also on the cusp of significant new markers with Germany just 528 visitors away from reaching 100,000 for the year and USA nearly at 300,000 visitors. The Statistics New Zealand results released today showed that this peak season is on track to be the biggest ever with December 2016 arrivals also a record for the month. Tourism New Zealand acting chief executive Brighid Kelly said the numbers show just how popular New Zealand has become as a destination. “This is fantastic result for our industry. International tourism is incredibly competitive. Such a successful year shows how desirable New Zealand is as a destination and how powerful our brand is. It’s great to see important markets such as Germany and the USA getting close to big targets. They are high spending visitors who tend to get around the country more than many others.” ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 2 nd March 2017

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