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TUI Russia & CIS plans for Croatia presented

Visas call in question future plans and activities

(Rovinj, 22nd May 2013) In Hotel Lone in Rovinj, the tour operator TUI Russia & CIS presented themselves and their plans for Croatia. TUI Russia & CIS managing director, Chris Mottershead held the presentation for the Director of CTNB, Meri Matešić, the Croatian hoteliers, city and county tourist board directors, airport directors and representatives of TUI Russia & CIS and Gulliver Travel.
There is forty years of experience in package holidays behind the leading European tour operator, TUI Travel PLC, who holds the leading position in the world tourist market. In 2009, TUI made an official breakthrough into the Russian market by establishing TUI Russia & CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) based on Russian tourist companies VKO Group and Mostravel and Ukrainian Voyage Kiev. Currently, there are more than 500 agencies and franchises under the TUI brand in Russia. The annual company turnover in Russia exceeds 500 million dollars offering services to more than 600 thousand clients. TUI Russia & CIS strategically aims at being the leading and profitable company in Russian and CIS markets, offering the wide range of products to its clients.
In line with other companies that are part of TUI Travel PLC Group, TUI Russia & CIS follows the same strategy based on development of differentiated products and detachment from mass tourism. TUI Russia & CIS is focused on providing unique differentiated products that other tour operators do not provide to the clients. They are the exclusive hotels earlier accessible only to West European tourists as well as new holiday concepts (Fun & Sun, TUI Select, Splash World, etc.) and family clubs TUI Toucan that can be found in many tourist destinations.
The top selling destination is Turkey, followed by Spain that has been on a significant increase compared to the previous year. The similar growth was expected in Croatia. The number of passengers in 2012 amounted to 14,932 while the planned number of passengers for 2013 and 2014 was 20,858 and 31,638 respectively. Unfortunately, according to Mottershead, the figures will not be reached because of the new visa regime. “The visa itself presents no issue, but the procedure with its complexity and duration turns the application for visa into the problem. The time needed for making a decision about a holiday gets shorter and shorter, only a couple of days before the departure, but in order to get the visa for Croatia, one can only apply two months in advance, with the procedure lasting up to ten days in the best case scenario. For example, the application for visa for Spain takes three days. Today we can surely claim that the new visa situation affected the planned numbers for season 2013. If the situation does not change soon, our future plans for Croatia will be called in question”, said Mottershead.
“We are confident that the relevant institutions will put every effort into resolving the situation as soon as possible for all the long-term implications that the application procedure can have in some of our more important markets, especially the ones with the growing potential such as Russian and Ukrainian”, added Goran Hrnić, President of the Board of Gulliver Travel, which is also part of TUI Travel PLC Group and TUI Russia & CIS partner in Croatia.