BELGRADE - Chinese citizens with valid Schengen visas can travel to Croatia without any more visas from April 1 to October 31 provided that their visits are organized in groups, Croatian Tourism Minister Damir Bajs said at a news conference in Zagreb on Tuesday, after his meeting with the Chinese ambassador to Croatia.
The Croatian minister and the Chinese ambassador, Wu Lianqi, discussed the importance of economic cooperation between their countries, notably in the tourism sector, according to a report by the Croatian state news agency HINA.
Bajs said that the opening of the office of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) in Shanghai, scheduled for 2011, would help improve this cooperation.
He said that 7,600 Chinese tourists visited Croatia in 2009, or 19 percent more than in 2008. The minister hopes that the visa cancellation and other moves would lead to a further growth in the number of Chinese tourists in Croatia.
The ambassador said that a great number of Chinese were interested in visiting Croatia. He said that the financial crisis had not affected the tourist trade in China. Last year, 50 million Chinese traveled abroad and two million of them were in Europe.
Last week, the Croatian government decided to temporarily suspend visa requirements for nationals of Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Ukraine in the tourism season between April 1 and October 31, 2010.
Holders of valid passports planning to stay in Croatia for up to 90 days or traveling via Croatia to their final destinations will not be required to have visas.