Croatia is a country of approx. 4 million people, which generates a substantial part of its GDP through tourism. Croatian travel agencies are inundated with offers for business co-operation with destinations such as Maldives, India and Vietnam. In order to understand Croatian outbound travel market one has to understand Croatian post war 1990’s baby boom generation. They are born during or straight after the war. Similar to millennials, they are digital generation and, as such, they have a huge influence on their parents and what is more they have a huge influence on their grandparents.
For the Croatian outbound luxury market, this means that if you have a luxury family villa in Costarica, in the terms of marketing content, you really ought to be targeting an affluent 25 years old young lady who is going to persuade her father, a successful businessman, to take his family to Costarica. On the other hand if you want to sell senior cruises to Med, your marketing platform should definitely be mobile or tablet, since these young men and ladies were the ones who have persuaded their grandparents to purchase mobile phone and in particular tablets in the first place. They crave for adventure, but it must be safer adventure, as they have only heard of the war horrors but never experienced it. They strive for healthy lifestyle and align to brands with a purpose. They are interested in the term “different”, which could be culture, food, habits, societies, etc. Most of the time, these young people are extremely sophisticated, well affluent and educated. They are not burdened with the politics, so they cross borders easily. However, they are very patriotic as they show a great degree of respect towards their peers, especially as they have inherited moral obligation to represent their country in the best possible light wherever they go. Contrary to their parents who use e-mails and perhaps Facebook, Croatian boomers use heavily social media and are often different to their parents. This is where the element of “different” is highlighted. So, if parents use SMS, children use Viber. If parents use Viber, children will use What’s Up. For them, the image sharing and mobile platforms are essential tools when travelling, because when they come back home they want to show to their grandparents where they went and how people live elsewhere.
The author of this article is Srdj Portolan, a founding member of Intercon Group of Companies, a board director at Spes Real Estate and Dubrovnik Luxury Travel.