Busabout ventures off Croatia tourist trail

Busabout ventures off Croatia tourist trail
By admin

A cluttering of the Croatian sailing scene in recent years was behind the decision of youth operator Busabout to head further north, managing director Graeme Ward has revealed.

Busabout has been in Croatia for around seven years, becoming the first to sell Split to Split cruising in the Australian market and "pioneering" the one-way sail, Ward told Travel Today.

But although the program has seen significant growth in passenger numbers, particularly from the Australian market, since its launch, the number of rivals has also risen.

"One of the most important things for us is to make the whole experience as authentic as possible but it was getting to the point where there was a degree of congestion in locations," Ward said. "The time was right to start to develop something new."

With the new eight-day Split to Zadar itinerary, priced from $879, Busabout has become the first tour operator to run a northern sailing itinerary. It has been designed to complement the southern route, sailing north of Split to visit the Krka waterfalls, the Kornati Islands and coastal towns Vodice and Primoste along with party hotspot Zcre en route to Zadar.

It's a route that is largely unknown to many travellers, but Ward is undaunted by the challenge.

"Our aim is to go to places in Europe that might not be on the obvious map for travellers," he said. "If we talk about it and sell it in the right way, we will encourage people to go there. We've got that strong brand, we've got that trust."

In addition, the new itineraries will help cater to rising numbers of travellers that may have previously been unable to squeeze onto cruises that were often sold out in the peak months of July and August.

The firm has increased overall capacity to Croatia by 40% for 2013 to keep up with demand.

"The big message to get out to the trade is that we've got loads of space," Ward said.

Early sales for the new route are so far going well, he added.


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