Developing the Chinese Tourism Market Through TV: Explore Croatia on Hvar

February 10, 2020 – More great promotion to the growing Chinese market, as Metan Development Group’s Explore Croatia films on Hvar.

One of my favourite Croatian tourism promotion stories took place a few years ago at a tourism fair in Seoul. Either the national or Zagreb tourist board had a stand there to put their toes in the water of a potential new market for Croatia. Expectations were apparently, but it was another step in the Croatian tourism expansion into Asian markets.

The Croatian stans was one of the most popular of the whole show, according to the reports I was given, especially popular with young single Korean women. 


While the tourist board was understandably delighted with the surge of interest, it was also a little confused about the sudden popularity of Croatia. And then the reason was revealed. 

Just a few weeks earlier, a new Korean reality show, The Romantic, aired on national television. It followed 5 attractive single Korean women and 5 attractive single men on a journey through a romantic European country called Croatia. The narrator was one of Korea’s top pop heartthrobs, the footage from Croatia was spectacular. And the rest is history. 


Korean tourism arrivals jumped from 16,000 in 2011 to over 400,000, with the majority coming in the shoulder months. Indeed, South Koreans comprise the largest number of visitors to Central Dalmatian in January and February. 

And while the potential of the Korean market is significant, it is minuscule compared to that of the Chinese market. With many Asians preferring to travel in the off- and shoulder seasons, the potential tp develop Croatia’s 12-month tourism is huge. 

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Especially when January is as gorgeous as this… 

Last month saw a major filming project of Croatia’s tourism potential for the Chinese market. As previously reported on TCN,  Larry Namer, founding partner of E! Entertainment and Metan Development Group, was brought to Croatia by his associate producer Ana Muhar Blanquart Zagreb, and the reason for his arrival was the documentary series Explore the World.

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It is a series consisting of twelve episodes, done in documentary style, that should be presented to the viewers of the Chinese television stations Youku and Mango TV, which have more than 700 million subscribers, among other carefully selected world destinations. 

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The Metan crew were on Hvar filming for two days on January 16 and 17, where they stayed at Suncani Hvar’s Hotel Riva overlooking Hvar’s elite waterfront. 

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And what a promotion for the sunshine island. Hvar is famous for its 2,718 hours of sunshine every year on average, making it the sunniest island in Europe. And with glorious days like these in mid-January, and little danger of off-season overtourism, the images relayed to the huge potential market in China will no doubt be glorious. 

One more promotion of the island voted the very best in Europe last year by readers of Conde Nast. 

To learn more about the island, check out the Total Croatia Hvar in a Page guide