Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Chinese businesswoman Yu Jiang, whose company is set to takeover Hotel Zagorje in Kumrovec, noted that the much anticipated flights between the two countries should launch soon.
"One of the issues for Chinese tourists is that they have to transfer through another airport in order to get to Croatia. We are currently negotiating with several airlines over the introduction of nonstop services from China to Croatia. We have six carriers that are interested and I believe that we will be able to announce the first nonstop flights between our two countries very soon", Ms Yu said.
Ms Yu's company has been working closely with the Zagreb-based Chinese Southeast European Business Association (CSEBA), which has been advocating for flights between the two countries for some time. CSEBA previously noted that Hainan Airlines is "very interested" in commencing flights to Croatia.
"We discussed the possibility of Hainan Airlines introducing nonstop flights from China to Croatia, most probably to Zagreb. The launch of this service would boost the number of Chinese tourists to Croatia", the Association previously said.
A total of 233.630 Chinese nationals visited Croatia in 2018, representing a significant increase of 46.7% on the year before.
Zagreb Airport previously noted, "We anticipate to finalise talks over the arrival of a Chinese carrier because Croatia is becoming of growing interest to Chinese tourists. There is also an increasing number of Chinese investments in Croatia and we believe that we will be able to find a common ground for the introduction of flights from a Chinese city".
In January, the Croatian Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, met with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing to discuss the introduction of flights to Zagreb this year. Mr Butković also met with representatives from Chinese carriers.