A survey on the state of travel sales for the summer of 2017, recently conducted by UHPA among its members, showed that most travel agencies in the first half of the year saw an increase in package sales compared to 2016.Some agencies achieved the same or higher sales of arrangements for Croatia and abroad compared to 2016. For most agencies, this is an increase of 5 to 15 percent, while very few have achieved growth of about 30 percent or more. The increase in sales is interpreted by the representatives of the agencies as a result of a richer and more diverse offer with which most agencies entered the market much earlier this year than last year. “Despite the difficult business conditions of travel agencies, sales are going well and we can be satisfied with the preliminary results. I hope this trend continues. Statistics show that in Croatia there were over 16 million arrivals and over 91 million overnight stays last year, and it should be noted that up to 80% of all guests in the pre-season and post-season are guests brought by travel agencies. It should also be noted that the share of UHPA members in tourism is about 50 percent. In order to be competitive, travel agencies continuously monitor trends and demand, adapt to market requirements, invest in human resources, the latest technologies and solutions. The role of tourist agencies is crucial in the development of the entire Croatian tourism, which is defined in the Strategy for the Development of Croatian Tourism until 2020. This is not a negligible fact. In order to survive and achieve even better results, it is necessary to create the preconditions for stronger and better cooperation between the public and private sectors. ”Points out Tomislav Fain, President of UHPACapacities on the Adriatic are already quite full and it is difficult to get a free room because some hotels have already closed sales to agencies. Given that the period of the most intensive sale of arrangements for the summer of 2017 is still underway, representatives of travel agencies believe that more realistic figures on the state of sales in the first six months of this year and forecasts by the end of the year should be waited for. For the citizens, the Adriatic will be the first choice for holidays this year as well, and a slightly smaller number are opting for destinations abroad or in the interior of Croatia, where a significant step forward has been made in some destinations in terms of enriching the tourist offer. A large part of domestic tourists will, as usual, spend the summer in their holiday homes or with friends. Of the domestic destinations, exceptional interest and an increase in sales of the agency are recorded in central and southern Dalmatia (Zadar, Šibenik, Makarska and other places on the Makarska Riviera, Dubrovnik region, Split region and the islands of Hvar and Brač). The most popular in the Istrian region are Poreč, Rovinj and Medulin, and in Kvarner Crikvenica, Opatija and the islands of Lošinj and Krk.Tomislav Fain, President of UHPEWhen it comes to travel abroad, citizens most often opt for Italy (Tuscany, southern Italy, Sicily and Rome). They are followed by Greece (Crete, Santorini, Rhodes and Athens), France (southern France and Paris), Spain (Ibiza, Mallorca, Madrid, Barcelona) and Turkey. Those with deeper pockets opt for cruises or long trips where the Caribbean, Cuba, the Mediterranean and China, India and Mexico are the most common choices. City trips to European capitals (London, Paris, Rome) and multi-day bus tours (Italy, Austria, France) are very popular. The survey showed that most citizens book their trip at the agency’s office (over 58%), which confirms that they prefer direct contact with professional andexperienced travel advisors who will, according to their wishes and needs, offer them the best options.17,6% opt for reservations via the online platform, 11,8% via subagent, and 5,9% of clients contact the agency on the recommendation of loyal and satisfied passengers. The share of sales of services to corporate clients is 5,9%. The most common way to pay for travel is to pay in installments with one of the cards (over 50%) or via a consumer loan (around 44%), while the rest refers to one-time card payments, bank transfers or cash.When asked what the problems of travel agencies in Croatia are, Fain points out that business is burdened with a number of problems, both at the global and local level. World insecurity and terrorism, especially the recent attacks in several European cities (London), have had a negative impact on the already declining sales of foreign arrangements.”We are still troubled by a series of open issues related to laws and regulations in tourism, which are to be adopted soon. In relation to our main competitive markets, we apply the tax law (VAT) which does not protect the interests of the Croatian tourism industry. Furthermore, the application of a special procedure for the taxation of travel agencies on the basis of the European Tax Directive, the abolition of which we have requested, is also a problem for us. Our research reaffirmed that agency work is hampered by: undeclared work, unfair competition, transfer issues, lack of quality manpower, delays in infrastructure investments, timely and quality season preparation, construction site work and noise at the heart of the season, ineffective inspections, various business conditions and a number of other issues that UHPA, as the leading professional association in tourism in Croatia, continuously discusses with all partners and institutions at the local and national level, in order to facilitate the day-to-day operations of travel agencies.. ”Concluded Fain.