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Last year, Zagreb won the title of the second best European destination as a result of the public vote in which the proponents of the Croatian capital had only words of praise for it. The praise, later formally divided into several categories, included a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, the beauty of the squares and churches, as well as reasonable prices. Some of the users who voted for Zagreb described their first experience of the city as love at first sight.
The significance of this recognition is all the greater because Zagreb was voted the second best European destination by the tourists themselves. The contest is organized by a non-profit organization, European Best Destinations headquartered in Brussels, whose goal is to promote culture and tourism in Europe in partnership with national tourist boards. The contest supports excellence, while raising the winning cities’ global fame and increasing the number of those who decide to visit them. A marketing study which was carried out by the independent agency “Cision” showed that Porto, the city voted the best European destination in 2014, benefited greatly from the award. The marketing value of the award, which provided last year’s winner with media coverage on the European level, was estimated at ten million euros. Winners of the award may use the logo of the best European destination in campaigns and advertising materials, and they can also grant usage of the logo to their public and private partners. The winner also receives a professionally made photo-guide and a tour-guide, which gives the destination maximum visibility, not only in Europe but across the world. However, the winning destination is not the only winner in the contest. They are joined by the candidates who also make it on the top ten list, which is visible throughout the year at the website European Best Destinations and its main social networks. Apart from the winner, the top ten destinations may also use the European best destination logo, which improves their recognisability.