ARTA Convention to Spotlight Croatia Currently, 27 U.S. tour operators package Croatia, which is expected to welcome 200 cruise calls this year. July 23, 1998 Share 1 -- LEXINGTON, Ky. -- ARTA said travel agents attending its international convention in Croatia, scheduled from Nov. 3 to 9, will have an opportunity to see how far the republic has come since it emerged from a civil war four years ago. "Croatia is an ideal destination for agents who specialize in Europe," said conference chairman Chuck Covington, chief executive officer of Belleville, Mich.-based People's Travel American Express. "There's lots of money to be made in reintroducing Americans and Canadians to one of the most underexposed areas of Europe."Attendees will visit Zagreb and Dubrovnik and will have opportunities to visit outlying areas as well, ARTA said. The conference agenda features five days of destination-sales briefings with Croatia's Ministry of Tourism, the Zagreb Tourist Board and the Dubrovnik-Neretva Tourist Board.In 1991, after Croatia voted for independence from Yugoslavia, a civil war broke out between the Croats and the Serbs. The war, which ended in 1995, scarred many of the country's historical buildings, as well as its tourism industry. Croatia has been rebuilding both ever since.Currently, 27 U.S. tour operators package Croatia, which is expected to welcome 200 cruise calls this year.Prices for the conference, including roundtrip air fare, hotel accommodations, some meals, city tours and training seminars, start at $749. Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic are participating carriers. Post-conference tours are available to Budapest, Hungary; Vienna, Austria; Prague, Czech Republic, and Venice, Italy.For registration information, contact ARTA at (888) ARTA-NOW.