Previously Executive Vice President at Croatia Airlines, Tonko has over 27 years’ experience in the travel and tourism sector, both at home in Croatia and abroad. Before holding various senior positions at Croatia Airlines, Tonko spent six years at JAT Airways in Zagreb.

Rilović takes over from Meri Matešić, who spent five years with the CNTO in London and has been promoted to Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board in Zagreb.

The appointment comes at an exciting time for the destination, as last year over 332,801 UK travellers visited Croatia, a boost of 24 per cent compared to 2011.

“2013 is set to be landmark year for Croatia tourism, especially with our long-anticipated entry into the EU in July. It’s great to see that more and more Brits are choosing to holiday in Croatia and I’m looking forward to working with our partners to reach our record-breaking visitor figure of 500,000 in 1990,” says Tonko Rilović, UK & Ireland Director of the CNTO.

“This year our aim is to continue to develop a sustainable visitor economy. We’ll do this by extending Croatia’s appeal to include our range of home-grown gastronomic delights and adventure tourism across our eight national parks,” continues Tonko.

Tonko will head up the London CNTO team based in Hammersmith. Originally from Dubrovnik, Tonko is fluent in English and has a working knowledge of French, Russian and Dutch. When he gets the chance, Tonko enjoys cycling and going to the theatre and cinema with his wife and children.

Only two hours away from the UK, and with new hotels and regional flights to Zadar, Dubrovnik and Split launching this year, Croatia is geared up to attract even more visitors in 2013.