Minister Lorencin sees golf courses as key product in tourism

ZAGREB, 1.9.2013.

Tourism Minister Darko Lorencin holds that golf is one of key products in the tourist trade which can extend the duration of tourist season in Croatia and attract a new segment of guests.

Marking the completion of the Golf & Country Club Zagreb investment in the Croatian capital at a ceremony on Friday, the minister described the project as important for the city and the interior of Croatia.

In Mediterranean countries, golf courses are concentrated mainly in coastal tourist destinations, and they have six golf courses per one million tourist arrivals on the average, while Croatia's rate is 0.32 courses per million tourist arrivals. However, Croatia's favourable climate for this sport and its closeness to central and eastern European countries from where golfers come are advantages it should make use of, Lorencin said.

"Our plan is to increase accommodation capacities by 7% until 2020 and have tourism consumption doubled, going from the current seven billion euros to 14 billion. This can be done through the offer of products such as golf courses," he said, announcing the elaboration of a golf development action plan.

The Country Club Zagreb was founded ten years ago with the goal of opening a golf course in Zagreb on the right bank of the Sava River, opposite the Mladost sport and recreational centre. There are two courses: an 18-hole course for contests and a 9-hole course as well as other facilities within this complex.

Asked by reporters about the ongoing tourist season, Lorencin said it was successful, with a 6.6% increase in financial indicators for the first seven months as against the corresponding period in 2012.