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Mičić: Good tourist season

Opatija, 21.9.2005.

At this year's Croatian Tourist Forum, Zdenko Mičić, the State Secretary for Tourism, stated that Croatia was expecting better physical results from the current tourist year – an increase of 2-3%, as compared to 2004. The financial indicators and budget income would also be more successful than last year. All this was based on the numbers of July and August.

That Forum (organized by the Croatian Chamber of Economy and the Croatian Radio television) gathered 400 tourist employees and representatives of the Croatian Government to mark the evening's prize bestowal, the award of the Croatian Radio television: Tourist Flower – Quality for Croatia 2005.
Mičić emphasized that in tourism, in spite of problems, improvements had been achieved regarding a better legal regulation and regarding a more successful coordination between ministries and public companies.

Very remarkable were the results achieved in the area of private accommodation facilities. That was where statistics showed a 9% higher registration rate of private renters, and a 25% increase of tourist nights. According to Mičić, all this was the consequence of current year's introduction of the flat rate payment of residential fees.

This year's success is also an obligation demanding an even better preparation of the upcoming season, supported by new measures like the Tourist Land Act, a more intense development of golf facilities, the continuation of a regular privatization process, and the credit line program 'Incentive for Success'.

Mičić also expects improvement based on the introduction of a selective VAT rate (10%) for tourism, in 2006. Those improvements should show in the balancing of the coastal traffic, in the business conduct of foreign agencies, and in an increase of investments in hotels and in other companies.
In spite of good results, the participants of the Forum discussed mostly the lack of physical plans, illegal building activities and the continued development of the coastal area.

Matija Salaj, the Assistant Minister for Environmental Protection and Head of Office for Physical Planning, said that there was still space for new building  along the coast and that the demands for creating 100 000 additional beds, were quite reasonable.
Still, he warned about the ongoing illegal and non-adequate building activities, as well as poor proposals of Greenfield investments. He was hoping that all of that might stop, once his Ministry would finalize the study on physical planning of the area of the Croatian Adriatic.

Attendees of the Forum discussed the future development of Croatian tourism, pointing out the strategy which was still missing and which had to be brought into force as soon as possible.
The gathering was greeted by Nadan Vidošević, President of Croatian Chamber of Economy; he verified that tourism represented Croatia's best chance for future economic development and for the opening of new jobs.

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