The Most Successful Season, So Far

Karlovac, 10.10.2005.

Minister Božidar Kalmeta stated at the 4th Session of the Tourism Season Committee, organized today at the hotel ""Korana Srakovčić"" at Karlovac that in the first nine month of this year, for the first time, we were counting more night stays as compared to arrivals, which was an indicator for successfully fighting grey economy in tourism. Kalmeta presented the figures of the tourist turnover within the first nine months, stating that 9% more night stays and 7% more arrivals had been registered, as compared to the same period last year, turning this season into one of the most successful seasons, ever. He emphasized that this was the first time that Croatian tourism registered more than 50 million night stays, so that the financial results were expected to increase by 10% resulting with a total income of EUR 6 - 6.5 billion.

Kalmeta explained that according to the result of night stays, the private sector had achieved an increase by 20%, concluding that this was the result of introducing the lump sum tourist tax and the income tax. He also stated that the increase of registered private renters (up to 4000) had proven that useful measures had been introduced in the process of fighting the grey economy.

Miletić, Mičić, Kalmeta, Kovačević - Session of the Tourism Season CommitteeAs far as financial results are concerned, this very successful tourist season has caused a great increase of foreign exchange deposits in the amount of 7.9% for citizens and 9.2% for companies, in the first eight months of this year. The total foreign exchange deposit amounts up to HRK 85 billion.

Kalmeta announced that towards the end of 2005 we were expecting the 10 millionths guest. Thanks to the cooperation of the Ministry and the Croatian National Tourist Board, that guest would be awarded with a prize. During the next 3 years he was expecting 300 new hotels as a result of the program "Incentive for Success", as well as the forthcoming construction of two golf courses.

Zdenko Mičić, State Secretary for Tourism, explained that this September a 12% increase in night stays and in tourist arrivals had been registered, as compared to 2004. He added that one of the priorities of Croatian tourism was to invest in still unexploited tourist capacities (65 000 units of accommodation). The most important goals for the upcoming tourist season were, maintaining the position of the Republic of Croatia on the international market, strengthening the traditional and attracting new target markets, the further fighting of grey economy and illegal employment as well as finalizing the privatization of 20 firms, partly owned by the Government and the continuance of modernizing the traffic infrastructure.

Mičić added that in 2006 we were expecting an increase of physical traffic up to 2% and an income growth up to 5%. In 2006 subventions would be abolished, which until this year ran up to HRK 20 million per year. Instead of those subventions, more funds would be secured for the promotion of the Republic of Croatia. The State Secretary for Tourism also said that EUR 500 million would be invested in the Croatian tourism and infrastructure, in 2006.

Members of the Tourism Season CommitteeTomislav Miletić, Assistant Minister for Seafaring Safety and Sea Protection, listing the results of all measures carried out in nautical tourism, reported that 22 vessels had been caught conducting illegal chartering, 19 of those vessels were being prosecuted, while 3 vessels had been confiscated.
Miletić also added that, this year, the ships of Jadrolinija had transported more than 6.5 million passengers and 1.7 million cars, which was an increase by 7% as compared to the same period last year.

Krunoslav Kovačević, Head of the State Inspectorate, declared that during the 3 months in the main season, 40 000 inspections had been conducted and in 1 000 cases working activities had been banned. In this season, the State Inspectorate had charged 31% more fines, collecting a total of HRK 2.9 million.

Vesna Dejanović, the president of the Union of Autonomous Trade Unions of Croatia (Savez Samostalnih Sindikata Hrvatske – SSSH) announced that the SSSH would initiate the signing of collective agreements in the hotel and gastronomical branches as well as in the branch of tourist agencies. She emphasized that those employed in tourism have 15% smaller wages, as compared to employees in similar economic branches According to her this was devastating considering that tourism represented a strategic branch in the development of Croatia. She also stated that the State was loosing, due to illegal employment, HRK 40 million per year and that 80% of recently employed workers are working for an indefinite time period.