Research Results: HRK 6 Billion Tourist Investments In 2006

Zagreb, 18.11.2005.

Data presented by the Ministry of the Sea, Tourism, Transport and Development shows that for 2006 it is planned to invest HRK 6 billion in tourism capacities and infrastructure, 57% of that amount will be financed by the hoteliers themselves.

Želimir Kramarić, Assistant Minister for Tourist Policy and Market, concluded that the new investments would additionally increase the quality of the Croatian tourist offer, which was already in 2005 very remarkable.

The pooled hoteliers, participants of the 9th Congress of the Croatian Association of Hoteliers and Restaurateurs (Hrvatska Udruga Hotelijera - HUH) were also addressed by the State Secretary for Tourism, Zdenko Mičić, emphasizing that the tourist season 2006 would be successful since the first indicators coming from abroad were quite positive.

Simultaneously, he added that the Ministry was preparing a list of measures which were expected to motivate the further development of tourism. Amongst those measures is the increasing of the 2006 tourist promotion budget, as well as the continuance of the credit line 'Incentive for Success'. He did not present particular numbers, stating that they still had to pass the Parliamentary procedure.

Mičić asked the hoteliers to be careful when planning next year's prices, stating that already this year one part of the foreign markets had criticized the prices in Croatian tourism. He underlined that the selective 10% VAT rate which will be implemented at the beginning of 2006, as well as the cancellation of State subventions for the stimulation of the market, would create certain disruption in Croatian tourism next year. Still, he concluded he was expecting all of that would contribute to the development of tourism, on a long term. 

For 2006, a lot is expected from the project 'Croatian Product for Croatian Tourism', and a study regarding this would be prepared towards the end of the year by the Ministry and the Institute for Tourism.

According to Mičić, that would calm the critics claiming that Croatian tourism was filled with import components, for exactly that study would proof that there was still enough room within tourism for the domestic product and the increase of export.

Besides the issue of the new VAT rate, the most discussed issue was the new proposal for the Tourist Land Act which the Government has sent into Parliamentary procedure.

The President of the HUH, Franco Palma, criticized the proposed Tourist Land Act. According to him it was necessary to define more clearly the price of the concession, to determine how the earned money would be used and which hotel companies would have the right to build on that land.

Palma added that it was possible for this Act to provoke a whole range of court disputes and that, should it be accepted in its current form, it would surely present a burden for future development and investments of hotel companies.

Mičić answered that the Parliament would discuss this Act and that it was not the Ministry's wish to support something which was not acceptable from the tourist profession's point of view. (Hina)