‘Incentive for Success’ - Program for the Development of Small and Family – run Hotels

ZAGREB, 7.3.2006.

The Minister of the Sea, Tourism, Transport and Development Božidar Kalmeta and the president of the Managing board of the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) Anton Kovačev signed today an agreement for the realization of loans included in the Program for the development of small family – run tourism businesses called 'Incentive for Success'.

The Minister reminded everybody of the good results achieved during the 1st period of the Program (2003 – 2005), i.e. the granting of over 255 loans via 19 banks with a total amount of HRK 1 billion for small and family-run hotels, while the State did provide interest subsidies in the value of HRK 22 million.

This kind of Program created 7000 new beds and opened over 2000 new job positions. During the last session the Government decided to accept a more simplified loan application procedure as well as a lower interest rate. In the end Kalmeta concluded that during the next 3 years, 300 new hotels would be opened.

The State Secretary for Tourism, Zdenko Mičić informed the journalists that other Mediterranean countries had already started imitating this Program, adding that its goal was to motivate entrepreneurs to change the structure of the existing accommodation facilities, i.e. increase the quality of tourism, as such. He also warned about certain novelties within the Program, which would be introduced during the 2nd three-year period, i.e. a closer check-up regarding the implementation and usage of additional facilities (gyms, saunas, swimming-pools etc).

The sub-program 'Under Ancient Roofs' will also become more flexible, offering the lowest interest rate since it is rather expensive to reconstruct those old, original houses. According to Anton Kovačev this sub-program is the most important initiative since it helps to preserve autochthonous architecture for future generations. He also said that the HBOR had granted up until now over 100 single loan applications in the total value of HRK 385 million.

Šime Klarić, president of the Association of Family and Small Hotels added that at the moment over 1000 people were interested in the Program, and that 300 of them were ready to engage in building new objects and facilities.