Croatia's Tourism has Great Potential - Austrian Minister

VIENNA, 21.3.2006.

Croatia has great potential in tourism, said Austrian Economy and Labor Minister Martin Bartenstein at a news briefing in Vienna on Tuesday at the end of a two-day conference on tourism.

The conference, called "Tourism and Culture - A Key to Development and Employment in Europe", pooled tourism ministers from European Union member-states, acceding countries, candidate countries including Croatia, western Balkan countries and officials from international organizations.

"The Dalmatian coast is splendid," Bartenstein said, adding that as soon as Croatia joined the EU, the Dalmatian coast would enjoy great European prospects regarding tourism development.

The State Secretary of the Croatian Tourism Ministry, Zdenko Mičić, who led the Croatian delegation at the conference, agreed that Croatia had much to offer regarding tourism.

Guenther Verheugen, the European Commission Vice President and Commissioner responsible for Enterprise and Industry, told the news conference that Croatia was making great headway in tourism development.

Verheugen stressed that tourists who had spent their holiday in Croatia last year were not only Germans or guests from other Western European countries but also those from new EU member-states, including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland.

This is the secret of success and it contributed to Croatia's success in tourism, he pointed out.

The conference was organized by current EU president country Austria, Finland and the European Commission.