Minister says 2008 record tourist year

ZAGREB, 14.1.2009.

Record results were achieved in Croatian tourism in 2008, as Croatian National Bank figures show that tourism generated EUR 6.8 billion in the first nine months of the year, about 10% more than at the same time in 2007, Tourism Minister Damir Bajs said on Wednesday.

Financial revenues from tourism in 2008 are expected to exceed the estimated EUR 7.1 billion, the minister told a news conference, adding that tourism accounted for 22% of Gross Domestic Product, making it not only a strategic economic branch but also one of the most competitive.

He recalled that last year the Tourism Ministry supported various tourism projects with nearly HRK 40 million, and that four important tourism laws were adopted, including one on golf.

Bajs said this year Croatia would fight for every guest with quality service, and that currently there were no indications of fewer bookings on foreign markets, although more would be known in March.

He said the basic goal for this year was to repeat last year's results, which should be helped by stepped up promotion, for which HRK 173 million had been set aside, three times more than for 2008. (Hina)
(EUR 1 = HRK 7.34)