Tourism ministry to increase funds for advertising purposes

ZAGREB, 8.3.2010.
Maintaining or increasing last year's 2.07 percent share in foreign tourist markets and increasing the number of domestic tourists are the two most important goals in the tourism sector in 2010, Tourism Minister Damir Bajs said at a session of the Tourist Council of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) on Monday.

Bajs repeated that 2010 would be the year of “last minute" travels, with camping sites and private accommodation facilities having advantage over hotels.

The HTZ Tourist Council agreed that, owing to significant interest and additional requests, funds for advertising purposes should be increased by HRK 6.4 million.

The funds for marketing purposes would thus amount to almost HRK 130 million in total, to be used for joint market activities within which, similarly as last year, money for advertising would be provided by the government and the domestic and foreign private tourism sectors.

Bajs said that according to forecasts for Croatia's rival countries such as Greece, France, Portugal and Spain, those countries would do their best this year to avoid a downward trend for the third year in a row, so Croatia would have to keep up with them.

Bajs also said that it was too early to talk about preliminary results and that the situation in tourism markets would be somewhat clearer after the Berlin tourism fair, which opens on Tuesday.

He pointed out that Croatia would invest the most funds and efforts for promotion in Germany as its most important market.

Also discussed at the session were visitors' taxes. The HTZ called on all who owed the state money from visitors' taxes to pay them.

Last year, the debt related to visitors' taxes amounted to HRK 28.9 million, and state-owned tourist companies accounted for the largest portion of the debt.