PM says this year's tourist season prepared well

DUBROVNIK, 21.8.2010.
Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor on Saturday chaired at the airport of the southern Adriatic resort of Dubrovnik a meeting of the government's commission coordinating and overseeing preparations for this year's tourist season and of the air traffic commission. Kosor said the effort had paid off, as all trends were positive.

The meeting paid special attention to airports, which have reported a 14-per cent increase in traffic on the year, was has also been due to the government's subsidies on air traffic, notably in Dubrovnik's airport, which logged a 30% revenue increase.

"Dubrovnik Airport is a good example of investing in development and support for tourism in Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik-Neretva County," Kosor said, adding that tourism was a very important economic sector to the Croatian government.

The PM said this year's season had been prepared well thanks to excellent coordination between all actors, and that in 2011 it was expected to be even better. She announced further support and better measures and drives in the 2011 season.

The number of passengers in Croatian airports in the first seven months of 2010 was up 2.3 per cent on the year, with Zadar Airport logging the highest increase, 23.7 per cent, followed by Dubrovnik with 9.2 and Split with 6.7 per cent. Rijeka Airport recorded a decline of 55 per cent, while Zagreb Airport remained at last year's level. In July, traffic was up 14.1 per cent on the year, with the highest increase recorded in Zadar (43.6%), Split (24%), Dubrovnik (16.8%), Pula (15.7%) and Zagreb (3.6%). Rijeka Airport logged a decline of 40 per cent.

Tourism Minister Damir Bajs said he was pleased with the tourism results so far, as they were better than in other European countries, but added the season was not over yet.

To date, every 50th tourist in Europe visited Croatia and "our goal" is that every 45th tourist in Europe comes to Croatia, he said.

Mayor Andro Vlahusic said Dubrovnik logged by August 18 a 10 per cent year-on-year increase in arrivals and a 13% increase in nights. He reminded the members of the government of their promise about infrastructure projects and road links. Kosor said the promises would be kept.

Kosor and Bajs also met the secretary-general of the World Tourism Organisation, Taleb Rifai. (Hina)