Tourism minister comments on concessions for land for tourism purposes

ZAGREB, 18.3.2011.

The forthcoming issuing of concessions for the use of land for tourism purposes will help solve one of the biggest problems in the Croatian tourist sector in the last 20 years and enable a new investment cycle, construction of new accommodation facilities, improvement of service quality, and decreasing of the seasonal nature of work.

This was a joint assessment by Tourism Minister Damir Bajs, a director at the Justice Ministry, Vanja Bilic, the president of the Association of Hotel Industry Employers (UPUHH), Kristijan Sustar, and the president of the Croatian Camping Association (KUH), Veljko Ostojic, presented at a news conference at the Tourism Ministry on Friday.

Concessions for the use of land for tourism purposes will be issued, in line with the law and three regulations adopted in 2010 and on the basis of applications, to camping sites, hotels and tourist settlements in the privatisation of which the surrounding land was not appraised and entered into their stock capital. This means that in the last 20 years this land, with an estimated area of some 100 million square metres, has been used for free or has not been used at all due to its undefined status, said Bajs.

The deadline for the submission of applications for concessions expired on February 1, and the applications are now being processed by the Tourism Ministry and municipal and town authorities. The minister believes that the first concessions will be issued before the summer. Bajs said that considering the fact that the payment of concession fees would be postponed in the first year, the first revenues to the state and local budgets from those fees could be expected only in 2012.

Bajs said that 60 percent of the collected amount would be paid into the state budget, namely into a special fund for the development of tourism which was being set up, while the remaining 40 percent would go to local budgets. (Hina)