PM Kosor says plan for tourist season 2012 to be adopted soon

SPLIT, 7.9.2011.

Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor said on Wednesday that in two to three weeks' time at the latest the government would put on its agenda a draft program for the tourist season 2012, expressing satisfaction with results in the tourist sector in the first eight months of this year.

"The number of arrivals in the first eight months was 6.4 percent up from the same period of 2010, and the number of overnight stays was up 5.8 percent," Kosor said in Split at a meeting with representatives of tourism boards in the coastal region and heads of Croatian Tourism Board (HTZ) offices in Germany, Slovenia, Austria and Hungary.

Data for the first eight months show that more than 9.1 million tourists visited Croatia in that period, making more than 55 million overnight stays.

In that period, there were 550,000 more tourists than in the same period of last year, said Kosor.

The positive results were also owing to the government's action plan for tourism, adopted in November 2010, and EUR 23-million investments in promotional activities, said Kosor.

In two-three weeks the government will have on its agenda a plan for the tourist season 2012, which means that this year such a strategic plan will be adopted even earlier than last year, said the PM.

Kosor said the highest increase in arrivals and overnight stays was recorded among tourists coming from Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Russia.

The number of unemployed people in August dropped by 2,250, partly owing to seasonal employment in the tourist sector, she said. Employment in tourism in the first eight months was 13.7 percent higher than in the same period of last year, she said.

Some investments, such as the Peljesac Bridge, have been slowed down due to the current crisis, but next week the government will continue work on that bridge, Kosor said.

Tourism Minister Damir Bajs said that as many as 90 percent of all tourists in Croatia were foreigners. Economy Minister Djuro Popijac said that tourism accounted for 14-15 percent of the country's GDP. (Hina)