Tourism minister meets EU Delegation representatives

ZAGREB, 27.1.2012.

Tourism Minister Veljko Ostojic on Friday received for talks representatives of the EU Delegation in Croatia, led by mission chief Paul Vandoren, the ministry said in a statement.

When Croatia joins the EU, opportunities will be created for even stronger development of the country's tourism sector and improvement of its competitiveness, Croatia will become more attractive to potential investors and more interesting to tourists planning a longer stay, said Ostojic. He told the EU delegation that his ministry was working on a strategy of tourism development for the period until 2020.

In terms of competitiveness, Croatia's tourism sector is 34th in the World Economic Forum's global rankings and eighth among nine Mediterranean countries, Ostojic said, adding that this information posed a big challenge for the country to increase competitiveness on the international market.

Speaking of plans in his four-year term, Ostojic mentioned the privatisation of 15 state-owned tourist companies and amendment of legislation on land used for tourism purposes. He said special attention would be paid to preparations for projects to draw EU funds for tourism development and raise the level of education of tourism workers. The minister also underlined the long-term protection of natural heritage as one of his priorities.

Speaking of the goal of raising the education of tourism workers, Ambassador Vandoren said Croatia could use the experience and advice of international institutions for the education of tourism workers. He said Croatia had great potential for even stronger tourism development, offering assistance in preparing projects to draw EU funds for tourism. (Hina)