Tourism minister expects better financial result this year

OPATIJA, 9.4.2012.

Tourism Minister Veljko Ostojic said on Monday he would be pleased if this season's tourist arrivals and nights reached last year's level, but that he expected a better financial result than the one recorded in 2010, namely tourism revenue to reach seven billion euros.

Speaking to the press in Opatija, he told tourism sector employees to carefully define prices for next year because of the reduced VAT rate in tourism.

Prices are key to our competitiveness, said the minister.

Ostojic said he was pleased with the tourism results of the Easter holidays, adding that they proved that Croatia was an attractive destination despite the unfavourable market circumstances.

In Opatija, Ostojic talked with Mayor Ivo Dujmic, representatives of the town's Tourist Board and the Liburnia Riviera Hoteli (LRH) hotel company, saying their cooperation opened the possibility for making the northern Adriatic resort a year-round tourist destination.

Asked about how to solve the issue of the blocked 25 per cent plus one share in LRH owned by the town, Ostojic said the government, the town and LRH would work on finding a solution acceptable to all.

Speaking of expectations of this season, the minister said it was difficult to make estimates, as two-thirds of bookings were made two weeks before arrival.

LRH management board chair Igor Sehanovic said the company had prepared investments in all of its hotels. He added that LRH was completely restructured, reduced its debt to seven per cent of the stock capital, increased efficiency one and a half times, and that it expected revenues to go up eight and financial efficiency by 35 per cent this year. (Hina)