Croatian tourism minister visits Spain

ZAGREB, 5.6.2012.

Trends and the situation on the tourist markets of Croatia and Spain, tourism development strategies, possibilities of using EU funds and the importance of continuing education of tourism staff were the main topics of a meeting Croatian Tourism Minister Veljko Ostojic held in Madrid on Monday with representatives of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and Spain's tourism economy, the Croatian Tourism Ministry said in a statement.

Minister Ostojic is on an official visit to Spain from 3 to 6 June. Ostojic and the UNWTO representatives talked about legal regulations with an emphasis on the labour economy and about the possibility of organising a UNWTO conference on innovations in tourism next year in Croatia. The talks also focused on destination management, the importance of quality tourism development strategies and the structure of national tourist organisations.

The UNWTO representatives showed the Croatian minister projections concerning global tourist movements. The talks also focused on the visa regime and its impact on tourist movements, as well as possibilities of using new technologies. Ostojic briefed the UNWTO representatives about measures and activities Croatia was taking to prolong its tourist season.

The Croatian minister and representatives of the Spanish tourist economy talked about possibilities of promoting business between Croatia and Spain. Ostojic told them Croatia planned to introduce a differential Value Added Tax rate of 10 percent for the tourist sector next year. He underlined the importance of the potential of Spain's tourist market for Croatia's tourism, adding that that market opened the door to the South American markets.

Croatian Tourism Minister Veljko Ostojic and his associates, who were on an official visit to Spain, on Tuesday held talks with Spanish Tourism Minister Jose Manuel Soria Lopez and State Secretary for Tourism Isabela Maria Borrego Cortes.

The Croatian officials were acquainted with the Spanish tourism industry and the structure of its tourist administration. Also discussed was Spain's tourism legislation and tax system, trends on international tourist markets, and Spain's experience in preparing tourism development strategies.

The Spanish officials also informed Ostojic about the efforts their country was making to reform its labour legislation to ensure its greater flexibility, about Spain's experience in the use of EU funds for tourist projects, ways to prolong the peak tourist season, and visa regimes.

Ostojic also visited Barcelona where he met with Barcelona Port Authority director Sixte Cambra to discuss cruise tourism and possibilities of its further development in the Mediterranean, as well as cooperation between Mediterranean ports. In 2011, 1.1 million tourists aboard cruise ships visited Croatia, of whom 17% were from Spain.

In Barcelona, Ostojic met with the general director for tourism in the Catalonian government, Marian Muro, for the talks on the situation in the private accommodation sector, physical planning and legislation on private accommodation. (Hina)