Tourism minister calls for investing in campsites

ZATON, 9.8.2012.

The goals of camping tourism, which accounts for 25 per cent of Croatian tourism's capacities, are prolonging the season, improving service quality, new investments and more effective promotion, Tourism Minister Veljko Ostojic said on Thursday after meeting representatives of the Croatian Camping Union (KUH) in Zaton near the coastal town of Zadar.

Ostojic said the general goal of this season was to make EUR 7 billion from tourism.

By August 6, campsites recorded an 11 per cent rise on the year.

Croatian tourism needs camping, which is a big challenge, and investment in it can greatly improve the quality of Croatian tourism, the minister said, adding that investment, promotion and quality would extend the season's duration and yield better results.

Ostojic said he was pleased that the Turisthotel tourism company's campsite in Zaton ranked with the best campsites in Italy in terms of service quality and prices.

"The prices in the best campsites in Europe are becoming similar to hotel prices, so we are going in that direction too. We must no longer look at campsides as meadows where poor people who spend nothing sleep. The future is in the transformation of campsites into holiday parks with a variety of services and prices similar to those in hotel accommodation."

KUH official Tihomir Nikolas said the government still had to solve two issues regarding camping tourism - legislation on tourism land and the coastal belt. He said no concession contract had been signed in the two years since the tourism land law was passed even though they were the main prerequisite for investing in campsites.

The director of the Turisthotel campsite in Zaton, Frane Skoblar, said the campsite had recorded an 11 per cent increase in nights on the year, including a 30 per cent increase in German nights.

Ostojic was also scheduled to visit a Turisthotel hostel in Zadar and discuss the development of the hostel network in Croatia with the sector's officials. (Hina)