New tourism minister to continue on predecessor's path

ZAGREB, 25.3.2013.

Tourism Minister Darko Lorencin held his first press conference on Monday since his appointment and on that occasion he stressed that the ministry would continue with activities such as those geared to extending the tourism season, privatising state-owned tourism companies, implementing directives encompassed in the new tourism strategy.

Lorencin assessed that this year's season would be challenging but expected a similar number of tourists this year as in 2012, with an expected slight increase in revenue of 3%.

He said that the 2013 season would be as successful as were preparations for the season, adding that Croatia was ready for the season.

The new minister said that he was a 'man of the field' and that he would be out in the field more often and would be available to all tourism organisations and employees.

He advised that indicators of bookings for the Easter holidays and April were promising as far as tourism numbers were concerned.

The minister advised that privatisation of state-owned companies would focus on transforming abandoned military premises into tourism facilities.

This is part of our activities to set better conditions to improve the investment climate in tourism but also to generally improve Croatia's competitiveness in this field as one of our primary objectives.

Greater focus will also be dedicated to improving the system of tourism boards and to adapt the system by shaping them into Destination Management Organisations (DMOs), which should contribute to Croatia's strategic tourism marketing plan 2014 - 1018 which is yet to be prepared. Part of the plan encompasses the introduction of a new visual identity for tourist visas, Lorencin said. (Hina)