Croatia's tourism sector ready to join EU

ZAGREB, 6.5.2013.

The national tourism sector is ready for Croatia's entry to the European Union (EU) and when business conditions for stakeholders in the tourist trade become the same for Croatia as they are in the EU the Tourism Ministry believes that stronger competition can contribute to improving the quality of Croatia's tourism products and services.

One of the major changes facing the tourism section with Croatia's accession to the bloc on July 1 is that all EU citizens will be able to offer services under equal conditions which until then will have been reserved for Croatian citizens only. That means that EU citizens will be allowed to come and work in catering, hospitality or as tourist guides, open their own tourist agencies and so own pursuant to local legislation.

At the same time travelling across the border for all EU member states will be simplified at the borders to Slovenia and Hungary which should facilitate better traffic flow and relieve traffic jams on Croatian roads during peak season.

Visas for nationals from non-EU countries will be issued according to EU rules which means travellers will have to obtain a visa for Croatia. The ministry believes that this may impact arrivals from some countries like Russia, Ukraine and Turkey but these countries will be eligible for a Schengen visa which should relieve the situation a little.

The ministry informed that it and the foreign ministry were undertaking vital preparations to facilitate speedy issuance for visas with the least possible costs for these countries' citizens.

Croatia's accession to the EU will benefit Croatia's tourism and one of the biggest benefits, the ministry underscored, was the use of EU funds to finance tourism projects. (Hina)