Have Government Coronavirus Measures Forgotten About Marinas?

Lauren Simmonds

Nautical tourism in Croatia is one of the areas of the country’s strongest economic branch which was blossoming before the coronavirus crisis struck. Croatian marinas are a money pot at the best of times, and tourism based precisely on the soft waves of the sparkling Adriatic sea could be a gold mine. That being said, has the Croatian Government forgotten about marinas in their package of anti-epidemic economic measures?

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 9th of April, 2020, after addressing the public a few days ago warning that the Croatian Government had forgotten them in their package of measures to help the economy and the tourism sector due to the effects of the pandemic, Croatian marinas also sent an official letter to the competent ministries and the government itself in order to attempt to halt the collapse of the sector in time for the upcoming season.

Despite the fact that many are claiming that 2020’s tourist season is a no go, given the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in, Croatian marinas still believe this summer could attract tourists who have their hearts set on nautical tourism in Croatia.

”It’s very urgent for us that they recognise the marina system that employs around 2500 people, and the specifics of the sector that mean that we’re currently not eligible for the state’s minimum wage support. As a rule, marinas are in operation since April the 1st, so we have no evidence that revenue has fallen previously because we were closed,” explained Sean Lisjak, president of the Association of Marinas at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK)

During this period, Croatian marinas also started to pay for services from charter companies, and since everything in Croatian tourism has now come to a halt, they aren’t in a position to pay for those services, nor are they entitled to state support.

The pressure is increasing, and some marinas have unfortunately begun to send foreclosures to charter companies, Lisjak states. Another problem they’re facing is the concession for the use of the maritime domain, which they paid for this year back in February, before the onset of the coronavirus crisis.

”We’re seeking for the state to equalise us with the rest of the tourism sector through a measure of release from having to make the concession payment, and the release of the concession payment for 2021. In addition, in the long run, we’re seeking equalisation through tax treatment and the lowering of value-added tax rate on marina services to thirteen percent,” concluded Lisjak on behalf of the Marina Association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

For more on coronavirus in Croatia, follow our dedicated section.


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