Gari Cappelli on Croatian Tourism: Croatia Has Reached its Maximum

Lauren Simmonds

A lot has been written (and argued) about 2019’s very shaky tourist season, but whether we need to move on from the number of overnight stays to the quality of guest or not, one thing is certain – Croatia has some important lessons to learn in order to keep up with its competition and improve in numerous areas.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 19th of August, 2019, Croatian Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli was a guest of N1 recently. He announced a new strategy for Croatian tourism, which he will present during Croatia’s presidency of the European Union, which begins on the 1st of January, 2020.

“Let’s not compare ourselves to the Turks and the like, Croatia is not them and it will never be,” the minister said, adding that it could no longer be expected that Croatian tourism would grow during the main tourist season by two, five or fifteen percent more.

“We’ve reached a maximum of twenty million tourists and we need to the develop the pre-season and post-season,” stated Cappelli, echoing the belief of many who conclude this to be Croatia’s best route in terms of tourism.

He pointed out that he is constantly saying that Croatia simply cannot expect big increases for a very good reason.

“With this infrastructure, this is our maximum, raising the quality, looking at the markets in terms of what we do, and not being delusional and thinking that we can make a fortune in a couple of months, that’s what a lot of people have been doing this season,” the minister said.

He says they changed the Law on Categorisation to try to convince small private renters that they have to raise their quality.

”Four, five star, properties with swimming pools, raising the level of quality is considered to be the key to success,” he added.

He made sure to state that despite a bit of a rough season when compared to the last few glorious ones, Croatian tourism has not failed. “To date, there are four percent more tourists in Croatia, so much for [Davor] Bernardić’s stories about decline.”

He concluded that all the guests that have been in Croatia this season were good and that they were all of high quality regardless of their individual purchasing power.

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