The Tourism Sector of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce gets a new boss.
Antonia Urlić was appointed today as Director of the Tourism Sector of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK). Urlić graduated in marketing from the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb and gained a wealth of experience in tourism by working for prominent companies from the public and private sectors.
In 20 years of her professional career, she held the position of head of Promotional Department at Croatia Airlines, where she was in charge of managing the market communications department and of improving the sales and company design. Later, she was the head of marketing and branding at Valamar. She started working in the Chamber in 2016, as assistant to the outgoing director of the Tourism Sector Leila Krešić-Jurić, who is leaving the post at her own request after more than five years.
As the three critical issues that she will address in her term, Urlić emphasised the lack of labour force in tourism, the excessive tax burden on the sector and the question of regulation.
“Croatia has one of the highest tax burdens in tourism, which places us at the bottom in comparison with competitor countries. In order to achieve the goals from the tourism development strategy in Croatia until 2020, and to achieve further development of the industry, it is necessary to lower the taxes in tourism, which includes the reduction of the VAT rate,” Urlić said.
“The issue of the lack of qualified tourism staff represents a threat to all market participants in achieving their business goals. Therefore, through the activities of the Chamber associations, I will fight for the implementation of measures that will enable the improvement in working conditions, including possibly opening up the labour market, which would bring about the expansion in the number of employable persons,” Urlić said, adding that it was necessary for these changes to be accompanied by new legislation that must be entirely in line with the needs and demands of the tourism industry, especially regarding the Law on Maritime Property and Seaports and the Law on Tourist Land Plots, without which the growth of tourism sector as a whole is not possible.