Can Vouchers Boost Continental Tourism?

Total Croatia News

Tourism vouchers, tax deductable for employers, would stimulate citizens to travel across Croatia out of season, experts say

The Tourism Ministry is considering promoting tourism vouchers under the Hungarian model, something the now former Tourism Minister Anton Kliman recently spoke to his Hungarian counterparts about, Aljazeera reports on June 12, 2016.

The goal is to boost domestic transactions and spending, something already achieved in Hungary – from 2010 to 2015 the number of overnight stays by domestic tourist rose by 29%, while total income of domestic tourism by 64%.

This concept enables any company in Hungary to provide for its employees, beyond the regular personal income, an extra annual amount of around 1.500 Euro, for which the company receives a tax deduction.

The Croatian Tourism Ministry feels this model is best for Croatia, stimulating domestic tourism beyond the main season on the coast and year-round on the continent.

“The model needs to be discussed firstly with the Finance Ministry, but also the Croatian Employers Association and trade unions. Employers must make the decision in favour of this type of bonuses for employees and the state must give them tax relief,” the Ministry said.

“Hungarians obviously had two goals with this move. Affecting the productivity of citizens through more recreation and naturally, helping their own tourism industry according to a jointly recognised problem. Vouchers can be created in any spending aspect, but it is important to know what the goal is, and then create application models,” says Miroslav Dragičević from the Horwath HTL consulting company.

Croatian citizens, especially those of lower income, would surely be interested. The entire story should focus on providing tourism services to those that don’t have access.

Benefits would be generated for those making money from tourism and tourism in general. It would lengthen the tourism season beyond the summer months and develop continental tourism and its content.

“Agencies must be a part of this process as they know the tourism situation best, as hotel owners look to them to expand the season, they are the ones with new products in continental tourism etc.”

The Croatian Tourism Agency Association also supports the initiative. They consider the concept very important for domestic tourism potential and rate it as a move forward in domestic tourism.

Another positive effect would be decreased dependency on foreign transactions as currently the ratio is 9 to 1, almost the worst in Europe, where a number of countries are also conducting similar concepts with positive effects.


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