Croatia Among Top Countries by Share of Tourism in GDP

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Croatian economy is too dependent on tourism.

Croatia is currently experiencing a period of strong tourism growth, which has surpassed even the most optimistic expectations of investors. It is one of the most popular European destinations for tourists from around the world, which brings it a lot of money. With this year’s estimated 8.5 billion euros in revenue, according to an estimate made by Tourism Minister Anton Kliman, share of tourism in GDP would remain at significant 18 percent, which has been confirmed by IMF analysts, reports Jutarnji List on September 19, 2016.

According to statistics of the European Union, Croatia is the eighth most popular European tourist destination, behind much larger Spain, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Austria, Greece and Germany. However, in Croatia the share of tourism in GDP has reached as much as 18 percent, which places Croatia in the group of countries together with Malta (14.5 percent) and Cyprus (13.2 percent). For example, in Spain, despite the economic crisis, tourism represents only 4.4 percent of GDP, and the share of tourism in GDP in other European tourist superpowers ranges from 2.1 percent in Italy and France to 1.1 percent in Germany.

Various crises in the Mediterranean have brought unexpected good results for Croatia’s tourism industry in the last few years. Therefore, it is easy to overlook the danger: all these tourists who have fled Egypt, Tunisia, and to a lesser extent Greece and Turkey, perhaps will not come back to Croatia in following years.

It is easy to conclude that a growing share of tourism in GDP is not threatening. But, examples of some other similar countries show that there is danger. Thailand, Maldives, Macau, Seychelles, and many Caribbean nations, in addition to high share of tourism in GDP, also have one other thing in common: they are countries with huge social differences and a large number of poor people. Is that Croatia’s future?

If Croatia does not want to be a poor country with great social differences, it must soon change the structure of its GDP. That is the path which has already been taken by many countries which have used tourism as the main driving force for the wider economy. In short: there is no doubt that Croatia’s leading position with regards to the share of tourism in GDP is a good indicator for those who are thinking about investing in the industry, but it does require great caution from all those whose job it is to take care of the wider economy.


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