The introduction of euro is usually followed by a substantial increase in prices.
If Croatia wants to develop health tourism and be competitive in the global market, entering the eurozone is a big risk and could seriously endanger such plans, warned Emin Cakmak, chairman of the International Health Tourism Council which is headquartered in Turkey, reports Poslovni.hr on October 13, 2017.
“Similar problems happened to Malta, which had a great potential like Croatia, but with the introduction of the euro everything went wrong. The moment you enter the euro, there will be an increase in prices of your services which are currently your competitive advantage for attracting guests from developed countries,” Cakmak stressed at the 1st Health Tourism Investment Forum held in Zagreb on Thursday.
While pointing out that Croatia could expect significant assistance with the exchange of knowledge, Cakmak criticised Croatia for its weak engagement and disunity in the health tourism sector.
“There is not yet a national cluster of health tourism in Croatia, and without the unity you will not achieve much. You should forget about disagreements and egos, and connect with each other,” said the representative of the world’s third largest health tourism country, behind the United States and Germany.
Turkey has presented itself as a destination for spa and medical tourism for the last ten years, which brought it 5.8 billion dollars in revenue from foreign patients last year. It has based its development on public-private partnership, through which 22 hospitals are already being built. Cakmak also pointed out Croatia used to be active in his organisation four years ago, but now it does not attend meetings.
In addition to Turkey, investments in Croatian health tourism, primarily in the construction of resorts for senior citizens, are attractive to American entrepreneurs as well, said John Raffetto of the Ambassador Care company from Washington.
Raffetto believes Croatia can become “European Florida”. “In the next 10 years, we want to build resorts in Croatia for 10,000 senior citizens from the United States who would benefit by moving to Croatia with their pensions. It is also very important that Croatia is a safe country with a stable economy, beautiful nature and a pleasant climate,” said Raffetto.
Miljenko Bura, who organised the forum, pointed out the planned construction of the Stankovci airport as an example of infrastructure which is necessary for the development of health tourism. In addition to the spas and the Adriatic Sea, Croatia has the potential to build resorts for senior citizens, Bura said.
The Croatian government has recently proposed the Law on Tourism Services, which now includes health tourism as part of the tourist industry. This, according to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, should make the next tourism season even better than this year’s.
Translated from Poslovni.hr.