Investment in Tourism: Luxury on Way to Plitvice With Help from EU

Lauren Simmonds

A new, very expensive addition for the stunning Plitvice Lakes is in the works.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes on the 9th of April, 2018, within just five kilometers of aerial distance from the incredible waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes, two domestic and one Slovenian investor will open two hotels and one four star category resort, which will be marketed as luxury tourism facilities by mid-summer this year.

Investments of a total value of almost 85 million kuna will be realised alongside EU grant support amounting to around 27 million kuna, as they promote sustainable development, environmental protection, season extension and employment. as well as boosting overall competitiveness in the area.

The ”open doors” of the Fenomen Plitvice resort were announced by investor Božo Čulo, owner of Partner Banka and the Potestas company, which is part of Hotel Park in Split and Villa Petra on the central Dalmatian island of Brač. The new resort boasts eighteen accommodation units in traditionally constructed wood and stone buildings, and in addition to the accommodation itself, there will be a meeting room and a restaurant. This is also the only facility built within the Plitvice Lakes National Park, just 800 meters from the main entrance to the park, which is the main reason why the project was particularly demanding and expensive, as was explained by the director of Potestas to Poslovni Dnevnik.

The construction of the resort stood at about 33 million kuna, and the investor is currently undergoing a process that lasts for a couple of months, with hopes of obtaining an amount of up to 10 million kuna from EU funds, based on the grant agreement signed with the Ministry of the Economy and the Croatian Agency for Small Business, Innovation and Investment. The investor has to build a 4 star category tourist resort based on the terms set out in the aforementioned contract, to develop a new tourist product based on local cuisine, cyclotourism, natural resources and cultural heritage that will then be able to be promoted at tourist fairs.

Project realisation will result in increased revenues from sales in tourism, an annual capacity increase of 60.4 percent, not to mention new employment. “Due to its location in the National Park, we had to comply with special construction requirements, as well as obtaining the permits from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Culture, which is in line with the philosophy of our product, which is the return to nature and the preservation of natural resources, great attention is paid to the environment,” the director explained.

The resort will offer National Park facilities, have a garden with native wild herbs, an outdoor gym and outdoor yoga facilities, electric bikes, etc. On, the bed in the apartment for four, with two rooms and breakfast in this resort came at a price of 4,616 kuna last weekend. Located a mere 16 kilometres from the main entrance to the park and a kilometre from its boundary, in Ličko Petrovo Selo, Hotel Lyra (4 star) is due to open in August, owing to the investment of the Slovenian travel agency ”Happy Tours”, which is worth about 31 million kuna.

This praiseworthy project was co-financed by the European Union from the umbrella of the regional development fund, and the facility in question is a boutique hotel with an impressive 58 accommodation units, a restaurant, wellness and fitness facilities, a meeting room, a souvenir shop, and a park. Andreja Černevšek, director of Slovenia’s Happy Tours, operating within the Krumpak Group, revealed why the hotel was named after the constellation of Lira. “Our story is dedicated to responsible tourism and environmental protection, and the facility is built accordingly, the offer will be dedicated to the promotion of local products and local culture. What is special with our hotel is the promotion of low light pollution, we’ll have twenty telescopes for observing the sky,” explained Černevšek.

This is the agency’s very first investment into accommodation facilities and they decided to enter into it because of the lack of quality accommodation on offer at Plitvice for their groups. Their goal is to be open all year round, and in the first phase, seventeen people will be employed, a number which will eventually steadily grow.

The Plitvice hotel of the prominent Pag investor Igor Palčić, owner of the Belveder company, should be ready to open this summer, but the date has not yet been determined, Palčić confirmed that he’s still deciding on what the hotel will be called. Palčić’s investment is worth about 21 million kuna, and the amount of EU funds reaches seven million kuna.


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