As part of this year’s 19th consecutive Congress of the Association of Employers in Croatia (UPUHH), a panel was held on the current state of the season while discussing trends, future developments, and challenges that the tourism system in Croatia meets.
In doing so, the Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli, noted that the segment of the hotel industry is a major driving force in the tourism industry, drawing on the importance of cooperation between the public and private sectors and how tourism contributes to the excellent results that have been achieved this year, reports HRTurizam.
The conversation among the participants of the panel remarked the importance of focusing on quality as a prerequisite for the realization of higher revenues and further investments that are essential for the sustainable development of Croatian tourism. An area of interest and emphasis was to intensify the conditions for an investment resolution of the tourist land and the law on maritime domain. The panel also discussed the challenges in skilled labor in heavy tourist areas and pointed out that certain projects have been launched this year that will focus to better connect employers with HZZ to facilitate retraining in the coming years.
Minister Cappelli explained the importance of the investment and said: “In Croatia, according to our data, the following year in the tourism sector should invest about 800 million euros, or open more than 40 new hotels. As a ministry, we will put a stronger emphasis on some of the key issues for investment, as well as to extend the season with the activation of health and inland tourism.”
In addition, Minister Cappelli said that they have already started addressing the issue of tourist land and the activation of military assets.
“We will revise the law on sojourn tax to be part of the allocated resources used more efficiently, and talk with HBOR on the possibilities of lending to the tourism sector which will enable a better tourist offer. Through the implementation of quality improvement, this will help us to penetrate the market and become even more recognizable,” added Minister Cappelli. In conclusion, the panel noted how tourism is changing every day, and maintaining and increasing competitiveness is necessary to plan long term.
Seasonality is one of the key issues in the context of the labor force in Croatian tourism and in an effort to find long-term solutions, Cappelli states that, “We are working on developing centers of competence which we can finance with EU funds. From the funds it will be possible to finance regional centers which will modernize vocational education in tourism and cater to the needs of the labor market while raising its quality in order to increase the employability of students and opportunities for further education. Also, we will focus on a marketing approach and actions to promote interest in tourism,” concluded Minister Cappelli.
Those that participated in the “Human Capital in Croatia” round table with Cappelli were Ante Lončar from HZZ, Assistant Minister of Labour and Pension Systems Mario Bebić, president of the European Association of Hoteliers and Restaurateurs HOTREC Susanne Kraus-Winkler, Slovenian Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek and Minister of Environment and Tourism in BiH Edita Đapo. The discussion was moderated by Kristian Šustar from HUP Zagreb.