Stricter Border Controls Endangering Tourism Industry

Total Croatia News

Local officials are worried about tourists deciding against coming to Croatia.

Mayor of Umag Vili Bassanese, prompted by the introduction of stricter controls at border crossings, sent on Saturday a letter to the government in which he expressed his concern because stricter measures would cause many difficulties for inhabitants of Umag, the whole of Istria County and Croatia, in particular in relation to tourism, reports RTL on April 8, 2017.

Systematic border controls of all persons crossing border checkpoints on all borders of the European Union, which include citizens of the European Union member states, have been in force since Friday. Stricter controls were introduced for safety reasons and an increased threat of terrorism and other criminal activities, but have forced people to wait for many hours at Croatian border crossings and caused long lines of vehicles.

“The most vulnerable will be the overall economic system that depends heavily on tourist arrivals. We are aware that raising the level of security measures is necessary, but we cannot help but feel that Croatia, as a full member of the European Union and a major tourist destination, did not analyze and evaluate all the effects such measures would have and did not take alternative security measures with would allow for a smooth flow of people,” wrote Bassanese.

The Umag Mayor estimates that stricter controls at the borders and long waiting times will discourage tourists who arrive in Croatia by car and who are the most numerous guests in the summer season. The negative effects will also be reflected in other sectors which base their business operations on exports and imports. The consequences of rigorous controls will be felt by Croatian citizens who, as cross-border workers, or as pupils and students, every day commute to Italy and Slovenia.

“In short, these measures will have a significant impact on the lives of all of us, and will inevitably affect the standard of living, economy and development,” said Vili Bassanese, who requested an active support from Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in order for Croatian government and relevant ministries to urgently and as soon as possible solve the problem.

Otherwise, he added, “the consequences will be felt by the entire Croatian economy, and the upcoming Easter holidays will be the best indicator.”


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