Tourism Minister: Tourist Season to Last Whole Year

Total Croatia News

Croatia’s Tourism Minister is optimistic about extension of tourist season.

Croatian Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli said on Friday in Dubrovnik that there would be no increase in quotas for foreign workers, because he believes that this tourist season could be “covered” by Croatian workers. However, if in the next few years there are not enough Croatian workers, that the quotas might be increased, reports Lider on February 18, 2017.

Minister Capelli participated in a meeting of the Tourism Council of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. In a statement to reporters after the meeting, he confirmed that there would be no additional quotas for foreign workers in tourism. He added that the government would seek a short-term and a long-term solution. “In the short term, we are going to ensure normal operations during the tourist season, while in the long run the problem will be solved through competence centres and vocational schools”, he noted, adding that five such centres would be opened with 30 million euros secured from EU funds. Asked about possible quotas for foreigners, the Tourism Minister said that at this time there would be no increase in quotas. “I think that we will be able to cover all the needs”, the Minister said.

With regards to linking the number of full-time employees and the categorization of hotels, the Minister said he was not against the idea which was proposed by trade unions, but added that there was no need for it. “I think that it will soon not be necessary, since the employers themselves have already realized that they must find a better model, because we already have a lot of hotels which operate throughout the year”, said Cappelli. “We will provide support for development of aviation transport, and in January this year Croatia had 15 percent more guests than ever before. We will soon have a tourist year rather than a tourist season, which means that there will be automatic need for people to work throughout the year”, said Cappelli.

The Minister added that the government was in the process of drafting two important tourism laws, including the one on decentralization of the decision-making process regarding the tourist tax charge. “We are working on important laws on tourist tax and tourist boards. The whole system of tourist boards will be modelled differently and better, because we are facing new challenges. We are gathering all the possible information and we will try to prepare a new law on tourist boards by the end of the year”, said Cappelli, who also noted that county tourist boards would not be abolished.

“County tourist boards will continue to exist, but they will have different tasks and access to markets. We must not rest on laurels, since county prefects know in which direction tourism in their counties and on the islands should develop, but we have to define it in laws. The new law on tourist tax will give counties and towns the opportunity to have at their disposal much larger financial resources. We are going to decentralize the decision-making process on the level of tourist tax charge”, said Cappelli, adding that Parliament would only define the lowest and highest possible levels of the tourist tax.

Tourism Minister added that they had also discussed the issue of linking Dubrovnik with Frankfurt and the rest of the world. “In a very short time, we will meet with Croatia Airlines about better linking Dubrovnik and Frankfurt, with the option of going to other destinations, especially in the United States. It is in our interest to open up this market, especially for the medical tourism sector”, he said.

Dubrovnik-Neretva County prefect Nikola Dobroslavić said that the Minister was informed about the problems of tourism in southern Croatia, which are mostly a consequence of the lack of transport links. “We must build a better road from the Dubrovnik Airport to other destinations”, said the prefect, adding that the destination management issue should also be in focus.


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