March 15, 2020 – A significant investment in the offer and quality sports infrastructure are prerequisites for the development of sports tourism in Croatia.
HRTurizam reports that this could be heard from the participants of the 15th Tourism Discussion on the topic “Sports tourism in Croatia – can we do more and how?”. It was attended by Tonči Glavina, State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism, Zlatko Matesa, President of the Croatian Olympic Committee (HOO), Goran Šprem from Uniline, Tomislav Popović, President of the Maistra Management Board, and Sanda Čorak, Research Associate at the Institute for Tourism.
Panelists stressed that the sports industry brings in 300 billion euros, or 2% of GDP in the European Union, while according to estimates in Croatia, it accounts for 1.4%. It is concluded that sports tourism can provide more revenue and extend the season, but it is a prerequisite to attract investment in sports infrastructure.
In this context, the participants highlighted Istria as one of the positive examples of a region where existing infrastructure enables and supports the development of this specific form of tourism. The four key areas where a shift can be made are heard: recreation, athlete preparation and various camps, the organization of major sporting events, as well as publicity involving successful Croatian athletes.
As a concrete project for the development of sports tourism in Croatia, Šprem emphasized the project “Croatia – Country of Sport”, which aims to attract athletes from all over the world to prepare in Croatia and to improve Croatia’s position on the map of sports destinations. During the discussion, one could hear that great potential lies in the use of European funds for the construction of sports infrastructure, which Croatia has not yet started to use, and highlighted the example of neighboring Slovenia, which has so far withdrawn 100 million euros from the funds for the development of this segment.
Recall, earlier this week, the city of Zagreb announced plans to demolish the existing Dinamo stadium in Maksimir and build a new one with 30,000 seats, with an auxiliary stadium of 3,000 – 4,000 seats, and athletic fields and various outdoor courts alongside the pool complex. Construction on the new stadium should begin in 2022.
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