ZAGREB, November 20, 2020 – Member of Parliament Anton Kliman (HDZ) on Friday rejected criticism of tourism boards, saying that tourists do not come to Croatia accidently but as a result of an organised system headed by the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ), which promotes Croatia in the world.
Tourist boards promote our tourism in the world. Large tourism companies generate the most arrivals through tourist boards, the Croatian Democratic Union MP and former tourism minister said.
He underlined that the good work of some of the tourist boards enabled a good tourism season during the coronavirus.
“Abolishing tourist boards would mean chaos. Small providers on the demanding European or global market cannot compete on their own as no one will recognise them,” Kliman said during a debate on amendments to the bill on membership fees in tourist boards.
The amendments foresee a 12% reduction of the membership fee to tourist boards as of 1 January 2021.
Opposition parties in the parliament believe the membership fee reduction is not sufficient and they harshly criticised the system of tourist boards and its membership fees, claiming this is a parallel system that serves as a meal ticket.
Bridge MPs were particularly critical and called for the fees to be abolished.
MP Davor Dretar (Homeland Movement) believes that membership fees to tourist boards should be abolished altogether.
MP Hrvoje Zekanovic (HRAST) claimed that there were thousands of people employed in tourist boards, which were their meal ticket, and they mostly serve as a voting machine.
“They spend tens of millions of kuna a year on official trips around Europe and the world to allegedly attract someone to Croatia but for the most part this money is used for living it up with good meals and drink at the expense of taxpayers,” said Zekanovic.
That is a parallel system that the ministry has no control of, said MP Dalija Oreskovic (Centre).
MP Zeljko Lenart (HSS) believes that tourism boards’ membership fees should be abolished and that another source of financing tourism boards should be found.