Cappelli Visits Gorski Kotar, Announces Potential of Mountain Tourism

Daniela Rogulj

Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli visited Primorje-Gorski Kotar county yesterday, including the mountainous region Gorski Kotar and Plakat, to take a look at the tourism potential in this part of Croatia. In 2016, Gorski Kotar was visited by 32,691 guests who spent 93,948 overnights.

HRTurizam reports on January 11, 2017 that on this occasion, Minister Cappelli visited the town of Vrbovsko where he met with Mayor Drazen Mufić to discuss the possibilities for further tourism development in the town, which is in need of help from the national level. In addition, the Minister visited SRC “Bijela kosa” in Vrbovsko, which has the potential to be the backbone of the development of year-round sports and recreational tourism in Gorski Kotar and beyond. The project is a ski resort and in the catalogue of investment it is listed as a project of national interest – although an investor has yet to be found. In doing so, Cappelli has said that he will certainly try to find an investor for “Bijela kosa”, but there is also a parallel need to create conditions to attract investors to increase domestic tourist traffic throughout the year. 

“Croatia is no longer a destination that is only seasonal, but we are entering a period of extension during the tourist season, which is confirmed by the fact that in the last quarter of 2016 we had a growth of foreign tourists by 30 percent. I’ll be sure to strive for balanced development of Croatian tourism, and in order to support the move is the preparation of the CRO card which will allow increased consumption and thus higher employment,” said Minister Cappelli.

The Minister also visited the valley of the river Kupa, and the settlement Severin where the fortress Frankopan Castle is located. In this village, in the valley of the river Kupa, there are plans to make a promenade of about 20 km which is being prepared for project documentation. It is hoped that on the Croatian side of the Kupa river, the opening of access for the river and the building of walkways will boost tourism. 

Within the official visit, Cappelli also visited the most famous resort in the vicinity of the Vrbovsko – canyon Kamačnik which is located along the eponymous river and mountain lodge Kamačnik. This area is part of the European ecological network Natura 2000, consisting of sites that are important for the conservation of endangered species and habitats throughout the European Union. This initiative includes an area of about 30,000, which is almost 20 percent of the territory of the EU. At the entrance to the canyon Kamačnik there are plans to build a visitor center which is currently being developed through project documentation. In addition, there are plans to refurbish the mountain lodge to increase the offer, which will certainly have a positive impact on the development of tourism, but also to retain the local population in this highland area. This has already succeeded in some other European countries that do not have the sea, and they have recorded high revenues in mountain tourism.

After visiting Vrbovsko, Cappelli visited Delnica where he met with Mayor Ivica Knezevic and visited the tourist attractions of the city, such as Park and Village Bake Mraz, hotel Risnjak and the tunnel. After visiting Delnica, Cappelli also visited the renovated small mountain lodge “Susak” on Platak which is recently operating again, and is currently only receiving hikers and mountain climbers.

Minister Cappelli praised the initiatives and efforts of the cities and municipalities in the mountain area of Primorje-Gorski Kotar and announced more aid in the development of tourism in the area from the national level. In recent years, through the program “Fund for Tourism Development”, more than a million and a half kuna have been invested in projects in Gorski Kotar. At the same time, entrepreneurs have invested 344,000 kuna in this area through the program “Competitiveness of the tourism economy”. Cappelli once again mentioned that the implementation of the CRO card will certainly be a major boost to domestic guests throughout the year who will visit Gorski Kotar, Platak and other mountain areas that are year-round destinations.

In 2017, the budget of the Ministry of Tourism has planned an additional five million kuna for tourism projects in underdeveloped areas and continental.


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