There has never been a more significant investment boom in the hotel sector, especially in southern Croatia. At dozens of sites all over Dalmatia, construction is either underway or nearing completion on more than 45 new hotels which will bring about 6,000 brand new hotel rooms and 13,000 new beds on the market in 2019 alone, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on December 4, 2018.
The total investment in tourism for 2019 is estimated at EUR 1.050 billion, or EUR 100 million more than this year. Of this amount, one third will be invested in four Dalmatian counties, or EUR 314 million in tourism projects. The real star for investors next year is Split-Dalmatia County, which will see EUR 197 million in tourism investment. The city of Split, however, is the most attractive to investors. Works are nearing their end on up to four 4-star hotels, which should, according to the investors, open their doors next spring – and documents have been collected for another five buildings!
According to a survey made by the Ministry of Tourism including the largest hotels in the country on their investment plans for 2019, companies will invest around EUR 626 million in tourism projects, while the public sector, i.e., counties and cities, will spend a total of EUR 425 million in tourism in the next year.
Investments in the private sector include hotels, camps, nautical tourism and other types of accommodations, facilities and attractions. This is precisely why Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli pointed out that in the last two years, Croatia has seen a growth of 40 percent, and next year a new increase in tourism investment has been announced.
According to investment data from the Ministry of Tourism survey, the most substantial amount of total investments is planned in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, with a total of EUR 203 million, along with Split-Dalmatia County, with an EUR 197 million investment. Istria will see an EUR 175 million investment in tourism. In continental counties, including the city of Zagreb, EUR 355 million will be invested.
Split-Dalmatia County announced research by audit and consulting firm Ernst Young (EC), according to which in the next five years (2018-2022), Croatia expects record investments in the hotel industry. According to their estimate, by 2022, investments will include a total of 9,700 hotel rooms, of which nearly 6,000 will be new rooms in 4 and 5-star hotels. Most of the hotels will open in Split, which chronically suffers from the lack of hotel beds. Eight new larger hotels and a host of smaller hotels would absolutely fix this image.
Next year, Split will receive the first “Marriott International” hotel in Croatia under the brand “Courtyard by Marriott”, which will open in the “Dalmatia Tower” of the Westgate complex. The new hotel will boast 190 rooms and four suites. At the beginning of the 2019 season, hotel “Amphora Resort” will open on Žnjan. An investment by Split entrepreneur Zvonko Kotarac, the hotel will have a total of 207 rooms, a large congress hall, a series of catering facilities, three swimming pools, and a luxurious wellness area.
The new “Radisson Blu Resort” pavilion, with 54 rooms and 15 suites, was erected at the former hotel “Split” complex. At the site of the former Kaliternina at Bačvice, construction is nearing its end on a hotel which will have four floors with 60 rooms and 45 parking spaces.
At the site of the former “Ambassador” hotel, Klaus Alex Birkenstock invested EUR 17 million. The new “Ambassador” will have 101 rooms and suites, 240 for restaurant seating, a spa, gym, nightclub and underground garage with 59 spaces. The hotel will boast 4+ stars, and should open in the summer of 2019. On the plot located east of the bridge connecting Split and Bačvice, construction is underway on “Vila Harmony” which will have six floors and 26 rooms after an investment of HRK 32 million.
With the completion of all these investments, which plan to receive their first guests in 2019, Split should boast around 1,500 new top hotel beds in exceptional locations, though it is not yet the desired 5,000 hotel beds, or even close to the 24,000 in family accommodation.
Dubrovnik and Šibenik-Knin counties announced symbolic investments of seven or nine million euros in smaller facilities for next year, while Zadar County will invest more than EUR 100 million in tourism for reconstruction and adaptation, the construction of smaller facilities and marina infrastructure.
In addition to those that will be completed in 2019, many of the major tourist projects are still in the process of getting the documentation prepped, such as the “Kupari Resort”, which should see an investment of HRK 700 million. We are also still waiting for the “Four Seasons” in the bay of Brizenica near Stari Grad on Hvar, which will have 120 rooms and around 100 villas, worth a billion kuna.
According to the announcement of the Minister of State Property Goran Marić, an investment of EUR 50 to 70 million is expected for Dubrovnik’s Hotel Maestral, while Split’s Duilovo expects an HRK 1.5 billion tourist investment after privatization. Privatization is also expected for the Children’s Village in Krvavica on the Makarska Riviera, the “Pašman Resort”, the Prevlaka Fortress, the “Czech Villa” on Vis, and others.
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