300 New, 300 Old Tourist Board Directors in Croatia from January 1, 2022

By 30 December 2021

December 30, 2021 - According to the latest information from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 300 tourist board directors in Croatia will be replaced immediately after the New Year.

Namely, on January 1, 2022, the provision of the article of the new Law on Tourist Boards and the Promotion of Croatian Tourism, which was adopted in 2020, enters into force, reports

As learns, the current tourist board directors will not be fired; they do not lose their jobs, but they will have to find a new job within the tourist board if they have an indefinite contract.

In addition to the tourist board directors, a new director of the Croatian Tourist Board (CNTB) will be selected.

According to the new provision, directors are elected for four years, which has not been the case so far. Namely, their term lasted indefinitely, that is, until the tourist board confirmed the report at the end of the year.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports told Index that on January 1, 2022, the provision of Article 22, paragraph 2 of the Tourist Board Act came into force. This provision met the legal requirements for announcing tenders to elect tourist board directors. 

"The election of tourist board directors terminates the office of the persons who held that office until the election of tourist board directors following Article 75 of the transitional provisions of the Act. However, the termination of the director's mandate does not mean the termination of the employment contract by force of law," Index learned about whether the current directors will be fired.

The provisions of the Labor Act and directors who have established an employment relationship for an indefinite period retain the rights from the employment relationship provided for in the employment contract.

"The employer is responsible for the correct application of the Labor Law, in this case, the tourist boards. Therefore, there is no unambiguous answer to the question of canceling or concluding fixed-term employment contracts in other jobs. Still, each employment relationship should be considered concerning the concluded contract," stated the Ministry for Index.

The decision on announcing the competition, and thus the deadlines, i.e., the time in which the directors will be elected, is said to be made by the Tourist Council.

"In the end, the tourist council of each tourist board chooses the best candidate and makes a decision," they added. 

When asked why this law was changed, according to which directors are now elected for four years, they answered that before the pandemic in 2019, they started reforming the legal framework aimed at sustainability and professionalization of the tourist board system, where the directors will have a term of four years.

"This ensures competitiveness and the ability to respond more quickly to the challenges facing destination management, which became especially evident last year. In addition, the sustainable development of tourism that we want requires specific knowledge, which includes the environmental aspect and response to climate change, digitalization, and perhaps most important of all, social sustainability and a better life for the local population," the Ministry said.

The current Tourist Board directors oppose this provision.

Index thus received an e-mail with a letter by lawyer Boris Ivančić, who the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board hired.

In a letter sent to all directors of Split-Dalmatia County tourist boards, lawyer Ivančić wrote about the problem with the new law.

"Namely, although there is no obstacle to the appointment of a new director of each tourist board, we are convinced that they, although they can be elected under this regulation, cannot take over the duties they should perform by law, all because the Ministry did not regulate the issue of termination of office of previous directors (appointed, following the law, indefinitely), as a result of which each tourist board, which would decide to elect a new director through a tender, is threatened with significant property, but also functional damage," reads the letter.

The lawyer further states that for this purpose, he explicitly suggests stopping all procedures for electing directors following the provisions of the new Law until the issue of dismissal of current directors is defined with the Ministry.

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