Croatian Olympic Committee Wants Sports to Be Merged with Tourism Ministry

By 16 February 2016

Should the Croatian Olympic Committee move under the umbrella of the tourism ministry? 

For the last year and a half, the Croatian Olympic Committee has been demanding that sports should be transferred from the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports to the Ministry of Tourism. "That is our old initiative which we have been advocating for over a year and a half. It would be quite logical for sports to be transferred from the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, where we have been on the sidelines, to the Tourism Ministry", said the president of the Croatian Olympic Committee (HOO) Zlatko Mateša, reports Novilist on February 16, 2016.

According to Mateša, the synergy between sports and tourism would bring many benefits because the current state of sports in Croatia is unacceptable. Total revenues of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports amount to 11 billion kuna, but sports gets only a fraction of that amount.

"If Croatian tourism achieves revenues in excess of seven billion euros, and there are estimates that five percent of that amount is derived from sport activities, whether it is professional, amateur or recreational sports, that means that sports contributes to the income with about 350 million euros. If we know that sport gets 100 million kuna from the state, then it is easy to see that sport contributes much more to the gross domestic product than it receives from the state", said Mateša.

According to Mateša, the HOO has studied all the models of financing of sports in the member states of the European Union and has concluded that it would be best to adopt a very successful model which is used in Poland.

"We suggest to the prime minister and the government to make synergy between sports and tourism and to establish a common ministry modelled on Poland, where sports have made a big step forward since being merged with the Tourism Ministry. In addition, we already have positive experiences in cooperation with the Croatian National Tourist Board which has organized 'Croatian Houses' at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, London, Beijing and now in Rio de Janeiro. There is no better promotion for a country than through sports", concluded the president of the Croatian Olympic Committee.