Sunday, 14 May 2023

New Croatian Tourism Law to Encourage Sustainability

May 14, 2023 - A move away from quantity to quality in the new Croatian tourism law, reports

-We are raising quality, we do not want mass tourism. We are expanding the offer, tourists are staying more, the number of overnight stays is increasing throughout the year. We will also invest in health tourism, Minister Brnjac points out.

- We had to make a real reform of Croatian tourism when the pandemic started, there are climate challenges, resources, we started working on a reform of several steps - adopting a strategy for developing year-round tourism, adopting a national plan for secured funds and the Tourism Act, the first umbrella law. It needs to organize the management of sustainable tourism - said Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac in N1 Studio.

She added that the law primarily applies to mayors and prefects, they make decisions in communities, they must know what kind of tourism they want, they will have to make management plans every four years. Those with a tourism development index of 1 and 2 must submit capacity plans.

- Accounts of sustainable tourism will be made. Through management plans and capacity planning that will be clearly prescribed, the local population must be satisfied with resources, consumption of drinking water, electricity. Natural resources are not inexhaustible - she pointed out.

She emphasizes that sustainability, care for the environment and cultural history have become very important to tourists. Research shows that tourists' first questions are how we plan to change the rules of sustainability, whether we take care of resources. Today, tourists follow destinations, how they take care of their natural and cultural-historical heritage, writes N1.

They have been working on the law for a year and a half in silence with analytics, as it was solved with others, there is no single recipe for all destinations, Brnjac reveals.

- If you have a satisfied local community, then we will have satisfied tourists, they want to see preserved cultural sights, natural resources, they want to enjoy the outdoors. Local leaders will be able to define projects of special importance for the destination according to sustainability criteria - he says.

When asked how the numbers in tourism will grow in the future if the local community can limit the number of tourists depending on resources, Brnjac explained:

- We are raising quality, we don't want mass tourism. Over seven million overnight stays have already been achieved, which is better than in 2019. We are expanding the offer, tourists are staying more, the number of overnight stays is increasing throughout the year. We will also invest in health tourism. We are much more than sun and sea, we have a lot to offer - concluded the minister.


Friday, 7 October 2022

Race for 2.2 Billion Kuna Post-Pandemic Croatian Tourism Aid Package Begins

October the 7th, 2022 - The proverbial race for a massive 2.2 billion kuna post-pandemic Croatian tourism aid package is now on, with the focus being placed on the continental part of the country as well as on the coast.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, on Wednesday this week, the Ministry of Tourism and Sport announced public calls/invitations for the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Croatian: NPOO) which comes with a total value of 2.2 billion kuna.

"I'm extremely proud that we've managed to reach this step, because the road to it was extremely demanding. I consider the fact that 2.2 billion kuna has been provided for a Croatian tourism aid package within the National Recovery and Resilience Plan a huge success and a great pledge for the achievement of the goals we've outlined in our Strategy for the Development of Sustainable Tourism, which will be adopted this year.

We started this process from a position where there was no provision for funding tourism down on the coast, nor tourism that takes place during the summer, and we've reached this moment when we have 930 million kuna in grants for public tourist infrastructure and as much as 1.25 billion kuna in grants for investment in private tourism infrastructure, both in the continental part of the country and on the coast," said Minister of Tourism and Sport, Nikolina Brnjac.

To speak more specifically, this regards two public calls. The public call for grants called "The regional diversification and specialisation of Croatian tourism through investments in the development of tourism products with high added value" carries with it a total value of 930 million kuna.

Its goal is the construction and adaptation of public tourist infrastructure that can stimulate the recovery and resilience of the Croatian tourism sector, contribute to the reduction of excessive tourism in the most developed tourist areas and the stronger tourist profiling of less developed destinations. As a Croatian tourism aid package, it is seeking to ''level up'' the country's tourist offer in a more well-rounded way.

These projects will also contribute to raising the quality of the destinations they regard and enable the extension of the tourist season through the encouragement of sustainable forms of tourism and the development and further adaptation of public tourist infrastructure in accordance with EU environmental protection standards, which also contributes to the green transition.

The second public call is for private companies and is worth a massive 1.25 billion kuna, and its purpose is the construction of tourism infrastructure, the development of tourism products acceptable to the environment and the efficiency of resources, especially those in less developed touristic areas by connecting enterprises in the tourism value chain, increasing the resilience and productivity of companies, as well as allowing for their better positioning on the demanding market through the introduction of innovation and digital technologies.

"Last year, the Ministry of Tourism and Sport started holding a series of workshops with all interested parties throughout the Republic of Croatia, and both invitations were also announced at a public consultation so that everyone would have an equal opportunity to submit their comments. In order to achieve maximum transparency, grants from these two calls will be awarded through an open procedure.

The applicants will be able to enter their project proposals into the eNPOO system from November the 7th, 2022, from 12:00 to February the 3rd, 2023, until 12:00. which means that everyone in the Croatian tourism sector has another thirty days to familiarise themselves with the documentation in great detail before submitting their project applications, and they're also free to ask questions about possible ambiguities. These invitations will be open for a total of slightly longer than 120 days,'' the Ministry revealed.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated politics and business sections.

Thursday, 8 September 2022

New CNTB Campaign Seeks to Strengthen Continental Tourism

September the 8th, 2022 - The new CNTB campaign is focused primarily on boosting continental Croatian tourism, with so many sights and experiences to be enjoyed far away from the coastline.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) and the Ministry of Tourism and Sport have launched the second part of this year's CNTB campaign which focuses on the rural parts of the country with the aim of generating stronger tourist traffic during the post-season. This new CNTB campaign is primarily promoting Lika and Senj, Posavina and Pozega, Podunavlje and Konavle in the extreme south of the country, the CNTB reported.

"Th new CNTB  campaign puts Croatian rural destinations in the foreground, as well as Croatian guests, with whom we're discovering the charm and beauty of continental regions through creative materials. Croatia offers much more than sunshine and the sea, and our task is to bring that wealth closer to both domestic and foreign tourists," said CNTB director Kristjan Stanicic.

He also emphasised his satisfaction with the results of the CNTB campaign so far, which, according to him, has been confirmed by the increase in tourist traffic in the continental counties of the country where - excluding the City of Zagreb - around 1.7 million overnight stays have been achieved so far this year, equal to an impressive 40 percent more than last year.

The Minister of Tourism and Sport, Nikolina Brnjac, noted that the goal of sustainable tourism development across Croatia is the stronger use of the continental part of the country's rich potential and year-round tourism.

"The rural areas of Croatia offer tourists all year round a lot of content, a handful of which we show in this new campaign, from activities in nature, enjoying an authentic gastronomic offer to exploring historical attractions and getting better acquainted with the culture and lives of the local population. Such content is increasingly attracting modern tourists, as evidenced by the fact that in the current part of the year, the tourist traffic in continental Croatian counties has reached 95 percent of the numbers realised back during the same period in 2019,'' said Minister Brnjac.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Friday, 19 August 2022

Minister Nikolina Brnjac Talks Changes for Private Renters to Tourists

August the 19th, 2022 - Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac has discussed upcoming changes that private renters renting out their properties to visiting tourists should be aware of as the Croatian tourism strategy looks at bumping up the hotel share in the bigger picture.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac recently spoke about the strategy of Croatian tourism, the current summer season and numbers for HRT. The share of hotels in accommodation in Croatia is still unsatisfactory, despite the fact that the most recent Croatian tourism strategy was to increase the share of hotels in total accommodation to 18% by the year 2020, but today the country still only has a share of only 13%, and the construction of apartments is continuing to heat up. How might we change that trend?

"Public invitations/calls have been completed, they will be announced soon, and investments in hotel accommodation are beginning. This will either take place through small family hotels, or through larger systems, we're looking at the green and digital transition. As such, by raising the quality and creating added value, we can change things, and this is how year-round tourism develops," said Minister Nikolina Brnjac for HRT.

What about the categorisation of family/private accommodation?

"This is also in our strategy, we have to distinguish between renting from the host and rentierism and this must be distinguished by economic policy. We'll make a new modernisation and categorisation of private accommodation with the aim of raising the quality itself,'' she explained. Brnjac added that the management of various Croatian destinations will show which ones are sustainable and in what way they're managing that, and many towns and cities are suffocating due to the large number of guests, which isn't something that can continue for much longer.

"We will need to draw a line, it's a tool that we will give to tourist boards, which will enable local and regional self-government units to decide what kind of tourism they want for their own respective towns and cities. It's very important for the country that we work to properly develop year-round tourism. Tourism in the continental part of the country away from the coastline should be further developed, for example through the health resort segment. Topusko is a good example of that,'' concluded Minister Nikolina Brnjac.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 28 July 2022

Conference On Green Transformation Of Small Hotels Held In Split

ZAGREB, 28 July 2022 - Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac on Wednesday opened in Split a conference on the green and digital transformation of family and small hotels, organised by the National Association of Small and Family Hotels.

A new brand in family and small hotel management - eco green hotels - was presented at the event, the Tourism and Sports Ministry said in a statement.

Addressing the event, Brnjac said that small and family hotels have a very important role in moving away from mass-scale, seasonal tourism and reorienting oneself towards sustainability and greater quality, welcoming the initiative to introduce the new brand.

She noted that the importance of small and family hotels was also recognised in the new strategy for the development of sustainable tourism in the period until 2030 and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), and that efforts would be made to direct as much as possible of the HRK 2.2 billion (€293 million) intended for tourism, towards entrepreneurs.

A total of HRK 1.2 billion (€160 million) is intended for direct investments in the private sector, including HRK 720 million (€96 million) for hotels, to help them transform Croatia into a year-round destination.

Brnjac said that strategic activities would focus on the green and digital transition, social responsibility of tourism, education and accessible tourism for all.

For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Minister Brnjac Decides on Co-Financing for 77 Sports Infrastructure Projects

ZAGREB, 28 June 2022 - Following a tender for co-financing the construction and equipping of sports facilities in 2022, Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac adopted a decision on Tuesday to co-finance 77 sports facility projects with a total amount of HRK 30.6 million, the ministry said in a press release.

"Accessibility of sports infrastructure for children, recreationists, and professional athletes in all parts of Croatia is one of our most important strategic goals, and this year we have allocated the largest amount of funds to build and renovate a record number of sports projects," said Minister Brnjac.

We also recognized the biggest challenge of local government units with up to 10,000 inhabitants, which according to an analysis conducted within the National Sports Programme, have the lowest rate of investment in sports, hence we have introduced a new programme intended for the construction of outdoor exercise facilities in these communities, added Brnjac.

"Of the 77 projects, 22 will be financed with more than HRK 3 million and this is our way of encouraging citizens throughout Croatia to play sports, and we are positively impacting the poor indicators regarding the general population's physical activities," Minister Brnjac said.

Since 2018, the government has co-financed projects for the renovation or construction of 93 sports facilities with a total amount of almost HRK 46 million.

A total of 261 projects were submitted in this tender with a total value of requested funds of around HRK 320 million while the funds will be awarded to the 77 best-rated projects.

The call for applications was aimed at encouraging the promotion of the value of sports and popularising sports activities for citizens, the improvement of the sports system, and Croatia's international promotion through sports.

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac Talks Tourism Success for 2022

June the 26th, 2022 - Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac has spoken about this year's summer tourist season, which by all indications is looking as if it will be an improvement even on the record, pre-pandemic year of 2019.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac joined a recently shown programme of the N1 Studio live show from the City of Osijek in Eastern Croatia and revealed whether or not there is any fear regarding the figures related to the ongoing spread of coronavirus, whether or not there are expectations fot this to fluctuate during the very height of the summer and how this could affect tourism as we go forward.

"Croatia has developed the ''Safe stay'' project together with the Croatian National Institute of Public Health. All protocols in that regard have been agreed upon. That project is now at the level of recommendations. The novel coronavirus is still very much among us and that's why we must all continue to make sure we do adhere to the necessary (remaining) measures,'' said Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac.

She also pointed out that we must be careful not to find ourselves in the dark red zone on the ECDC map once again, which would be an enormous blow to what currently seems like an extremely promising main tourist season.

"Over recent years, we've proven to tourists and residents of this country alike with this project that we are a responsible tourist destination. We have to take care that we are not dark red on the map. According to the last map, we aren't and I think that together we can take care to not end up geting into that critical situation,'' she said.

Speaking about the tourist results so far in 2022, she said that at the end of June, the country had already passed 20 million registered overnight stays.

"These numbers are extremely good," she said, adding that now, the Republic of Croatia has some extremely important projects related to the extension of the tourist season in order to go towards year-round tourism to deal with and perfect.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Minister Nikolina Brnjac Announces 1.25 Billion Kuna Payout for Tourism

June the 14th, 2022 - Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac has announced a massive payout totalling 1.25 billion kuna for Croatia's most important economic branch.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Ministry of Tourism and Sport has opened an e-consultation on a public call/invitation for grants entitled "Strengthening the competitiveness of enterprises and encouraging the green and digital transition of the tourism sector", worth 1.25 billion kuna, it was announced on Saturday.

Minister Nikolina Brnjac said that the aim of the call was to direct as much money as possible to tourism companies, meaning that a significant 60 percent of the total amount provided for tourism under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO), or 1.25 billion kuna, is intended directly for investments in the private investment.

"Of that, 1.02 billion kuna is intended for high value-added investment projects such as accommodation facilities and accompanying facilities such as theme and amusement parks and other innovative content in tourism, which will truly transform the Republic of Croatia into a year-round tourist destination," explained Minister Nikolina Brnjac.

She also noted that all interested parties (enterprises, companies) will be able to apply for the public call/invitation under equal conditions, but also that the criterion for selecting projects will be their quality and readiness for implementation, since the deadline for using the funds is the end of 2025.

Given the last two pandemic-dominated years which had an unprecedented and extremely negative effect on the economy, and as such on travel and tourism which accounts for as much as 20 percent of the country's GDP, announcements such as this one will provide an extremely welcome spring in the step of all those companies operating within the sector.

Consultation with the interested public on this public call will remain open until the end of this month, more specifically until the 27th of June, 2022.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac and Jadrolinija Management Meet

May the 15th, 2022 - Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac and the Jadrolinija management board's representatives have come together as the height of the summer tourist season rapidly approaches.

As Morski writes, representatives of the Jadroilinija management board met recently at the National and University Library in Zagreb with the Minister of Tourism and Sport, Nikolina Brnjac. The meeting was held as we're now approaching the main part of the tourist year, and Minister Brnjac commented on the current tourist results and expectations from the main summer season.

Along with the President of the Jadrolinija management board, David Sopta, the meeting was attended by various representatives of the Croatian tourism sector, including members of the Croatian Tourist Board and the Council for the Recovery and Development of Tourism, as well as representatives of hotel groups and other professional associations.

''The beginning of 2022 showed an increase in the number of transported passengers and vehicles on national and international lines compared to the same period in 2021. Participating in several tourism events, increased interest in our lines was noticed, so we're very optimistic about the recovery of the market and the return of group tourist trips,'' said the President of the Management Board of Jadrolinija at the meeting.

''The results so far testify that this year we've prepared well and taken all of the necessary activities to strengthen and upgrade the position of Croatia as a desirable tourist destination with high quality and a diverse offer. It's even more important that our emitting markets increasingly recognise Croatia as a year-round destination, which is an important component in the development of the sustainability of Croatian tourism.

When we talk about the value of fiscalised receipts issued for the first four months of this year, we can be very satisfied because on average each month had an increase of 10 percent compared to the same period back during pre-pandemic 2019,'' said Minister Nikolina Brnjac, adding that she believes such good results are set to continue throughout the height of 2022's summer season when we realise 70 percent of 2019's total tourist traffic and 63 percent of that same year's total revenues.

Representatives of the tourism sector said that the demand for Croatia has been extremely good, that the country is one of the leading holiday destinations in its main emitting markets and that they believe that this summer season will continue to yield good results with continued cooperation between the Croatian Government and the entire sector.

According to the Tax Administration, in the first four months of 2022, a total of 5 billion and 457 million kuna in fiscal receipts were realised, which is 170 percent more than in the same period last year, and when compared to the first four months of 2019, the value stands at an encouraging ​​11 percent higher.

So far, more than 1.9 million arrivals and 6.2 million overnight stays have been realised across Croatia, ie 172 percent more arrivals and 154 percent more overnight stays compared to the same period back in 2021.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Foreign Tourists Generate €9.1bn In Revenue Last Year

ZAGREB, 31 March 2022 - Foreign tourists generated €9.1 billion in revenue in 2021, up 89% in 2020 and, it was equivalent to 87% of the revenue they generated in the record year 2019, the Tourism Ministry said on Thursday, citing Croatian National Bank data.

"We are extremely pleased with these results," Minister Nikolina Brnjac said. "Thanks to the government's measures and a good preparation by the whole sector, we have kept the tourism system stable."

She sees that as a confirmation of the big demand for quality tourism products and services, saying that the focus on quality and responsible business can ensure long-term success.

The ministry also cited the central bank's data for Q4 2021, when foreign tourists generated HRK 1.8 billion (€240 million) in revenue, up 116% on the year, and it was equivalent to 91% of the revenue they generated in Q4 2019.

Business: For more, check out our business section.

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