Tourists Filled Half of Croatian State Budget in 2019's First 9 Months

By 31 December 2019

The Croatian state budget has been half filled by tourist revenue generated by foreigners during the first 9 months of 2019, marking an increase when compared to the first 9 months of 2018. While this marks a considerable increase, the source of the money is worrying indeed.

As Morski writes on the 31st of December, 2019, according to the Croatian National Bank (CNB/HNB), in the first nine months of 2019, foreign tourist revenues amounted to a massive nine billion and 447 million euros in total, representing a nine percent increase, or 769 million euros, over the same period last year.

''This year, we achieved 5 percent more tourist arrivals with an increase of 9 percent. Over the next year, with the introduction of the "Croatian Tourist Card" (Cro card), which we estimate will increase revenues by an additional 1.35 billion kuna, I'm sure that we will lay the groundwork for further enhancing the value of our tourist offer and thereby further emphasise ourselves on the world tourism market,'' said the Minister of Tourism, Gary Cappelli, when announcing the results on 2019's tourism revenue.

In the third quarter, that is, during July, August and September 2019, revenues from foreign tourists amounted to an impressive six billion and 638 million euros, which represents a nine percent increase, or 553 million euros, when compared to the same period last year's revenues of six billion and 85 million euros during that same time period.

It is not bad news that Croatia has enjoyed a steady 9 percent increase, but it is worrying that this is half of the Croatian state budget as a whole, and it has been generated by foreign tourism.

When converted to Croatian kuna, foreign tourists left 71.3 billion kuna in Croatia during the first 9 months of this year, while the total Croatian state budget stands at around 140 billion kuna.

Unfortunately, tourism, despite being Croatia's strongest economic branch, still cannot possibly compete with the production and exports industry. Any stronger influence on tourism development would throw Croatia to its knees, so this self-praise done by Minister Capelli should be taken with a dose of rational reflection and concern.

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