News & Analysis

Croatian tourism goes from strength to strength

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), together with Zagrebačka banka, Privredna banka Zagreb (PBZ) and Erste&Steiermärkische Bank Croatia are providing a 73 million-euro syndicated loan (18.25 million euros each) to boost tourism in Croatia.

The recipient is Sunce Koncern, which with 11 beachfront hotels on the Adriatic coast, its own airport, a camping ground and other tourism assets located in four popular tourist destinations in Croatia, is one of the leading tourism operators in the country. Operating under the BlueSun Hotels and Resorts brand name, the majority privately-owned company plans significant further expansion.

The loan is part of the EBRD Inclusive Tourism Framework for the Eastern Mediterranean which aims to support local tourism sectors to grow and upgrade through investment in hotels and tourism operators. The facility combines financing with support for enhanced skills and services quality. At the same time the goal is to promote a more diversified tourism experience through stronger backward linkages with the local economies.

“In 2018 the tourism industry has invested around one billion euros, compared to 840 million in 2017. This has led to an increase in the quality of services,” said Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković. “I believe Croatia, where tourism accounts for almost 20 per cent of GDP, will continue to be one of the key Mediterranean destinations.”

According to the Croatian National Tourist Board, in the first quarter of 2018 alone the country saw 894,000 visitor arrivals (an increase of 19 per cent) and 2.3 million overnight stays (and increase of 20 per cent).

“The positive tourist results for the first three months of the year are confirmation of the success of year-round tourism in Croatia, which year after year is breaking the records and placing Croatia amongst the most significant global tourist destinations,” commented the country’s Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli.

“It is the result of the good preparations and joint activities of all the stakeholders in tourism, the private and public sector. Quality and sustainable development are our absolute priorities, and in this sense we are progressing every year. The many comparative advantages and our increasingly competitive position also make Croatia desirable for investors,” he concluded.

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