Croatia could make €12 billion from tourism in 2018, about a billion more than in the record-breaking 2017, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli said on Monday, adding that Croatia was aspiring towards quality tourism.
The minister was speaking to the press after a meeting of the Tourist Council of the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ), which discussed the situation in the tourist industry and proposals and plans for the next year.
"We estimate that revenues from domestic and foreign tourists this year will come close to €12 billion. We don't think that lowering prices during the summer will do any damage because total revenues for the first half of the year were already higher than (at the same time) last year,” Capelli said.
He added that intensive preparations for 2019 have already begun, and that they will focus on synergy between the public and private sectors, quality, prices and promotion, which must be twice as good as this year, given demand trends and the situation in competitor countries.
A discussion on this year's tourist season would be prepared within the next three weeks or so, so that guidelines for the HTZ's 2019 budget could be prepared later on, he said.
Cappelli said that there would be a lot of investments in the tourist industry next year as well, adding that the industry expected the government to resolve the problem of a labour shortage in the sector and to cut taxes.
In July, Cappelli estimated that Croatia's tourist industry will be short of 15,000 workers next year, saying the shortage would be covered by re-training people who are currently out of work, and, if necessary, by increasing the quota for foreign workers.