As part of this year's 19th congress of the Croatian Hotel Employers' Association (UPUHH), a panel was held on the current state of the season and discussed trends and future developments and challenges facing the Croatian tourism system.
Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli pointed out that the hotel segment is a major driver in tourism, the importance of cooperation between the public and private sectors and how much tourism contributes to the excellent results achieved this year.
In the conversation among the panel participants, the importance of focusing on quality as a precondition for achieving higher revenues and further investments that are necessary for the sustainable growth of Croatian tourism was mentioned. It was also pointed out that one of the conditions for intensifying investments is resolving the Tourist Land Act and the Maritime Property Act. One of the topics also discussed at the panel was the challenge of a skilled workforce in places where tourism takes place, emphasizing that certain projects have been launched this year and that the focus in the coming years will be better connecting employers with the CES. and enabling retraining. Explaining the importance of investments, Minister Cappelli pointed out: “According to our data, around 800 million euros should be invested in the tourism sector in Croatia next year, ie more than 40 new hotels should be opened. As a ministry, we will place a stronger emphasis on some of the key issues for both investment and season extension, such as the activation of health and continental tourism.".
In addition, Minister Cappelli stressed that the issue of tourist land and the activation of military property has already been resolved. "We will also amend the Sojourn Tax Act in order to use part of the earmarked funds more efficiently, and we are also talking to HBOR about the possibilities of lending to the tourism sector, which will enable a better quality tourist offer. Through the implementation of quality improvement measures, we will find it easier to break into the market and become even more recognizable", Added Minister Cappelli. As a conclusion of the panel, it was stated that tourism changes every day and in order to maintain and increase competitiveness, it is necessary to plan for the long term.
The round table entitled "Human Capital in the Croatian Hotel Industry" was attended by Minister Cappelli and Acting Director of the Croatian Employment Service (CES) Ante Lončar, Assistant Minister of Labor and Pensions Mario Bebić, President of the European Association of Hoteliers and Restaurateurs HOTREC Susanne Kraus-Winkler. Slovenian Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek and Minister of Environment and Tourism in BiH Edita Đapo, and the discussion was moderated by Kristian Šustar, HUP Zagreb. The round table discussed the challenges related to the workforce in tourism in Croatia, but also in the surrounding countries.
Seasonality is one of the key problems in the context of the workforce in Croatian tourism and how long-term solutions must be found, Cappelli points out and adds: "We are working on developing competence centers that we will finance with EU funds. The funds will be able to finance regional centers that will modernize vocational education for tourism and hospitality in accordance with the needs of the labor market and raise its quality in order to increase the employability of students and opportunities for further education. We will also focus on the marketing approach and actions to promote occupations in tourism", Concluded Minister Cappelli.