The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has ensured the distribution of one million and 81 thousand antigen tests in regional public health institutes throughout Croatia, which are available to domestic and foreign tourists. More favorable antigen tests will be available for tourists who have stayed at least three nights in commercial accommodation, and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has provided HRK 20 million for this measure.
Namely, the planned funds for the procurement of antigen tests are from the MINTS budget from the 'item' to increase the competitiveness of the tourism industry, and were reallocated to the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development in the Directorate for Commodity Stocks, which conducted public procurement of tests.
The whole process lasted, and it was only yesterday (July 14.07.2021, XNUMX) that it was announced that the distribution of antigen tests to regional public health institutes throughout Croatia had begun.
The price of antigen tests for tourists will be symbolic, announced the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Nikolina Brnjac.
The question is how much will antigen tests ultimately cost for tourists and since when are the new prices valid?
"The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has secured the purchase of rapid antigen tests that have been distributed to county public health institutes. Tourists who take advantage of this opportunity will be charged only the cost of processing the test, and the final price will be determined by the county institutes of public health. We note that the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has appealed for the price to be uniform in all counties and that a minimum estimated cost be charged, which should not exceed 75 kuna, " allegations from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
The question arises, should Croatia have provided free testing for foreign tourists?
In my opinion absolutely yes. That would be the best possible advertisement, and thus we would have a huge free advertisement in all global media as a destination that is best prepared for this year's tourist season. The cost of testing should be seen through investment, not only through free global PR and advertising, but also as an additional motive for coming, and thus additional tourist spending in destinations.
On the other hand, do we know how much the state treasury depends on tourism? Let me repeat, covering the cost of tests is not a cost, but an investment.
If not, then why go to the test subsidy at all? Read the full thoughts on the need for free testing for tourists in the attachment.
Brnjac: Next week is crucial for this year's season
"At the moment, more than 700.000 tourists are staying in Croatia, and we are facing a period in which we can expect an even larger number of tourists. The situation in our competing destinations is not favorable and it must be a warning to all of us to continue to be responsible. The next weeks are crucial for this tourist year not only because we expect the largest number of tourists and the highest consumption, but also because if we keep the epidemiological situation favorable, we will create preconditions for good results in the autumn part of the tourist year.", Said Minister Brnjac.
At the level of the whole of Croatia, 2021 million arrivals and 3,9 million overnight stays were realized in 20,4, ie 51 percent more arrivals and 47 percent more overnight stays than in the same period last year.