Tourism is one of the few economic sectors in Croatia with significant potential for attracting new investments, employment and wage growth, as well as increasing Croatia's competitiveness in the global market, but a prerequisite for activating this potential is ensuring a more favorable business environment that will attract investors.
That is the conclusion of the analysis. "The contribution of different types of tourist accommodation to added value and economic development”Which he made Velimir Šonje from Archival Analytics and presented at the Tourist Briefing organized by the Croatian Tourism Association (HUT).
As the mentioned analysis showed, hotel accommodation, which makes only 16 percent of the total accommodation offer, currently has about 3,7 times higher value added per bed compared to accommodation in real estate for short-term tourist rental, which currently makes 60 percent of the total offer. Therefore, the launch of a new investment cycle in hotels is a prerequisite for the next phase of development of Croatian tourism.
"Croatia has too few hotels compared to tourism-relevant European countries and this is a key reason for the low level of added value created in tourism. Croatian tourism is not a homogeneous activity, on the one hand we have a huge share of real estate for short-term tourist rent that creates low added value, and on the other hand we have a serious tourism business that invests, develops destinations and tries to keep pace with growing competition in the Mediterranean. Croatia is now at a turning point. A new investment cycle and an increase in the added value of the offer can only be achieved by strongly encouraging investment in new higher-level capacities that will enable the development of a modern offer and ensure the sustainability of Croatian tourism.", said Velimir Šonje from Arhivanalitika.
In the structure of the domestic tourist offer, hotel accommodation accounts for only 16 percent of the total number of beds, and in this segment 40 percent of the total added value in tourism is created.
Croatia has by far the lowest share of hotel beds in the total offer among relevant tourist European countries, and only a comparable high percentage of beds in real estate for short-term tourist rental has Montenegro. It is a suboptimal structure that does not allow for maximum economic effect and endangers the sustainability of tourism, the analysis points out.
To jump in productivity, taxes and barriers to investment need to be reduced
Despite the highest tax burden in the Mediterranean, Croatian hotel companies invest significantly more than the Mediterranean average, HUT points out.
The rate of investment in domestic hotel companies measured as a percentage of gross value added is a high 56,4% (2017), which is almost 4 times more than in Greece and Italy and almost twice as much as in France.
"Croatian tourism with the current structure of the offer is vulnerable and unsustainable. If we want to remain relevant on the global tourist map, we must necessarily raise the quality of the overall offer because Croatia can only compete with quality. Croatian hotel companies therefore invest significantly more than the average, but the current environment and low profitability in the hotel industry do not allow the launch of a new wave of investment. In this context, we see the announced reduction of VAT to 13 percent on a part of tourist services as a "fire measure". It is necessary for the Government to continue bravely because we are still uncompetitive with investors. The average VAT on tourism in the Mediterranean is 10 percent and until we catch that average we will not be of interest to the biggest investors. In addition, we need to remove as actively as possible other obstacles to the investments of tourism companies, which we continuously point out", said Veljko Ostojic, director of the Croatian Tourism Association (HUT).
As shown at the Tourist Briefing, Croatia today has an added value per employee in hotel tourism of about 35 thousand euros, and the most competitive tourist countries such as Italy, France and Spain realize about 50 thousand per employee.
According to Šonje, this jump in productivity of about 40 percent in Croatia can be achieved in a relatively short period of a decade, but the precondition is to significantly increase the attractiveness of investing in tourism, especially in high-quality hotel facilities, which is the goal. subordinate the tourism strategy for the coming period.
"Croatia not only lacks small hotels, but it generally lacks hotels as well as larger, specialized hotel companies, and hotels of higher categories and branded hotels ” Šonje points out and concludes that the current pace of investment does not guarantee the repositioning and restructuring of Croatian tourism on the tourist map of the Mediterranean, especially given the lack of investment in quality hotel facilities.
The whole analysis ”The contribution of different types of tourist accommodation to added value and economic development”Which was made by Velimir Šonje from Arhivanalitika for the needs of HUT, read in the attachment