Minister expects EUR 350 million of investments in health tourism

Photo /Vijesti/2017/10 listopad/12 listopad/konferencija-za-medije-ministra-turizma-garija-cappellija_37601961196_o.jpg

Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli said on Thursday that the entry into force of the law on providing tourism services had paved the way to investments worth EUR 350 million in health tourism projects, which raised the total tourism investment in 2018 to nearly EUR 1.3 billion.

The government at its session on Thursday sent to parliament a bill on providing tourism services which, among other things, includes health tourism services.

The new bill aligns Croatia's legislation with the EU acquis communautaire in the segment of package travel and linked travel arrangements which member states must adopt by 1 January 2018 and apply by 1 July 2018.

Cappelli told a news conference this was the first time in history that Croatia was legally regulating the issue of providing tourism arrangements in the health tourism sector.

"Travel agencies will, for the first time, be able to offer health service packages in specialised hospitals, health resorts and private clinics," Cappelli said, adding that under the new legislation health institutions would also be able to include those packages in their service through separate firms, set up for this purpose.

"This is going to create another possibility for investment which we plan for next year, in the amount of EUR 350 million, prepared through health tourism projects," Cappelli said, citing the example of the Daruvar hospital, the Lovran hospital, or a EUR 20 million Chinese investment in the Krapina hospital.

These investments will create approximately 2,000 jobs, the minister said.

Announcing Croatian Tourism Days, scheduled to be held at the end of this month in Mali Losinj, Cappelli commented on this year's tourist season's record figures. "As of today, we have approximately 98.5 million nights and 17.3 million tourists, which is 12% or 13% more than the year before. The important thing is that the financial results are very good. In H1 tourism income was 11% higher than in the same period the year before.

The minister also underscored that tourism investments in Croatia in 2017 amounted to approximately EUR 800 million.

Text: Hina