The first edition of the Financial Times Global Tourism Locations of the Future 2017/2018 report has ranked Croatia as the seventh top destination with the highest potential for investment in tourism.
Among 43 tourist destinations, Croatia was also awarded the special Editor’s Choice Awards prize as one of the countries with the most considerable advances in the field of improvement of tourism infrastructure, accommodation facilities, and tourism development initiatives as well as for its investments in hotels and cruise tourism. As far as specific types of tourism are concerned, Croatia was particularly emphasised as a film tourism destination.
In 2018 Croatia expects a 15% investment increase in tourism when compared with 2017 and almost 40% compared with 2016. These announcements suggest that in addition to being an attractive tourist destination, Croatia is a desirable quality investment destination.
The total value of expected investments in tourism in 2018 amounts to EUR 940 million out of which EUR 628 million refers to the private sector and EUR 311 million to the public sector. The announced investments in the private sector include investments in hotels, camps, health tourism, nautical tourism and other types of accommodation facilities, offers and attractions while the investments in the public sector include visitor centres, beaches, walkways and similar facilities. As a comparison, investments in 2017 amounted to EUR 817 million and in 2016 EUR 676 million.
Tourism is of great importance for the Croatian economy and it contributes, directly or indirectly, with 10% to 18% to the Croatian GDP. Due to its exceptional geographical position, Croatia has seen a significant growth in investments in the sectors such as pharmaceutical production and research and development in the pharmaceutical industry as well as the IT sector owing to investments by large-scale companies such as IBM.
The Croatian region of Međimurje was also listed by the fDi Magazine among 146 locations and it was ranked seventh on the top ten list of small European cities and regions of the future with less than 1.5 million inhabitants when it comes to quality of the strategy for attracting foreign investments.
A multiannual systematic work on attracting investment, promoting the economy of the region of Međimurje and strengthening the entrepreneurial environment resulted in this award. The geographical position, a high level of infrastructure, an efficient public administration and above all hardworking people represent an advantage of the region of Međimurje over other areas, which will certainly contribute to new investments.