Becoming a golf destination is imperative for Croatian tourism, conference told

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Joining the family of golf destinations is imperative for the Croatian tourism industry, because without it Croatia will remain a seasonal tourist destination, the first conference on golf tourism in Croatia said in the northern Adriatic town of Porec. Assistant Tourism Minister Robert Pende said that Croatia would not be able to  increase the accommodation occupancy rate significantly without making progress in the golf segment. He said that a lot had been done to adjust infrastructure as a prerequisite for any serious golf projects, especially on state-owned land.

"With the existing investor interest, I think we have created preconditions for getting several golf projects in the next two to three years," Pende said, noting that Istria County was leading in that regard.

"Golf is additional content which all our competitors have. Croatia is very suitable for the development of golf tourism because of the proximity of outbound travel markets and the possibility of playing golf along the coast all year round. We must seize that opportunity," Pende said.

Golf adviser Drazen Slamar said that Croatia, unfortunately, was not a golf destination despite its plan to improve the quality of tourist services and extend the tourist season.

"Istria is the best prepared. In an action plan we have identified two regions for golf development: Istria and the Zagreb area," Slamar said.