- Published: 24.09.2018.
Legislative amendments to reform tourist board system
Decentralisation, depoliticising, professionalisation, association and a balanced tourism development are the main objectives of proposed amendments to the law on tourist boards, tourist accommodation taxes and membership fees, which if supported, will reform the tourist board system as of 2020, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli and the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, Kristjan Stanicic, said at a press conference on Monday.They presented the chief amendments to three bills that were put up for public consultation last week. The public consultation is open until 18 October.
Referring to the amendments as reforms, Cappelli said they would introduce changes to the tourist board organisation structure and the payment of tourist accommodation taxes and membership fees to tourist boards.
New organisational structure
The emphasis of the bill on tourist boards and tourism promotion is on destination management, which means that the current pyramid organisation, with the head of the National Tourist Board at the top down to county and local boards will be changed to three basic organisations - the National Tourist Board head office would become the National Tourism Organisation (NTO), which would be involved in coordinating and branding Croatia, international marketing, strategic planning, while Regional Management Organisations (RMO) would replace current regional tourist boards and would deal with regional strategy which until now was in the remit of the national board. Local tourist boards would be transformed into Destination Management Organisations (DMO) and would deal with developing products, events and so on.
Tourist accommodation taxes would no longer be defined by government
"The new organisation structure means decentralised financing and as such RMOs would receive 5% more funds or 15%. the NTO would receive 5% less or 20% while DMOs would receive 65%," Cappelli said, while Stanicic underlined that according to the bill the lowest and highest amounts of tourist accommodation tax would be defined by the minister and not by the government as is now the case.
Stanicic explained that county authorities determine the amount of tourist accommodation tax for each individual town and municipality in their respective counties and that grading tourist places would be abolished and tourist accommodation taxes would be determined for a maximum of two seasons which too would be defined by a ministerial regulation.
"Increasing the tourist accommodation tax in 2019 will ensure more funds to strengthen development potential throughout Croatia and the new bill would distribute income from tourist accommodation taxes differently," Cappelli concluded. (Hina)