Refugee flow hasn’t adversely impacted tourism, says minister


The refugee flow Croatia is faced with has not negatively impacted tourism so far and in September the results were ten percent better on the year, Tourism Minister Darko Lorencin said on Tuesday, commenting on President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic’s statement that the migrant crisis had affected Croatian tourism.

“The president’s statement is indeed very bad for Croatian tourism because tourists from the US as well as those from the Far East live far from Croatia and have less information on what’s going on here. Of the total number of our guests, only several percent are guests from outside Europe, but they are very important to us because of the off-season,” Lorencin said in a press release.

“So far, there have been no negative effects on tourism since refugees started arriving in Croatia. In September, we had ten percent better results in relation to September last year,” he said, adding that despite the high refugee flow in recent weeks, “the cities in Croatia, tourism facilities and Croatian tourist destinations remain safe and are working normally.”

Because of the refugee flow, traffic may be slow at certain border crossings, but our guests who are leaving Croatia can return home safely and without worries, the minister said.

Grabar-Kitarovic told CBNC on Monday that she did not rule out putting up a fence on the Croatian border to stop the migrant flow. She said most were economic migrants and that their influx affected Croatian tourism. She said the migrant crisis had affected Croatian tourism because people viewed it as an element of insecurity, although migrants were passing through a small part of the country far from the main tourist destinations.