26.04.2022.The conference Green Growth Against Climate Crisis was organised by the daily Večernji list and the Embassy of Israel. The panel entitled the Future of Tourism was held as part of the conference, in which the deputy director of the Fund, Alenka Košiša Čičin Šain, participated. “Tourism that wants to be successful in the long-term must observe the sustainable development principles. The guests more than ever demanding green and sustainable,” said deputy director Košiša Čičin Šain.
“According to the surveys, 82% of tourists in Europe want sustainable tourism and they are even willing to change their habits for that, with one third willing to pay more,” said Slavko Štefičar from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. Tourists come to Croatia because of its pristine nature, and the fact that Croatia is a very desirable destination was confirmed by very good results in tourism despite the coronavirus pandemic. However, protecting and conserving the nature requires considerable investment. This is even more prominent in the context of climate change when new sources of financing climate change adaptation and mitigation measures will have to be found.
Deputy director Košiša Čičin Šain said that the Fund was continuously investing in projects that contribute to the development of tourism, emphasising the investment in the visitor infrastructure in national parks and nature parks. “In the last few years, more than 600 million kunas were invested in some 16 capital projects. Most of the resources were secured from the EU funds, and EPEEF participated with some 60 million in financing the national component. Also, under the Green Line and Let’s Drive Economically programmes, the purchase of electric vehicles and boats, and installation of charging stations was co-financed with around HRK 40 million. The interest in projects for using RES and improving energy efficiency was expressed by hoteliers. For the hotel sector, the Fund designed a pilot project “Reduce food waste, cook for your guests” aimed at encouraging them to work on reducing food waste and loss,” said the deputy director, and added that during May the Found would start a public call for co-financing the purchase of machines for reducing biowaste (food waste) in hotels in the total amount of HRK 1.5 million. The other Fund’s programmes are indirectly related to tourism because they incentivise protection of the environment, better waste management, and climate change prevention and mitigation measures.
Along with the deputy director of the Fund and the director of one of the directorates at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, participants in the panel discussion included Mirko Ervačić from the Osatina Group, Tomislav Popović from Adris, and Zvjezdana Blažić from Geja savjetovanja.