Yacht Exodus: Tourist Tax for 20-Meter Boat Nearly 9 Times Higher

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by Igor Nobilo,

Due to an enormous hike of tourist taxes, yachtsmen have begun moving their ships to Italian, Greek and Turkish marinas, and just one Dalmatian port calculated a loss of 150 thousand euro

Review of the effects of the new tourist tax regulation for 2018, in the section pertaining to Croatian marinas, was the main topic in Marina Punat at a session of the Croatian Chamber of Economy Marina Association held on Thursday. Members of this association are all in fear of the negative effects of the recently introduced regulation. Those present were addressed by Association President Sean Lisjak, stating that the previously expressed concern of negative effects of what they consider undoubtedly a poorly thought out decision, has begun to confirm itself through relocations of vessels to marinas of competitor Mediterranean countries, as Malden Trinajstić reported for Novi List on March 30, 2018.

“The first real effects of the tourist tax hike will be apparent already after Easter, when many of our customers are due to arrive,” said Lisjak, rating that most owners of boats moored in the Adriatic are still unaware of what the Tourism Ministry has in store for them this year.

“Despite our timely and continuous warnings of the negative effects of this regulation, representatives of the relevant institutions persisted in changing the tourist tax calculation, which has risen a reasonable 14% for land-based guests, but for nautical guests it is higher many times. With the arrival of the first guests of the season, we witness their surprise with the enormous hike ranging from 2.5 to 8.5 times what it was before. Additionally, we rate as bad and potentially harmful the new calculation methodology of the tax which takes into account the length of the vessel, but also abolishes the possibility of an annual flat rate tax which had enabled sailors the comfort of unlimited use of their vessels, without the additional administration,” said Lisjak. Citing an example, the head of the association noted the annual value of the tourist tax for a vessel of twenty meters will jump from 1.700 kuna to 14.600 kuna. The average guest with a vessel between 12 and 15 meters will pay a three times higher tax.

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Source: Marina Punat

“At this moment none of us from the sector have proper answers to questions guests are rightly asking and we are afraid this completely wrong and needless act will bring our nautical tourism many times higher damage than the value of the increased income from the tax. And once those responsible realize they are doing wrong, the negative effects of such a move will not be remedied overnight,” continued Lisjak, emphasizing the trend of relocations from Croatian marinas has begun and that just one Dalmatian nautical center has calculated a 150 thousand euro loss.

“In other words, the trend of relocating to Italian, Greek and Turkish marinas is already visible, and when those in charge realize they made a mistake, it will be too late to fix the damage, at least in a shorter period,” concluded Lisjak.

Agreeing with his assessment were all other marina representatives present on Krk Island, including Marina Punat director Renata Marević who admitted the enormously expensive tourist tax is the premier topic she is forced to discuss with users of the oldest Croatian nautical center.

Although in normal circumstances everything foretold another excellent season for Croatian nautical centers, which Croatian marinas are fully prepared for with new services and infrastructure worth over 15 million euro, members of this association have concluded the results of this nautical season will depend mostly on the effect of this change, which they say is not blowing wind into their fully raised sails. Besides the primary topic, members of the association discussed the simplification of the rating methodology of the Tourism Flower – Quality for Croatia activity for 2018.

Translated from Novi List, for the original click here.

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