Croatian Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac participated in the High-level Meeting on Safe International Travel in Ibiza, organised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism of the Kingdom of Spain.
In attendance were senior level representatives of OECD members, G20 members, as well as countries that are in the process of joining the OECD, such as the Republic of Croatia, with the presence of a number of organisations from the fields of tourism, transport, economy and health.
Discussion centred around the need for joint action to facilitate safe international travel, including harmonising different health measures and rules in international travel, in order to prepare for potential global challenges in the future.
We believe that this pandemic crisis actually served as a very loud alarm for the transformation of tourism towards its better resilience and sustainability. The geopolitical situation, the economic crisis and climate change, or the combination of all these negative factors, are a constant threat to travel and tourism, no matter how flexible they are.
The Government of the Republic of Croatia has always stood firmly by the tourism and hospitality sector, and through joint cooperation, we managed to maintain Croatia’s position as a safe and desirable tourist destination.Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Tourism and Sports
Within the framework of the meeting itself, a joint statement was adopted that recognises the importance of health safety and facilitating international travel, the economic consequences of difficult travel, and agrees on the further development and adoption of common principles and procedures, as well as the need to promote common principles, among which are reliance on scientific evidence, equality and passenger inclusion, data privacy and transparency.
The minister also referred to the labour force problem that affects almost all European countries.
Today, more than ever before, we need to concentrate on the people who work in the travel and tourism industry and provide them with adequate working conditions. I firmly believe that one of the reasons why Croatian tourism was successful during the pandemic is the fact that the government immediately provided funds to preserve jobs in the tourism sector. Also, the focus on people is an important part of the new Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy until 2030.Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Tourism and Sports
As part of her working visit to the Kingdom of Spain, the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Nikolina Brnjac, also held bilateral meetings with the Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Marija Reyes Maroto Ilera, with whom she discussed strategic steps in the development of sustainable tourism, presenting the Croatian Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy for the next decade.
With OECD’s Deputy Secretary-General Yoshiki Takeuchi, Brnjac discussed the participation of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in the work of the Committee on Tourism within the OECD.
With Julia Simpson, the President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Minister Brnjac discussed the ‘Safe Stay in Croatia’ campaign as well as the role of the business sector in strengthening the resilience and sustainability of tourism.
It is also worth noting that today in Zagreb the process of negotiations on Croatia’s accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was officially started after the Roadmap for Croatia’s accession was adopted in Paris in June.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has been participating in the work of the OECD Tourism Committee since 2016, and the full membership of the Republic of Croatia in this organisation will contribute to better coordination and cooperation with OECD members in the global promotion of policies to improve the economic and social situation.