In accordance with Croatian tourism strategy by 2020. (NN 55/2013., in futher text:Strategy) Ministry of Tourism of Croatia published "Action plan of golf offer development" in January 2017. The holders of the Action plan were Ministry of Tourism, Institute for Tourism and Golf Services j.d.o.o. Except them, many other parties of golf and golf tourism participated in making of the Plan, such as representatives of Croatian administration and local authority units, nongovernmental associations, sport clubs and federations, investors and prominent individuals. In total, more than 60 persons participated in process of consultation.
As one of the oldest sports and domain of social elite through centuries, golf is globally popular today as it counts aproximately 60 millions players with 32.000 golf courses all around the world. Golf courses are indispensable part of tourist offer of developed coutries, and lately are even becoming part of tourist offer of countries that recently established intenrational tourism, such as Turkey and Bulgaria. Croatia is in the initial stage of this sport and, because of that, it`s exception in Mediterranean competitive circuit. Due to small number of golf courses and their space dispersion, existing golf offer is not attractive and Croatia is not golf destination at the present, which is not in the line with generally accepted commitment about market position of Croatia towards high quality tourist service. Since golf is one of the important segments of high quality tourist offer, golf has a significant place in the Croatian tourism strategy by 2020. According to the Strategy, 30 new high quality golf courses were planned to built. Intesive build of golf courses in Croatia, which is predicted to be done by the end of the planning period of the Strategy, would establish new and high quality golf offer on its entirely area. Quality of golf offer is estimated by the number of golf "clusters". Golf clusters, on realtively small distance in between them, allow the pleasure of playing golf in different, top designed and enviromentally acceptable courses, along with branded hotels and other types of tourist offer, especially eno-gastronomy, wellness and talasotherapy.
To accomplish a vision of development of golf course, to establish a golf as a national sport and to develop golf toursim, which all is accepted from Croatian government and parliament, it`s necessary to recognize unjustifiable limitations due to which golf courses are not being built at the desired speed and suggest measures so that limitations could be removed or minimized, which is the goal of the Plan. By that means validity of numbers or aproximated locations of golf courses, that are pointed out in the Strategy, is not questionable, than it`s accepted as a starting point of recommendation of programs and measures for their realization.
Readiness degree analysis of builidng golf courses in Croatia showed up that two groups of projects can be formed. That two groups, under certain conditions, could be realized or at least building of them could be started within the planning period of the Strategy (or immediately aftherwards, by 2022). First group is formed from the projects for which investors exist (financing is secured) and are ready to start building as soon as all necessarily (left over) licenses are collected or unfinished negotiations with the country, about project`s issues, is done. Second group is formed from the projects for which all needed documentation is collected and, under condition that interested investor is found, building of them could start immediately. Herewith, 14 golf courses, of 30 planned by the strategy, are pointed out.
Implementation manager, of all the activities mentioned in the Plan, is Ministry of Tourism of Croatia. Since realization of the Plan is Government`s goal, its implementation is accomplished through competent ministries within Inter-ministerial professional council for the implementation of the strategy.
Entire text of the Action plan of golf offer development can be found here.
Action plan-workshop in Zagreb, 02/15/2017
Action plan-workshop in Zadar, 03/07/2017
Action plan-workshop in Pula, 03/09/2017