Why Valamar Riviera is investing big in Croatian hotels

We noted last year that Croatia was attracting significant investment, with branded hotels racing to gain footholds.

But domestic companies are investing heavily. For example, Valamar Riviera CEO Zeljko Kukurin has said that his company is planning to invest approximately 2.2 billion kunas (more than $332 million) into its travel-related portfolio by 2020 as part of a move to become the leader in the Croatian tourism industry. 

Kukurin announced the plans at the opening of two new Valamar resorts—the Valamar Girandella Resort and the Family Life Bellevue Resort in Rabac. They are the largest tourism investments this year, in which the company invested 562 million kunas and brought 764 new accommodation units to Istria. The Family Life Bellevue Resort has already hosted more than 1,000 British guests through a partnership with travel agency TUI.

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"We are investing heavily because we want to take advantage of very favourable circumstances in the financial markets, primarily low interest rates, although we have adverse effects from the political level due to the abolition of the lower VAT rate for tourism," Kukurin said. "These effects amount to 17 million kunas at the 2016 level."

Kukurin also said that Valamar Riviera will introduce a new brand in late 2017.

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