Today, Member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism in the European Parliament Dubravka Suica responded to appeals from Croatian Chamber of Economy concerning the future of Croatian hoteliers. In a written communication, she warned the Commission about oversights in the Directive on package holidays and assisted travel arrangements and sought reconsideration of the Directive so as not to jeopardize the future of Croatian and European seasonal tourism. In a question to the Commission, she pointed out that Croatian tourism is most threatened of all EU Member States due to the seasonality of tourism and hotel capacities. The problem is that package arrangmenets will be all services that a hotel provides in its own capacity except for accommodation, for example a wellness weekend, dinner along with accommodation, etc. In Croatia, the tax rate for package arrangement is 25%, and for individual services it is 13%. Therefore, hotels will be subject to tax of 25% for all that services that they provides themselves.
˝Years passed until hoteliers became aware that they have to provide other services in addition to food, sun and the sea. Now that you they have invested in or added onto their own services. they will be in big trouble˝, said Šuica. Besides paying taxes, the problem is that the majority of this year's arrangements, rather capacities, have already been contracted, so that would mean a big loss and our tourism would become even more uncompetitive. Last year there was also a problem when the VAT rate increased from 10% to 13%. Since in Croatia tourism accounts for around 16% of GDP, it is clear that this can create big problems.
Also in the same Directive, Croatian hoteliers do not agree with Art. 10 of the proposed Directive which, in practice, seeks to abolish special promotions of hoteliers such as early or late booking because they exclude the possibility of termination of the arrangements at the expense of the customer. The point is that hoteliers offer these promotional packages at a much lower price than regular ones, but without the possibility of termination of the contract to the detriment of hoteliers.
A similar practice exists in the sales of airline tickets when the customer is deciding between several options. The adoption of this proposal for hoteliers would apply the Directive on package holidays that does not allow termination of the contract to the detriment of the customer, and for airlines the Directive on consumer rights, which allows termination of the contract to the detriment of the customer.
On this basis, Šuica asked the Commission: ˝Why does the Commission allow termination of the contract to the detriment of the customer in the Directive on consumer rights which relates to airlines, while in the Directive on package tours, it does not allow termination of the contract to the detriment of the customer? I believe that this is discriminatory and that it can potentially harm Croatian and European tourism.˝