I guess nobody expected that: Croatia is reforming the tourist tax on pleasure boats. A draft resolution is currently before the responsible bodies and is to be voted on in parliament next week. As we were informed beforehand, the draft is finally supposed to put an end to some of the injustices in terms of equal treatment with other tourists of the previous regulation, which considerably disadvantaged especially water sports enthusiasts.
Number of persons, not beds decisive
According to the present draft, owners, as regards guests staying in hotels, apartments or campsites, should pay tourist tax only on the actual number of persons staying on board. Previously, the tourist tax for pleasure boats had to be paid on the basis of the number of beds on board. This led to not inconsiderable discrepancies: Larger yachts, which are designed for six to eight people and have sleeping facilities on board, are often only used by two to three people. Nevertheless, the tourist tax had to be paid for the maximum number of beds, i.e. eight persons.
Tourist tax at hotel and apartment level
Furthermore, the new paper to be presented to the Parliament foresees a 20% reduction of the tourist tax in 2020. This would bring it down to a level that is also required depending on the category of guests in hotels, apartments and campsites. Owners would thus be treated in the same way as other tourists on another point.
Compensation for overpayment
What is most surprising, however, is the fact that owners who have already paid the tourist tax are compensated for any excess amounts. How exactly this measure is to be implemented, however, remained open during the drafting phase. It is unlikely that a refund will be made, as this would involve a very high administrative burden. One may rather assume a solution that envisages seeking compensation in the form of credits for future stays.
Local tourist offices also accept payment
A further relief for all owners should be to be able to pay the necessary tourist tax not only at the port authorities, which are often overburdened, but also at the local, official tourist offices. Here, too, the draft shows the positive intention of the legislator, but the concrete implementation of all measures has not yet been scheduled.
According to well-informed circles, these four key factors will in one way or another find their way into the new regulation on visitor’s tax. At present, however, the bodies concerned are still requesting comments or further proposals from experts, which could possibly lead to changes.
Tourism potential of water sports recognised
However, one thing is already certain: Croatia has not only been extremely accommodating to its guests with regard to entry regulations when the COVID 19 pandemic has abated, but it now also seems to have recognised the potential that water sports can bring to the country.
Water sports enthusiasts the most loyal tourists
Water sports enthusiasts who own a boat in one of the numerous marinas are inevitably among the “safest tourists”, so you don’t have to woo them every year. They return to their boats and generate revenue while other tourists have cancelled or are still waiting to book. Like foreign property owners, they belong to the group of people who could be allowed to return to their ships because they behave just as responsibly and considerately as the native inhabitants of Croatia.
It is precisely this clientele, figuratively speaking, to build a bridge, which testifies to a new understanding of the Croatians to their best customers, the water sports enthusiasts, because, according to a study, they leave the most money per capita in Croatia compared to other tourists.
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TIP: Permit and pay the tourist tax online via SeaHelp
New tourist tax regulation for owners in force since 26 June 2020:
Croatia creates significant relief for water sports enthusiasts