Croatia’s association of tourist firms (HUT) and the national association of employers (HUP) said in a joint appeal to the Government in Zagreb to allow more foreign workers into the sector to help staff bars and restaurants in the high season.
Croatia is highly dependent on mostly summer tourism receipts, with the industry contributing almost 20 percent to gross domestic product.
In the joint appeal, HUT and HUP said, “ahead of the main tourist season, the situation with workforce is critical and opening of some tourist capacities, including bars and restaurants, is in jeopardy”.
“It is our goal primarily to employ domestic workforce, but the local people are not available or interested to take jobs in tourism,” the appeal added.
In December, Croatia raised the number of licenses for foreign workers for 2019 to 65,100 from 38,769 last year. The quota for workers in tourism was raised to 15,611 from 8,930.
The average monthly salary in Croatia was 6,464 kuna ($983.60) in March. The unemployment rate in April was 8.6 percent.