Minister of Finance Zdravko Marić stated that about 2 percent of the state budget goes to sports. “We will all agree that this is not enough and that it can never be enough for all that sport as a country has given us. We should strive to increase financial resources, but I would always keep this position, if we were at the bottom in terms of money, and at the very top in terms of sports results. We have managed to increase our allocations for sports almost twice in the last few years, and we are currently working on directing the funds from games of chance to sports as much as possible, because it is the Olympic year and we must support all our athletes. Allocations for sports infrastructure are significantly increasing because the first steps towards success are being made here, so we currently have about 520 such infrastructure projects.”, Said Marić, noting that we must bring sport closer to all citizens. “Sport is one of the world’s largest businesses. The global sports industry is worth about $ 500 billion, and is estimated to grow to over $ 2022 billion by 600. It is a huge financial cake in which Croatia has a disproportionately small share, compared to sports results. “, said the President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Luka Burilović at the conference All Faces of Sport – the complex role of sport in the economy, organized by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce. They talked about sports as a tool for branding and promoting Croatia Vladimir Miholjevic, director of the CRO race, Miho Glavic, President of the Croatian Ski Association, Jerko Trogrlić, director of White and Kristjan Staničić, director of the CNTB. Zlatko Mateša, the president of the Croatian Olympic Committee emphasized that this is the first time that we think about sport as an economic category. “It is an industry, like it or not, that weighs 280 billion euros in Europe alone. During the football World Cup in Russia, about 12 billion in tax revenues were realized, and otherwise in that period consumption is around 8 billion. Thus, the footballers contributed to spending with HRK 4 billion, or HRK 600 billion, which flowed directly into the budget. A fifth of our tourism is related to sports activities, about XNUMX million euros a year, which is what we want to show today”, Said Mateša, adding that sport also contributes to building a positive perception of the state. EURO 2020: MORE THAN HALF OF FANS PLAN TO TRAVEL TO WATCH THE TEAMS OF THEIR TEAM Mirjana Čagalj concluded the conference by saying that sport generates over 2 percent of GDP at the European level and that Croatia is below that average. “Our goal must be growth, and investments in sports and sports infrastructure will be crucial along the way. Everything we invest in sports will pay off many times over, through better health of citizens, their better productivity at work and higher salaries. All this will have a beneficial effect on the health care and pension system, but also on the labor market”, Said Cagalj. Photo: Booking.com He also emphasized that sport still brings us much more than we invest in it, and that the promotion of the country that we got through it is invaluable. “Thanks to last year’s World Cup for our country today they know in every corner of the world. We currently invest only 0,11 percent of GDP in sports, making us the last in the European Union. Therefore, with this conference we want to raise awareness of the importance of investing in sports infrastructure and professionals”, Said Burilović. RELATED NEWS: Deputy Mayor of Zagreb Olivera Majić countered Opara, saying that with an investment of 2 billion kuna a year, Zagreb is still the most sporty city in Croatia. “It is important to see how to strategically integrate sport into all complementary activities. It is high time that the promotion of sport is integrated into economic flows. The most significant economic effects sport generates in relation to tourism, trade and construction. It directly creates a business activity that has a high job growth factor, a significant element of an experiential economy and is successful in attracting talent. It strengthens local economies and provides excellent opportunities for marketing promotion ” State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism Tonči Glavina he spoke of the fusion of tourism and sport. “We try to address precisely segmented markets through our top athletes and we are very successful in that. About 7 to 8 percent of the total CNTB budget goes to sports and this is a big step forward from the current practice”, Glavina pointed out. Split mayor Andro Krstulović Opara said that Split proudly holds the title of “the most sporty city in the world”. “Our Olympians, a total of 73 of them, won 96 medals. But I have to mention some scary numbers. In terms of allocations for sports, in 2016 Split allocated 69 million kuna, in 2017 about 72 million, in 2018 almost 98 million, and this year we will have about 93 million kuna. That’s 9 percent of our budget. For comparison, Zagreb invests about 7 percent of its budget in sports, but we are talking about a billion kuna. But despite that, our sport works, thanks to wizards from the profession who work miracles with little money”, Said Opara, adding that special attention and investments are directed towards the inclusion of people with disabilities in sports activities.