Croatia's government on Thursday accepted a bid from the Vienna-based Avenue Group for the implementation of the 100-million euro Kupari development project, which envisages the construction of four- and five-star hotels with up to 800 beds in that southern coastal resort where currently there are a few dilapidated hotels.

This was the only binding bid in the tender process, and the offer made by the Vienna-based group was also accompanied by a declaration on a joint venture in the implementation of this project from the Marriott International hotel chain, which owns the Ritz Carlton brand.

Tourism Minister Darko Lorencin described the entire project as a pioneering endeavour in revamping and making functional the resort which used to be a military property (during the Communist Yugoslav Federation).

He said that the Kupari project would facilitate efforts to implement similar projects in Muzil, Pula and in the village of Sepurine on the island of Prvic off Sibenik.

Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said that Kupari (near Dubrovnik) had been neglected for years and in a state of disarray both in zoning and in legal sense, and now preparations had been made for the implementation of the project.

The premier said the project would create several hundred new jobs.

Recently, speaking on behalf of the Avenue Group, Ivan Paladina explained that they had submitted a very detailed bid envisaging the construction of two hotels with 400 luxury five-star rooms, adding that more could be said about their plans once a decision was made on whether the bid would be accepted or not.

The Kupari project is about the removal of four derelict hotels that are part of the Kupari tourism complex and the construction of new, four and five-star hotels. The fifth, Grand Hotel would be leased to the investor for a period of 99 years on the condition that the investor thoroughly upgrades it and makes it operational.

Asked by reporters before today's session whether the caretaker government might make decisions of this kind, Deputy Prime Minister Branko Grcic said that a caretaker government could not make decisions on assuming new financial obligations.

With this project, the government ensures that some 100 million euros will be invested in Croatia through the reconstruction of Kupari, Grcic told reporters.

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