ZAGREB: The Croatian Audiovisual Centre estimates that international productions will spend almost 11m EUR in Croatia in 2014, almost as much as in 2012 and 2013 combined. Seven international projects have applied for tax incentives in the first eight months of 2014.
The expected return of investment for these seven projects will amount to over 2 million EUR. Along with big Hollywood productions such as Game of Thrones, the projects applying for the incentives in 2014 are coming from Sweden, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Slovenia.
Croatia introduced a 20% cash rebate in 2012. Since then 10 foreign production benefitted from it, contributing more than 12m EUR to the Croatian GDP. There was a growing tendency beginning in the second year when foreign productions in Croatia spent more than twice as much as in 2012. This was mostly due to the HBO series Game of Thrones whose season 2, 3 and 4 were shot in Croatia, and the fifth season expected to start shooting in Split next week.
Game of Thrones gave a boost to the local screen tourism. According to a report on the development of screen tourism in Croatia commissioned by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre in 2013, the expression “Game of Thrones Croatia” was entered in the Google search engine 1,570,000 times.
The indirect benefits of the cash rebate scheme can also be seen in the prolongation of the tourist season (these productions brought 100% more overnight stays in 2013, compared to 2012).