Tuesday, 8 November 2022

Following Government Session, New Croatian Fuel Prices As Of Today

November the 8th, 2022 - Croatian fuel prices have been altered following a recent government session and the new prices for all types of fuel are actual as of today. We'll provide a list below of what they are and what they would have been without intervention.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, following yesterday's session, the Croatian Government adopted the decree on establishing the highest retail prices of oil derivatives. According to the regulation, the highest prices are determined by a formula with a fourteen-day calculation period implied.

Margins in the aforementioned regulation are limited to 0.65/l kuna for petrol (gasoline) and diesel, 2.80/kg kuna for LPG for tanks, and 6.20/kg kuna for LPG for bottles.

The price of blue diesel is fixed at 8.49/l kuna.

This new set of Croatian fuel prices and this particular regime will be applied for the next fourteen days, the government also announced.

The new Croatian fuel prices (as of today) are as follows:

- 11.58 kuna/l for petrol (gasoline) fuel - (48 lipa more expensive)

- 13.19 kuna/l for diesel fuel (25 lipa cheaper)

- 10.16 kuna/kg for LPG for tanks (5 lipa more expensive)

- 8.49 kuna /l for blue diesel – the price has remained the same as before

- 14.41 kuna/kg for LPG for bottles - 5 lipa more expensive

Without the aforementioned capping and measures, Croatian fuel prices would be the following:

- 13.37 kuna /l for petrol (gasoline) fuel

- 15.13 kuna /l for diesel fuel

- 10.45 kuna /l for blue diesel

- 12.01 kuna /kg for LPG for tanks

- 16.75 kuna /kg for LPG for bottles of 7.5 kg and more.

 

For more on Croatian news, make sure to keep up with our dedicated section.

Tuesday, 8 November 2022

Interliber 2022's Profits Important as Inflation Drives Cost Up

November the 8th, 2022 - Interliber 2022 is hoping to realise a certain level of profit, putting more emphasis on it than ever before as spiralling inflation continues to force the cost of just about everything up.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, publishers have high expectations from Interliber 2022 in Zagreb, famous for being the largest book fair in the country. They have calculated that they will finally get closer to their pre-pandemic figures and one of the best years of the fair which took place back in 2019, when almost 150,000 people visited Interliber.

Interliber 2022 is the first "normal" year for Interliber, after it failed to be held back in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and last year it was held with the obligation of covid certificates, with only 55 thousand people visiting it. This year is naturally of great importance to publishers as this large book fair brings them from 5 to 25 percent of their annual income.

"Last year, sales were at the level of cost coverage. We expect this year to be at least 50 percent better. On top of that, we expect the results to rise and approach those from back in 2019. This edition should be dynamic, both economically and promotionally,'' pointed out Slavko Kozina, president of the Association of Publishers and Booksellers of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK). The participation announcements this year are also significantly higher than they were last year, with as many as 66 publishers set to participate in the fair, more than last year. More precisely, 296 of them from an impressive 15 countries.

Among them is the Mate publishing house, which specialises in business literature and high school textbooks. They didn't participate last year, because due to epidemiological measures and the limitation of the number of people at the fair, they estimated that it simply wasn't worth it, according to Sanda Tomljenovic Polic, the editor and sales coordinator at Mate. They will be present at Interliber 2022, however, where they achieve a monthly turnover in just six days. However, Interliber 2022 isn't important to them solely because of traffic, but also because it allows them contact with their customers.

"We sell through the web or via distributors, so this is a great opportunity for us to socialise with people and hear their comments for ourselves," stated Tomljenovic Polic, announcing attractive discounts of 15 to 80 percent.

In addition, at Interliber 2022, Bernard Marr's book "Artificial Intelligence in Practice" will be presented, in which the author provides detailed research on 50 companies that have successfully integrated AI into their business practices.

From Fraktura, which annually publishes about a hundred new titles, they have prepared 15 of them for Interliber 2022 alone. "I believe that the fair will be crowded this year," Seid Serdarevic, editor-in-chief of Fraktura, is convinced.

"It's a great source of income for everyone, and this will be especially important this year due to the increase in the prices of raw materials", warned Serdarevic, pointing out that the price of printing is 40 to 60 percent higher this year compared to last year, while the price of paper has also shot up significantly.

"The jump in costs was caused by the global coronavirus pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war and inflation, and all of this creates pressure on the final price of the product, i.e. the book,'' said Serdarevic, adding that there has been a certain increase in the price of books in general, but that publishers are trying to minimise it so that physical books will continue to be affordable and available to Croatian buyers.

Although researches show that Croats don't read all that much anymore, the fact remains that of all the creative industries, this publishing industry is the toughest. In the last five years, the Croatian publishing scene has gone through three major crises, the failure of Algoritm, then the 2017 Agrokor crisis, and recently the coronavirus crisis, and in the end they successfully overcame it all.

As far as sales are concerned, this year things were solid with a slight increase compared to last year. Slavko Kozina pointed out that the latest figures for the business year of 2021 showed an increase in income of five to seven percent compared to pandemic-dominated 2020. It is the industry that, according to him, employs about 3,200 people and annually generates a massive one billion kuna in revenue.

For more, make sure to keep up with our dedicated news section.

Tuesday, 8 November 2022

Croatian Hotels to Become Practical Classrooms for Students?

November the 8th, 2022 - Croatian hotels could soon become the practical classrooms for students from Austria's private IMC Krems as the need for high quality staff in tourism becomes more pressing.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, Croatian hotels could soon become classrooms for the practical parts of classes for students studying tourism and the wine business at the Austrian University of Applied Sciences (IMC), a leading private university with international significance that generates top-class personnel in tourism around the world.

With the growing need for top quality staff in tourism operations and management, it is also expected that the IMC university campus in the Austrian university town of Krems could attract more and more Croatian students. Even though it is a private university, thanks to significant state subsidies, tuition fees for IMC Krems are extremely affordable.

"Our University is the most international in Europe, and since its foundation back in 1994, it has been the first private university for tourism in all of Europe. We're committed to innovation and an international approach, with a special emphasis placed on the practical part of the teaching that our students must do abroad," revealed Karl Ennsfellner, president of the University's board, at a press conference.

IMC Krems was founded back in 1994 as the International Management Centre (IMC) by Dr. Heinz Boyer, who is now chairman of the university's supervisory board and majority owner, while the Austrian city of Krems itself holds a 30 percent stake.

Eight years after its establishment, they received the status of a higher education institution, and since then the university has grown rapidly. IMC Krems currently offers seventeen bachelor's and ten master's programmes, as well as three continued education courses, and about 40 percent of the programmes are taught in English. Programmes in three core areas - business, science and technology, and health - are all offered to full-time students, as well as those who choose to study while working.

Their programmes are closely related to the university's core focuses on business, digitalisation and engineering, health and life sciences, and they generate the most income from biotechnology studies, in which they closely cooperate with leading pharmaceutical companies. IMC Krems has more than 160 partner universities and they have attracted students from 50 different countries.

The practical part of the 22-week course takes place in hotels abroad all over the world, and currently students are very interested in South America," says Bauer-Krösbacher. In addition, classes take place at partner universities in Egypt, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, China, Latvia and Vietnam, and Croatian hotels may well be the next practical classroom for students.

For more, make sure to keep up with our dedicated news section.

Monday, 7 November 2022

AWFT22 Reflections for Croatia: Sustainable Tourism Development in BiH

November 7, 2022 – Although this year’s A World for Travel forum was dominated by stories from the host France, the USA, the UK, Spain, and other European countries, a few keynote speakers showed up to represent the underdogs. Jamaica’s minister of tourism, Bartlett, had stories to tell and could have kept going for days. Just ask Rajan Datar of BBC, who moderated the panels and was tasked with signaling “wrap it up.” A few interesting stories came from Croatia’s neighbours, Bosnia and Herzegovina. As we wrote, contracts were signed between the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council, Intrepid Travel, The Travel Corporation, and USAID’s Developing Sustainable Tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Turizam) to facilitate the development of sustainable tourism in BiH.

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This made us think – is Croatia late for this train? Of course, the way and why tourism developed in Croatia is vastly different from BiH’s situation. With the Adriatic Sea there, it was almost inevitable that tourism would eventually bloom in Croatia. Whatever the supporting factors were (social media, the EU, marketing), the fact is that it happened somewhat rapidly and before the infrastructure was ready to support mass tourism. Dubrovnik is the perfect example.

What struck us the most in the panels with BiH is how much they emphasized the environment, underlining that their mission includes avoiding and mitigating mass tourism at all costs. With the help of their foreign partners, BiHis doing the opposite of what happened to Croatia – making tourism work for them, slowly, thoughtfully, and with a long-term plan. They did, of course, learn from Croatia, as there were many examples of what was done right, too. But it might not be a bad idea for Croatia to peek over the border and copy a few ideas on how to keep doing it sustainably.

An important point for BiH was the engagement and involvement of local communities in tourism. Whether that is local wineries, farms, or accommodation units. With an increase in OPGs and domaćinstva that now take part in Croatia, it was interesting to discuss the importance of developing this part of the tourist infrastructure. TCN spoke to BiH’s delegation at AWFT – Sabina Sahman Salihbegovic and Inja Hadzialic Bubalo of the Federal Ministry of the Environment and Tourism.

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USAID - Turizam

How do you view Croatia and the way tourism has developed there?

“We see Croatia as a good example of tourism development; it is a well-branded destination and a famous one. Many tourists from our country go to Croatia, they love staying there and visiting the beautiful places you have.

Would you say that tourism has been developing sustainably in Croatia?

Tourism in Croatia has been developing sustainably, but there is always room to improve.

Have you seen good examples of community involvement/engagement in Croatia?

We find an example of good local community engagement at the Plitvice Lakes, a good community bond, tourist offer, and public sector.

What do Croatia and BiH have in common to benefit the sustainable future of tourism?

Croatia and BiH have much in common; we speak the same language, we have similar traditions, historical bonds, beautiful monuments, nature, an attractive offer, and friendly people...

What are the main differences between the two countries?

The differences between us are mostly connected to the state government and the levels of power, but that is not something that should put tourism in a bad position...after all, tourism does not know borders...

We are stronger if we stand together – what are Croatia and BiH doing to use their geographical and cultural proximity to facilitate positive trends?

We can do much together by attracting tourists from around the world to both countries. Tour operators and travel agencies from our countries have already created connected itineraries so that for a few days tourists stay in Croatia and a few in BiH, and we can work more on our joint marketing and promotion, especially in long-distance markets.

While we might be competitors locally, competing on the global market together would make a lot of sense. Long-distance tourists are always looking to get the most out of their visit and want to travel as much as possible to the new part of the world. Croatia and BiH, but our other neighbours as well, could complement each other and create a fantastic offer.

What can foreign media do to support community involvement/engagement?

Foreign media can report about the beauties of our countries, of their unrevealed nature, parks, and protected areas.

How can we enhance community involvement/engagement in the diaspora?

Diaspora is valuable to every aspect of the economy, so it is for BiH and tourism. We can encourage people living outside their country to speak more about their home country to invite their friends and relatives to come and visit.

How do you view digital nomads, what is their role?

Digital nomads are coming; it is like a new way of life, a new way of doing tourism... We welcome them to BiH.

Are there cross-border tourism initiatives? What do you think about turning the region into a digital nomad hub?

Some projects are developing around cross-border digital nomad projects but still need real initiative. Of course, there is a legal matter concerning their period of stay in a particular country. We welcome all ideas aimed at developing tourism, so this one about a digital nomads hub is a good one and definitely something we could discuss in the future.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Travel section.

Monday, 7 November 2022

Dalmatian-Venetian Languages - A Brief History of the Zaratin Dialect

November the 7th, 2022 - Have you ever heard of the Zaratin dialect (Zaratinski dijalekt)? Unless you're a linguist or you just happen to be from the part of the wider Zadar area which spoke it, it isn't likely.

For such a small country geographically speaking, there are so many dialects, subdialects and even ways of speech which border on a language of their own spoken across Croatia. There are words specific not only to certain areas, but in many cases to specific islands, and in some cases, to specific places on those same specific islands. Having looked into the main dialects which make up the standard Croatian language as we know it today, Shtokavian, Kajkavian and Chakavian, as well as old Dalmatian and Ragusan (the Dubrovnik subdialect), let's get a little bit more obscure and delve a little into the Zaratin dialect from Zadar (or should I say Zara, given that we're talking about the Venetians).

The Zaratin dialect came to be from mixing Venetian speech with both the Croatian and Jadertine languages and was used by Italians from Zadar for centuries. The horrors which played out across Europe during World War Two are often blamed for kickstarting the beginning of the end for the Zaratin dialect, more specifically the bombing of the City of Zadar.

This tragic event saw a huge number of Zadar locals leave this part of Dalmatia and seek refuge and better lives elsewhere. Most of those people were actually Italians from Zadar who spoke in the Zaratin dialect, and censuses taken during the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth show that a significant number of locals living in Zadar spoke in the Zaratin dialect (then listed as Italian for all intents and purposes) - over 60 percent to be more precise.

There were of course other dialects spoken in Zadar, most of which were heavily influenced by the Venetians and as such their language. As stated, up until the outbreak of the Second World War, the Italian influence in Zadar was strong and ethnic Italians living in Zadar were numerous, and as such their various ways of speaking. Following the bombing of Zadar and the aforementioned exodus of around 20,000 or so Italian Zadar residents, the Zaratin dialect (and others) suffered a decline in the amount of people left there who spoke it. The tragedy for this dialect didn't stop there, as Italian property was either handed over to relatives or confiscated by the state in Yugoslavia, and the ethnic Croatian influence began to grow, replacing the traces of the ethnic Italians from Zadar.

By the time the war ended and the 1950s rolled around, a heavily damaged Zadar was reconstructed by Croats, and the standard Croatian language began to gain a stronghold. The demise of the Zaratin dialect was then in full force. In this day and age, with many local dialects and subdialects across the Republic of Croatia unfortunately dying with the very last generations to speak them, very few elderly people in Zadar still speak in the Zaratin dialect and have it as their mother tongue.

While not all of them spoke in just the Zaratin dialect, the Dalmatian Italians were once a fundamental part of the way life was woven in Zadar and across the rest of Dalmatia, and it seems that even today the true amount of Italian Dalmatians is unclear, with just a few hundred individuals declaring themselves ethnic Italians in official censuses. It has been more or less accepted that the census carried out in Croatia back in 2001 underestimated the sheer number of Italian Dalmatians there are, as many people simply chose not to express their actual ethnic identity for a variety of reasons, from disputes over property ownership rights to not having adequate representation or protection as a minority.

Today, there are numerous Dalmatian Italian Associations, and the one in Zadar is called the Italian Community of Zadar (Comunita Italiana di Zara), which boasts 500 members and was founded back in 1991. It is responsible for launching the first Italian courses after Italian schools were all shut down in 1953.

If you want to hear the Zaratin dialect, one song which was once very popular and is worth listening to is El muto zaratin (Zadarski mulac), written back at the end of the nineteenth century by Luigi Bauch.

For more on Croatian language and history, make sure to keep up with our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 7 November 2022

New Croatian Fuel Prices Tomorrow, Price Increase for One Type

November the 7th, 2022 - Inflation is continuing to pile the pressure on everyone's bank accounts, wallets and back pockets. With spiralling prices and a lack of stability continuing to dominate, Croatian fuel prices are set to change yet again as of tomorrow, with quite an increase on the cards for one type.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, as RTL Danas/Today has unofficially learned, Croatian fuel prices are set to change once again as of Tuesday, with basic Eurosuper 95 being 48 lipa per litre more expensive, while diesel will be cheaper by 25 lipa per litre.

The Croatian Government will most likely step in and freeze the price of blue diesel so that it remains at 8.49 kuna per litre. The average tank for fiel should as such increase in price by 24 kuna at the pump, while diesel vehicle owners will pay 12.5 kuna less from Tuesday on than they currently are.

According to the Government decree on determining the highest retail prices of oil derivatives, over the last two weeks, the price of basic Eurosuper has been 11.10 kuna per litre, while the price of Eurodiesel has been 13.44 kuna.

For more on Croatian fuel prices and other news, make sure to keep up with our dedicated section.

Monday, 7 November 2022

Velika Gorica Attracts More New Residents Than Any Other Croatian City

November the 7th, 2022 - One Croatian city near Zagreb has attracted more new residents than it has ''sent away'', the opposite of the trend we typically see in more or less all Croatian towns, cities and villages. Velika Gorica is on the up, it would seem.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, although in most cities across this country one continually encounters a reduced number of inhabitants as the years go by, there are also those with a positive migration balance.

The 2021 census showed that the total number of inhabitants in the Republic of Croatia had decreased by more than nine percent when compared to the census conducted ten years earlier. This decline in the number of inhabitants was visible across all counties, and one of the factors that certainly contributed to this negative trend is emigration abroad, which only intensified when the country joined the European Union (EU) back in July 2013. With work permits scrapped for Croatian citizens for the vast majority of EU countries and opportunities for a more stable life on offer in countries like Ireland and Germany, this country's already dire demographic trends only went even further downhill.

Velika Gorica, however, is the first on the list of Croatian cities to which more residents moved than moved out, as reported by Velika Gorica's local vgkronike portal. It is followed by Krizevci, Samobor, Cakovec, Dugo Selo, Solin, Sveti Ivan Zelina, Zadar, Sveta Nedelja and Duga Resa, which also showed a positive migration balance It's interesting to note only two Dalmatian areas on that list, with the rest being located in the continental part of the country.

To speak more precisely, a rather impressive 2,203 people immigrated to Velika Gorica last year, and 1,753 left. These figures show an increase in the number of inhabitants by as many as 450 people in just one single year. 717 people arrived in Velika Gorica from abroad, and 620 of them moved abroad.

For more, make sure to keep up with our dedicated news section.

Monday, 7 November 2022

Could Investor Mohamed Ali Rashed Alabbar Take Over Brac Airport?

November the 7th, 2022 - With news of Arab investors more or less dominating the local press of late (see the Fortenova saga), could another investor from that part of the world end up taking over Brac Airport?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, before going into any details, it's important to say that the state intends to withdraw from the ownership structure of Brac Airport, located (as the name should suggest) on a certain Central Dalmatian island across from the City of Split. The first step in starting the procedure for the sale of the shares the government has within that company is contracting work with consultants to assess the company's value, and then those shares that will be offered through a public tender.

DO Advising and Agram Brokers were hired as appraisers, and judging by past practice, it can be expected that CERP will announce a tender for the sale sales in early 2023. Although, as a rule, such procedures are only initiated when investors express interest and submit letters of intent, unofficially from CERP it has been circulating that the Brac Airport government shares sale is proceeding as part of the plan to reduce the state portfolio, and allegedly without the need for prior inquiries from investors.

However, as has been heard from several interlocutors, the majority owner of the company - Sunce hotels, which holds 50.2% of the shares, is interested in the complete takeover of Brac Airport. CERP, on the other hand, has 33.8% of the shares available for sale, and according to data from the ownership structure of Brac Airport, the state has a total of 38.5%, while smaller shares are held by Svpetrvs hotels, HT, the municipality of Puscica, Sardina and some other small shareholders.

Sunce hotels was taken over a year and a half ago by an Arab investor from the United Arab Emirates - Mohamed Ali Rashed Alabbar and his company Eagle Hills Real Estate. Several people in the know claim that until now he has been focused exclusively on the hotel business, but he is allegedly interested in the complete takeover of Brac Airport as well, which is extremely important for Brac's tourism.

However, significant investments are needed, and projects have been being discussed and prepared for years. Admittedly, other investors related to the tourism sector on that island, which were involved in the relatively recently opened (and controversial) Grand Hotel View, could also be interested, and more greenfield investments are underway.

New airport director Petra Bonacic-Sargo also announced the investment in the annual financial report for last year, but when asked about the plans, she didn't go into details.

"Even before the coronavirus pandemic, we applied for two infrastructure projects in order to extend the track and reconstruct the passenger buildings with the help of EU funds. We haven't given up on them, we're still working on them and we hope for a positive outcome,'' said the director of Brac Airport.

At the time when the projects were being prepared, the head of the company from Brac was Tonci Peovic, and the plan was to extend the runway from 1,760 to 2,400 metres and widen it from 30 to 45 in order to enable the landing of larger planes. Investments were also prepared for upgrading the terminal building, and the airport was then going to be made to be able to receive three large aircraft at the same time.

A total investment of around 21 million euros was foreseen, however, in the meantime, certain changes have taken place and now, according Peovic, there is no reason for such a large investment and expansions for Brac Airport. Originally, the project was prepared based on cooperation with the Austrian TUI and a fleet whose planes had 175 seats, but that cooperation no longer exists, and Croatia Airlines has been renewing its fleet and replacing the existing planes with the Airbus 220, and the tendency, he adds, is to switch from turbo-propellers on jets and airplanes that carry fewer passengers.

According to his assessment, and he left the company before the summer, it is enough to extend the runway to 2100 to 2200 metres and keep the width as it is now. Considering the characteristics of the terrain, this will greatly reduce the cost of the investment, estimated to stand at a whopping 6-8 million euros, and there remains the possibility that part of the money for reconstruction and modernisation will also be provided through EU funds.

For more, make sure to keep up with our dedicated news section.

Monday, 7 November 2022

Vladimir Mozetic, Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster President on Croatian Medical Tourism

November 7, 2022 - Croatian medical tourism is back after the pandemic. TCN catches up with Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster Vladimir Mozetic after the successful 10th edition of the Crikvenica  

The 10th CIHT conference is behind you, congratulations. Give us an overview of this year's event. What were the highlights for you?

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At this year's jubilee 10th CIHT Conference, over 120 participants were on the location, and over 300 participants attended online. During the Conference, over 20 eminent experts from the USA, UAE, Germany, Poland, and Croatia took part in presentations, workshops and panels. The titles of the panels and workshops speak for themselves:

New, Newer and the Newest in Health Tourism,

Health and Health Industry: Investment and Development,

Medical Tourism and Patient Expectations,

Natural Healing Factors and Health Tourism

Health tourism and sports rehabilitation

Workshop I – Careers in Health Travel

Workshop II – Accessible Tourism

Workshop III - Plan for the promotion of Croatian health tourism on the US market 2023-2025

During the Conference, we also presented 13 awards in recognition of personal/institutional contribution to the development of health tourism in Croatia. The winners were:

1. Special Hospital for Orthopaedic Surgery Akromion

2. University Eye Hospital Svjetlost

3. Glavić Clinic

4. Special Hospital for Medical Rehabilitation Krapinske Toplice

5. Special Hospital for Medical Rehabilitation Stubičke Toplice

6. St. Catherine Specialty Hospital

7. Special Hospital dr. Nemec

8. Rident Dental Clinics

9. Thalassotherapia Opatija

10. Therme Selce

11. Thalassotherapia Crikvenica

12. Ognjen Bagatin

13. Marcel Medak

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Ten years is quite an achievement, and both CIHT and Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster have made considerable progress since 2013, when you started this conference. Reflect on the last decade. Are you happy with progress so far?

I am certainly satisfied with the direction of the development of the Conference, which over the years has established itself as one of the most significant conferences in the region in the field of health tourism.

CIHT Conference was held for the first time in 2013 on the occasion of marking 125 years of organized health tourism on the Crikvenica Riviera, and in 2015 Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster joined as the organizer, alongside the Crikvenica Tourist Board.

Currently, CIHT Conference is the result of cooperation between the Crikvenica Tourist Board and the Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster as organizers, and the Special Hospital for Medical Rehabilitation Thalassotherapia Crikvenica and the Terme Selce Polyclinic as co-organizers. This year as well, the general sponsor was Jadran-galenski laboratorij d.d., the largest Croatian pharmaceutical company with global success and a member of the Cluster.

Also, for many years, both the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Ministry of Health have supported the CIHT Conference, as well as the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, the Croatian National Tourist Board, the Kvarner Region Tourist Board, the Croatian Chamber of Economy, and the City of Crikvenica.

With the development in the past 10 years, experts from about 20 countries from 4 continents have participated as speakers at the Conference, bringing new knowledge and trends every year both in the organization and content of the service program in health tourism. The importance and possibilities of using new technologies in the provision and promotion of services, as well as the role of accreditation and certification, were also highlighted. A special area is dedicated to presenting knowledge about investment opportunities in health tourism, as well as the scientific segment of the CIHT program.

In addition to the exchange of knowledge, a very important area in the development of the Conference was the creation and maintenance of a "network", which also enables the continuation of business cooperation. This was also confirmed to us through a large number of active projects between the participants.

Of course, a non-negligible part of the Conference is getting to know the tourist / cultural / gastronomic / oenological qualities of our region.

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Where was Croatian health tourism back then, and where is it today?

Given that in the past period, legislative changes were made at the national level and health tourism was included in national and regional strategic plans, the gradual development is obvious. Health tourism has been designated as one of the guidelines for the development of tourism, and at the same time it has become an integral organizational part within the field of health. Also, investments in personnel, space and equipment, as well as marketing and sales, have made it possible to talk about health tourism as one of the most significant economic branches in active development. At the same time, with the financing models offered through various EU programs, the necessary preconditions for further development are made possible. 

The pandemic obviously severely disrupted the industry. How would you assess things now, and what permanent changes resulted from that disruption?

Certainly, the pandemic has slowed down the planned development, hitting some sectors more than others. At the same time, adaptation to the new situation led to new ideas, adaptation of the type of services to the new situation and greater use of technology in communication with users (digitalization, mobile applications, telemedicine). The way institutions and services are advertised has also partially changed. Auto destinations and shorter air destinations without major transfers are a more acceptable choice at the moment. As expected, the pandemic contributed to additional investments in the health industry, through research and products in the preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic segment.

What the members of our Cluster offer is a large number of POST-COVID rehabilitation programs, which are offered to both the domestic and foreign markets. At the same time, the offer is adjusted and developed in accordance with the trends in preventive and personalized medicine, physical and mental rehabilitation, the so-called "lifestyle" medicine, i.e. medicine of the style of life, and active and healthy aging programs. Although our focus is primarily on the surrounding countries (76 million people live within a 500 km or 5-hour drive, of which 15 million are over 60 years old), we also direct our advertising towards Scandinavia, Great Britain, but also the US, the UAE, India, and integration of various service models depending on the market. Research shows that for now about 50 million EU residents use health services outside their home country (about 10%), while about 250 million (53%) of those who wish to do so would, and this is an indication that there is no shortage of markets.

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You have done a fantastic job branding Kvarner as a health tourism destination, and the Kvarner brand is bigger than Croatia within the industry. What is Kvarner doing differently?

I believe that the main reason is that in the Kvarner Region and in the entire county, and based on a tradition of over 180 years, we realized in a timely manner that mutual association of participants in health tourism (health, health industry, tourism, science and education) can bring greater visibility and better organization to everyone, a more economical approach and long-term investment. At the same time, each of the members additionally develops and uses its comparative advantages. For many years, most institutions have been continuously investing significant funds in staff, equipment and premises, as well as in the promotion of their own services on markets. Top quality service at an optimal price, and excellent transport connections by land and air are the main reasons for competitiveness. We provide an offer that includes the organization of the arrival, accommodation, health services, but also local cultural, gastronomic and "outdoor" activities. It is important to note that the health industry, of which health tourism is a significant part, is positioned as one of the strategic economic branches of development in our region. It also contributes to the quality of life of citizens, and creates products that can be offered to the market.

The Kvarner health tourism cluster (www.kvarnerhealth.hr) is an independent association (NGO) founded in November of 2014. It brings together members from the health sector (medical and dental), the health industry (pharmaceutical company), the tourism sector (tourist associations, agencies, hotel groups) and the scientific and teaching field (faculties of the University of Rijeka). Currently, the Cluster has 37 members, with over 9,500 employees, of which almost 5,500 are health personnel. The members are from both the private and the public sector.

Of course, we have high-quality cooperation with partners from all over Croatia, as well as state, regional and local institutions. We are also aware that additional connection is needed at the national level and we wish for this to happen as soon as possible, as this will achieve additional competitiveness and quality, both on the European and global markets.

Your priorities over the next 2-3 years to develop health tourism in Kvarner and Croatia?

The first step that we need to achieve at the national level is to turn from talking about potentials in health tourism to the realization of these common potentials. Legislation has been created that enables this, strategies have been written, and sources of financing are visible. If we jointly accept the health industry as a strategic economic branch, if we connect stakeholders in health care, the health industry, tourism, science, education and research, we can expect successful results. Destination certification projects, destination management, accreditation of service providers, the use of public-private partnerships, joint application to EU projects, and the use of comparative advantages and opportunities of individual sub-regions of Croatia will enable us to achieve the desired results.

For those perhaps not so familiar with the Kvarner region as a health tourism destination, paint a picture for us. What range of services and excellence are on offer, and what other facilities can people enjoy?

We often use the saying that "A week of stay in the Kvarner Region means health for the whole year". The name Kvarner comes from the Latin word "Quaternarus", which means a region that has mountains and a hilly region (Gorski kotar) in the north, the Istrian peninsula in the west, a long sea coast in the east, and islands in the south. This geographical area creates a uniquely healthy microclimate, and in addition to the natural healing factors we have, they were recognized as early as the first half of the 19th century, when the first spas in Kvarner began to open.

We still use this "positional rent", in addition to high-quality health and tourism staff, investment in equipment and space, as well as research and education, as well as high-quality land and air traffic connections. This is complemented by a high-quality and healthy gastronomic offer of local foods, in accordance with modern nutritional guidelines, activities in nature, at the sea, along the coast and in the hilly part of the region. The offer also includes wellness programs, as well as modern and traditional cultural facilities. Come and get to know Kvarner.

You can learn more about the Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster on the official website.

Read more about CIHT - CIHT 2022: Croatia's Premier Health Tourism Conference Turns 10 in Style.

Monday, 7 November 2022

SuperSport HNL Round 16: Hajduk Beats Osijek at Poljud, Wins for Dinamo, Rijeka, Istra

November 7, 2022 - The SuperSport HNL 16th round was played from November 4 to 6, 2022. This round featured the derby between Hajduk and Osijek at a rainy Poljud Stadium, while Dinamo, Rijeka, and Istra locked in 3 points. Here's our SuperSport HNL round 16 recap. 

Istra 1961 v. Gorica (1:0)

Istra and Gorica met on Friday, November 4, in Pula in front of 890 fans. 

The only goal of the match came in the 90th minute when the freshly substituted Bakrar scored for the 1:0 win. Gorica dismissed coach Igor Angelovski after the game. He will be succeeded by Mensur Mujdža, the former Gorica juniors coach. 

 

Istra is in 6th place with 20 points and a game in hand, while Gorica is in last place with 7 points. 

Slaven Belupo v. Lokomotiva (0:0)

Belupo and Lokomotiva met on Saturday, November 5, in Koprivnica in front of 683 fans. 

Ibrahim was shown a red card in the 67th minute, forcing Lokomotiva to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. The match ended without goals. 

 

Belupo is currently in 4th place with 25 points, while Lokomotiva is in 8th with 15. 

Hajduk v. Osjiek (3:1)

Hajduk and Osijek met for the big derby of the 16th round on Saturday, November 5, in front of 9,720 fans at Poljud. 

Hajduk took the lead in the 10th minute when Livaja assisted Sahiti for 1:0. Leovac managed to equalize for Osijek just before halftime, scoring for 1:1 in 45+1'. Hajduk was given a penalty in the 69th minute due to a handball in the box - Livaja routinely scored for 2:1. Mlakar secured Hajduk's victory two minutes after being subbed on, scoring a header for 3:1 in the 79th minute. 

 

Hajduk is currently in 2nd place with 34 points, while Osijek is in 3rd with 27. 

Varazdin v. Rijeka (0:3)

Varazdin and Rijeka met on Sunday, November 6, in Varazdin. 

Lamine Ba was excluded with a red card in the 45th minute, forcing Varazdin to play with a man down for the entire second half. Frigan scored Rijeka's first goal in the 47th minute. Selahi made it 0:2 in the 85th, and Grgić scored for the final 0:3 in the 3rd minute of stoppage time. 

 

Varazdin is in 5th place with 22 points, while Rijeka is in 7th with 15. 

Dinamo v. Sibenik (3:0)

Dinamo and Sibenik closed the 16th round on Sunday, November 6, at Maksimir. 

An own goal by Mina put Dinamo ahead at 1:0 in the 10th minute. Drmić made it 2:0 in the 34th minute. Petković scored for the final 3:0 in the 68th minute. 

 

Dinamo is currently in first place with 38 points and a game in hand, while Sibenik is in 9th place with 13. 

You can see the HNL table HERE.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

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