Thursday, 19 August 2021

EU Funds Absorbed by Croatia Exceed Payments Into EU Budget by HRK 43 Bn

ZAGREB, 19 Aug, 2021 - The latest report on the absorption of funding from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) shows that since its EU entry in 2013 until 11 August 2021, Croatia absorbed HRK 43.15 million more from the EU budget than it paid into it, the Regional Development and EU Funds Ministry has said.

In the 2014-2020 period, Croatia had €10.7 billion from ESIF at its disposal, the ministry said in a statement on the report presented by Minister Nataša Tramišak and adopted at a closed-door government session on Thursday.

Until 11 August 2021, contracts were signed for projects worth €13.12 billion or 122.22% of the allocated amount.

Payments were made in the amount of €6.32 billion or 58.89% of the allocation and €5.27 billion was verified, or 49.13% of the allocation.

In the period from 2013 to 11 August 2021 the difference between EU funds paid into Croatia's budget and national funds paid into the EU budget amounted to HRK 43.15 billion (€5.75bn) in Croatia's favour, the Ministry said.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Economy Minister Expects Croatia's Growth in 2021 to be Above 5%

ZAGREB, 19 Aug, 2021 - Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Tomislav Ćorić told the press on Thursday that Croatia's economy would expand by more than five percent in 2021 on the back of excellent results in the tourist sector so far this year.

Considering the trends in the tourist season and results in July and in the first half of August, I can point out that we in the government expect that our forecasts of economic growth of more than five percent will turn out to be correct, he told reporters after the government's meeting.

If the positive trends in the tourist trade continue in the remainder of the season, the growth can be even higher, he said, adding that he is optimistic about that.

After a downturn of 8% in 2020, the Croatian economy is expected to rebound by 5.2% in 2021, according to the government's projections.

Ćorić added that the government had today decided to allocate HRK 30 million for the completion of an entrepreneurial centre in prefab containers in Petrinja.

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Croatian Seaports Handle More Passengers and Cargo in Q2 2021

ZAGREB, 19 August, 2021 - The turnover of passengers at Croatian seaports in the second quarter of 2021 reaches 5.4 million, up 81.8% on the year and 41.9% more than in the same period in 2019, according to the national statistical office (DZS).

The port in Split recorded the highest number of passengers -- 739,970 -- which is 115.3% more than in the same period the year before.

The port in Zadar follows with 474,089 passengers or 63.8% more on the year.

Maritime freight increased by by 10.2% with Croatian ports handling 6.2 million tonnes of seaborne goods in the said period.

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange: Crobex Up, Crobex10 Down

ZAGREB, 17 Aug, 2021 - On Tuesday, the Zagreb Stock Exchange Crobex index increased by 0.05% to 1,972.07 points, while the other main index, the Crobex10, dipped by 0.10% to 1,211.70 points.

Regular turnover was HRK 7.8 million.

The most traded stock was the SZAIF fund, turning over more than HRK 3 million. It closed at HRK 22.20 per share, up 8.82%.

Two other stocks crossed the million kuna mark. The Podravka food company turned over HRK 1.5 million, closing at HRK 582 per share (+0.69%), while the Atlantska Plovidba shipping company turned over HRK 1.1 million, closing at HRK 423 (+2.67%).

Thirty-nine stocks traded today, with 14 increasing in price, 13 decreasing and 12 remaining stable.

(€1 = HRK 7.490484)

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Finance Ministry Issues Treasury Bills Worth HRK 983 Million

ZAGREB, 17 Aug, 2021 - The Croatian Ministry of Finance sold HRK 983 million worth of treasury bills at an auction on Tuesday, which was slightly less than planned.

Ahead of the maturity of treasury bills worth HRK 1.23 billion, the Ministry offered a billion kuna in treasury bills for subscription at the first auction since the last one held on 23 June.

Financial institutions submitted offers worth nearly 1.3 billion, and the Ministry accepted HRK 983 million.

The latest treasury bills were issued with a maturity of one year and at an interest rate of 0.01%, which is by one base point lower than at the previous auction on 23 June when the bills were issued with a maturity of one year and at an interest rate of 0.02%. This low interest rate is a result of surplus liquidity in the local financial system.

After today's auction, the balance of kuna-denominated treasury bills subscribed decreased by HRK 245 million to HRK 14.19 billion.

(€1 = HRK 7.490484)

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Thursday, 12 August 2021

Croatian Author Igor Pavela on Hospitality and His Scientific Book

August 12, 2021 - Croatian author Igor Pavela who wrote the first Croatian scientific book on hospitality, is currently waiting for the book to be translated into English. TCN reporter Ivor Kruljac met up with Pavela to discuss both the book, but also the current situation in the Croatian hospitality sector.

April 2021 saw the release of ''Excellence as a Standard in Hospitality Business'' (Izvrsnost kao standard u ugostiteljskom poslovanju), the first Croatian scientific book on hospitality in which author Igor Pavela explored what it takes to successfully run a business and ensure both an excellent offer and enjoyable atmosphere for the guests.

The book's author, Igor Pavela, has been in the hospitality business for the past 16 years. He has gained invaluable experience in various aspects and from multiple positions. Back in April, he was a manager in one of the largest American cruise ship companies and today works for the Maslina Resort in Stari Grad on Hvar island.

He has closely worked with top managers and CEOs of various big international tourism and hospitality companies in his rich career, and he also found time to train management and other employees with his educational material helping them to increase the quality of their overall standard. The educational materials Pavela has written for his training sessions eventually pushed him to write this book, now reviewed and praised by the academic community both in Croatia and in the wider region.

The book boasts a combination of his personal work experience and extensive scientific research encompassing marketing, communication and even ethics (to name just a few), and how one can go about applying it to hospitality sector success.

Maslina_resort_management_team.jpeg

Maslina Resort management team. From left to right: Mario Kolumbic Maitre'D , Chris Edwardes as consultant, Igor Pavela Bar Manager © Maslina Resort

Ground rules in one place

With academic opinion being relevant for knowledge when it comes to scientific literature, Pavela, at the very start of the interview, also said that the first version of the book, which was constructed as his personal business manual, was reviewed by his close friends, colleagues, and ex-partners, all those who have been established in the hospitality business for decades.

''The first information I got as their feedback was that they'd never seen such valuable information presented in a way which is both easy to read and easy to implement. It combined the scientific research that provides the facts and my personal experience which I tried to pass on in the book like a tutor would in order to say what works and what doesn't,'' recalled Pavela.

Pavela pointed out that the hospitality sector encompasses a very broad range of occupations, and there are differences between cruise ships, fine dining restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, and other types of hospitality businesses. With that being said, there are also basic ground rules that are the same for every type of function. His colleagues who learned what works in business the usual way, by experimenting and seeing how things work out before changing and adapting things, rated the book in such a positive way, and Pavela looked more than happy with the impression his writing had had on others in his field so far.

With support from University College Aspira that both published and also held a book presentation for their former student, significant developments are happening for the book as it is currently being translated into English. With the global market not really having a scientific book of this kind under its belt yet, the options seem endless once the translation is complete. Ambitious but realistic, Pavela revealed further plans for the book.

''The book just recently came out in April (it could've come out earlier, but we waited for the unprecedented and catastrophic period for hospitality as a result of the pandemic to calm down). The translation will take around a month and a half to be completed by a professional agency that we hired, and after that, it will be reviewed. As the Croatian version was given to three doctors of science to be reviewed, it will also be reviewed by three very well-known and established names before going out onto the European market. They will, upon agreement, get an example of the book to review it and score it objectively,'' explains Pavela.

He continued by explaining that the book is now the subject of negotiations with a very known high-level sponsor in the hospitality sector. While not being able to reveal the name of the sponsor, Pavela says this sponsor plans to open an academy and to educate their staff based on Pavela's book, which is making its way to hospitality-related education in Croatia, from those in high school to those in higher levels of education. In addition, there is a plan to distribute the English version as an electronic book. The plan is to connect with big e-book distributors such as Amazon to make the book accessible globally, for students, professionals, those who want to start their business and those who are just curious readers with a desire to learn more.

Maslina_Resort_waiter.jpg

© Maslina Resort

Switzerland is the place for experimental physicists thanks to CERN, Japan is doing wonders in robotics, and American and British scientists are making significant historical contributions to the fields of sociology and anthropology. Maybe this book would position Croatia as a leader in scientific observations of hospitality. When asked about this, Pavela said that it is a wonderful idea, and his greatest desire.

"My first intention when I started writing this book was to collect all global experience, which is different, if not more advanced than what is garnered in Croatia alone. I wanted to bring it home because at the end of the day, this is my home and where my heart belongs. Croatia has natural resources that need to be used more, and that also means not just promoting them, but we should be on the level required to be the high-level destination to attract high-level clients from all over the world.

I think Croatia, unfortunately for years now, hasn't been at the required level, and there has been a sea of negative comments from guests as a result. There were good sides too (tourism has been growing more and more since the Homeland War), but from the side of science, we have to see the negative sides because that's something we need to look at in our analysis and research to see what is wrong and why something is wrong so that we can work on it,'' explained Pavela.

The up-to-date research needed to scientifically and successfully explore what works and doesn't work truly needs to be constant, and the spirit of that mentality is reflected in the fact the book already has references and findings in regard to COVID-19.

Hospitality isn't just business but a purpose, too.

When it comes to things that need to be worked on, Pavela pointed out that many people in Croatia who work in hospitality are students and people who don't really take much interest and aren't really educated in the sector, thus bringing down the level of the country's hospitality services in general.

Within twenty minutes of interviewing Pavela, it became clear that he talks about hospitality with the kind of passion that isn't unusual to see among journalists or maybe even lawyers and doctors for their fields, professions who are generally quite romanticised in pop culture and where workers in the field don't view it as a job to put food on the table, but rather a call to contribute to better future. However, it is very unusual to recognise such passion for hospitality among people. How does one find such a spark in an field most people only view as a side job to achieve some higher goal? I asked.

''In one specific moment, I saw hospitality from a completely different level. I was still involved in the operational part of the industry, the back of the counter, serving and having conversations with hundreds of people every day. At one point, I had this click in my mind where I realised that just as food and water are a necessity for the body, these places of socialising are food for the soul that will not disappear even as the world changes with all this technology,'' Pavela said, recalling how he first fell deeply in love with hospitality.

He looked around the beach bar where we sat with delight, which, if more people could recognise it, would no doubt make your morning coffee in a cafe be taken in with a completely different view.

In recognising the energy which takes place when socialising after a hard day at work or school, he saw all members of the hospitality sector, from the highest decision-making managers to the waiters, as actors all involved in the collective task of making socialising as good as it can be.

''Hospitality isn't just an economic transaction of buying a product, here we offer so much more. Our service can make someone's day,'' said Pavela proudly, reminding me of how business deals, relationships, friendship and so much more is formed in a great atmosphere of hospitality service, thus really making a difference to the world.
MaslinaResort_Mediterranean_John_Dory_NikolaRadovani_sized_1.jpg

Maslina Resort's Mediterranean John Dory © Nikola Radovani

As you read through the book, Pavela stays true to his words, pointing out good examples but also bad ones from which other employees and owners can learn what to avoid. Despite positioning some of the aforementioned negative practices to his hometown of Split and the wider Dalmatia area, Pavela at no point mentioned a specific name or a venue that fitted any negative practices. Pavela is sure this doesn't damage scientific data and gathered knowledge, and his scientific objectives are evident in him not name dropping people or places that have good practices either. In this way, he avoided the potential accusations that his book is either paid trash talk or a paid word of praise for some business, which would put a serious strain on Pavela both as a scientific observer and as a hospitality professional.

''When you're writing something like this, it's a very sensitive thing. The purpose of the book isn't to call anyone out for doing bad things, and I don't think that should be in the book. If somebody does something bad and it ends up in the news or with them being sued, then there are other ways to learn about that. The book is about focusing on changing bad practices to positive ones, and even though I had specific places and names in my head, I didn't want to bring them out and sound unprofessional,'' explained Pavela.

''What I want is for those people behind positive and negative examples to recognise themselves,'' he said.

Solidarity should trump competition when building a destination.

In the end, this book of science and practice has an aim of helping others improve their own business. That wouldn't be weird if Pavela had already retired from the business, but with his active employment for Maslina Resort, an outsider's point of view might leave you thinking whether or not it is wise to ''spill the beans'' and all the tricks of the trade as direct competitors could out beat the master as the students of his findings and knowledge. That's a very logical question from outside, but Pavela only smiled with confidence as he assured me that this book's release would neither sabotage himself nor his colleagues.

''The beautiful thing about hospitality is there is something for everyone. The more types of hospitality we have present in our destinations, the better, because opening a new bar doesn't mean stealing guests from another bar. It means offering something different. Everyone can find something for themselves. Somebody will want to hit a brew bar. Someone will want a clubbing experience, and so on. Passing on knowledge is not damaging any of the places. The point is that we all grow together in terms of quality and the commitment to what we do,'' elaborated Pavela, revealing solidarity in hospitality which is hard to deduce from the guest's point of view.

As his book clearly elaborates on, it is wrong for a hospitality owner to try to catch everything and everyone with his offer. Specialising and targeting a particular audience (e.g. those who love quality food and wine, leaving out those who want cocktail bars as you focus on improving your gastronomic offer), along with investing in quality ingredients and keeping your workers happy are the key to success, as Pavela mentioned himself. These are just a few of the points you can find in the book, but in the end, it's best you read it for yourself here. Either in Croatian or you can wait a little longer for the English version.

MaslinaResort_Chocolate_Cherry_Sphere_NikolaRadovani_sized.jpg

Maslina Resort's Chocolate Cherry Sphere © Nikola Radovani 

It's worth remembering that science never sleeps, and with Pavela himself warning of this - the situation is changing constantly. Today's top formula for happy guests may be completely outdated tomorrow. Researching and learning are always welcome in order to show all those involved in this industry the way to providing the best service possible.

Learn more about Stari Grad on Hvar on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Indices Close Mixed

ZAGREB, 4 Aug, 2021 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices closed mixed on Wednesday, with the Crobex increasing by 0.20% to 1,957 points and the Crobex10 decreasing by 0.13% to 1,204 points.

Regular turnover amounted to HRK 4.25 million, roughly the same as on Tuesday.

The only stock to pass the turnover mark of one million kuna was that of the HPB postal bank, turning over HRK 1.13 million. Its price went up by 3.6% to HRK 575 per share.

A total of 41 stocks traded today, with 16 of them registering price increases, 12 recording price decreases and 13 remaining stable in price.

(€1 = HRK 7.490424)

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Indices Up Slightly

ZAGREB, 3 Aug, 2021 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) rose on Tuesday for the second consecutive trading day, with the Crobex increasing by 0.21% to 1,953 points and the Crobex10 by 0.38% to 1,205 points.

Turnover at the close of the trading session was HRK 4.26 million, roughly half as much as on Monday, and none of the stocks passed the turnover mark of one million kuna.

The highest turnover, of HRK 801,000, was generated by the stock of the Valamar Riviera hotel company. It closed at HRK 30 per share, up 1.69% over Monday.

A total of 37 stocks traded today, with 12 of them registering price increases, 12 recording price decreases and 13 stagnating in price.

(€1 = HRK 7.498284)

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Total Household Loans Reach HRK 138,9 Bn in June

ZAGREB, 3 Aug (Hina) - Total household loans in Croatia reached HRK 138.9 billion at the end of June 2021, increasing by HRK 4.2 billion from June 2020, according to the data provided by the Croatian National Bank (HNB).

The annual nominal household loan growth rate was 3.2%, picking up from 2.7% in May 2021, Raiffeisen Bank (RBA) said in its analysis of the central bank's data.

The share of kuna-denominated loans in total loans was 55%, the same as the month before.

Household credit claims increased by 1.9% or HRK 2.7 billion since the start of the year.

The annual household loan growth rate increased from 3.5% to 4%, with the growth of housing loans picking up from 9.7% to 10.1%. 

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Indices Go in Opposite Directions

ZAGREB, 28 July, 2021 - The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Wednesday changed slightly, going in opposite directions, while regular turnover was modest, however, overall liquidity was increased by the block trading in HT telecommunication company's shares, amounting to HRK 2.66 million.

The Crobex rose by 0.15% to close at 1,934.02 points while the Crobex10 dropped by 0.11% to 1,192.41 points.

Regular trading amounted to HRK 4.4 million, almost three million less than on Tuesday.

The total liquidity was increased by the block trading in HT shares in the amount of HRK 2.66 million, at a price of HRK 190 per share.

HT shares also generated a turnover of some HRK 203,000 in regular trading, closing at HRK 190.50 per share.

In regular trading, none of the stocks crossed the million kuna mark, the closest to it being Ericsson Nikola Tesla with a turnover of HRK 916,800. Its price rose by 0.30% to HRK 1,660.

Thirty-four stocks traded today, with 19 of them registering price increases, 9 recording price decreases and 6 remaining stable in price.

(€1 = HRK 7.523)

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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