Saturday, 13 February 2021

Laguna Plans to Increase Korcula, Peljesac Hotel Capacities

February the 13th, 2021 - An increase in Korcula and Peljesac hotel capacities is on the cards as Laguna lays out its tourism plans for 2021's summer season, should all be remotely normal in regard to the coronavirus pandemic by the time the warmer summer months roll around.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, with its recently announced offers, the Laguna Novigrad hotel company is set to take over the remaining shares of HTP Orebic and HTP Korcula, and is strengthening the position of the Management Board by appointing a brand new member - Dino Hrelja, who has since taken over said function.

Laguna has stated that Hrelja's appointment is a continuation of the integration of companies into the business system of Aminess' hotels and camps. The priority now, they added, is the best possible preparation of the upcoming (and what is likely to again be very challenging) Croatian tourist season on the island of Korcula and in Orebic on the Peljesac peninsula. Regardless of the global disruptions in tourism, this company believes that both of these areas have significant development potential.

The takeover bids were published in the Official Gazette (Narodne Novine) on the 10th February, 2021, and the bidder Laguna Novigrad, in cooperation with the acquired company Dalmacija hoteli (Dalmatia hotels), through which it became the majority shareholder, has stated that it has four hotels in Novigrad, Orebic and Korcula, as well as two camps in Novigrad, Istria.

Back in pre-pandemic 2019, they realised an impressive 749,944 overnight stays in total, and their net profit stood at an equally impressive 24.24 million kuna.

The company's offer will be positive for both hotel companies, they say, and will not have a negative effect on the rights and status of their employees. The strategic goals include the possibility of using operational, financial and other sectoral synergies, which will result in greater profitability.

They are announcing the raising of the quality of their destination of the Peljesac peninsula, as well as more Peljesac hotel capacities, as well as the same on the nearby island of Korcula through investments in capacity renewal, the overall expansion of their offer, and their share of individual guests through the existing Aminess channel.

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Friday, 15 January 2021

Two Croatian Hotels Win Prestigious HolidayCheck Special Award

January 15, 2021 – The renowned Swiss portal HolidayCheck awarded the prestigious HolidayCheck Special Award 2021. Among 607 awarded hotels, there were also two Croatian hotels – Hotel Miramar in Opatija and Hotel Plaža Duće in Dugi Rat.

As reported by Nera Miličić, head of the Croatian National Tourist Board in Munich, the best and most successful hotels in as many as 35 countries have been selected according to more than 420 thousand reviews from portal users. In Croatia, the award was given to the Miramar Hotel in Opatija and the Hotel Plaža Duće in Dugi Rat.

"As an indicator of guest satisfaction in the world, the HolidayCheck portal is a benchmark that guests use with confidence to check the quality of accommodation. The award ceremony once again shows the specificity of the tourist year behind us. Also, it classifies our hotels and Croatia as a destination that stands out with its offer even in challenging pandemic conditions," said Miličić.

As the entire hospitality sector faced extraordinary circumstances, certain adjustments were made to the HolidayCheck award. The minimum qualification criteria were at least 25 published reviews for the hotel from December 1, 2019, to November 30, 2020, at least 90 percent of user recommendations and adherence to the HolidayCheck Code of Conduct.

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Source: Croatian National Tourist Board

Among the hotels that meet these criteria, only the ten most popular hotels from a particular region can win the award. In addition to custom criteria, this year's award has a new design and is called "HolidayCheck Special Award 2021."

The HolidayCheck portal is the largest independent travel web portal in the German-speaking area. Based on authentic reviews, of which almost 10 million have been published on the hotels alone, it enables reservations and reviews of numerous offers. The portal offers a range of important and up-to-date information on destinations around the world. It attaches the most significant importance to the reviews of the travelers who have stayed in a place.

Thanks to authentic reviews and expert advice, every tourist can find and book the best vacation for themselves in locations worldwide. The portal has been operating since 2003 and is headquartered in Bottighofen, Switzerland, near the German border town of Constance.

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Friday, 15 January 2021

Around 400 Sisak-Moslavina Earthquake Victims Housed in Croatian Hotels

January the 15th, 2021 - Sisak-Moslavina earthquake victims are currently being housed across the country in various hotels, primarily along the Adriatic coast, far from the area of Croatia the earthquake struck.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, there are currently about 400 Sisak-Moslavina earthquake victims being housed in Croatian hotels across the country, some are in Zagreb, and most of them are in destinations on the Adriatic, primarily in the facilities of the Valamar Riviera and the Crikvenica Adriatic.

Some Sisak-Moslavina earthquake victims are being housed in private apartments and houses that are usually for rent, as the owners of some such properties made their facilities available on the day of the strong earthquake which struck this part of central Croatia back on December the 29th, 2020.

As has been learned from hoteliers who don't want to brag much about their contributions in this humanitarian crisis, unlike some who have seen this devastating situation as a chance for self promotion, accommodation in places far from Petrinja, Glina and Sisak has mostly been accepted by families with small children and the elderly, and usually by those who were living in what are now demolished or damaged buildings.

The hotel companies Valamar and Jadran also stepped forward and donated their services, and the stay of Sisak-Moslavina earthquake victims was initially agreed for a month, although for some it may be extended, depending on the circumstances.

''Mostly, our invitation was accepted by people whose apartment buildings has collapsed or been damaged. Although we try to accommodate them as best we can, it's obvious that they are not comfortable being away from their damaged houses, and that they can't wait to return home,'' said Goran Fabris, President of the Management Board of Jadran which is located in Crikvenica and which accommodated about a hundred people following the disaster.

He added that the quake victims were pleasantly surprised by the residents of Crikvenica, who immediately upon their arrival offered help of their own in varying forms. Valamar Riviera has provided accommodation in its facilities in Istria and Kvarner for a period of one month for more than 200 people affected by the earthquake. On the day of the earthquake, in coordination with the Croatian Tourism Association, a number of tourist companies offered accommodation for Sisak-Moslavina earthquake victims.

The biggest help, however, was given by the tourist companies on the ground, with the donation of mobile homes that will serve as temporary accommodation until houses can be reconstructed properly. As it is known, in that first wave of donations, with the involvement of the Croatian Tourism Association and the Ministry of Tourism, 125 mobile homes and 11 caravans arrived on the field, and some were donated independently by companies and individuals.

Josip Atalic, a professor at the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Zagreb, said recently that more than 35,000 residents of the afflicted areas had reported damage to buildings to date, and inspections had been carried out on almost 16,000 buildings. More than 5,000 buildings are permanently or temporarily unusable, with between 15 and 20 percent of the buildings receiving the dreaded red stickers.

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Thursday, 14 January 2021

Croatian Hoteliers Preparing for New Season, Optimistic about 2021

January 14, 2021 - Croatian hoteliers on the coast are readying for a new year and are optimistic about the new tourist season, even though it is still uncertain, given the current epidemiological situation. 

Jutarnji List reports that although it is still early for any predictions of the 2021 tourist season, mainly because we do not know how and under what conditions travel will happen this year, tourism workers cannot afford to wait.

One example is hotel Romana in Makarska, which plans to open its doors for Easter and employ up to 250 workers, if the epidemiological picture allows, showing optimism and expectation that the season will be successful. The management of other hotels on the Riviera shares the same optimism. Valamar plans to open all hotels in Makarska this summer, and the Meteor hotel is currently in the final phase of renovation. Everything should be finished in the coming days. 

Tonči Andrijašević, director of the Quercus Hotel in Drvenik, says that if there are no changes, they will open on May 1, and more serious work is expected in mid-May.

"We have published the program in the Czech Republic, Poland, France, and Slovenia. It’s a plan that is subject to change, but it definitely has activities, even in the Chinese market for October, through a Compass partnership. As for partners, a lot is happening, it’s alive, but we can’t talk about the numbers yet. I am an optimist, but this is a mildly moderate optimism. I hope that through vaccination, the situation will be brought under control a bit, so, all in all, I still expect a much better year than 2020, although still not close to the results from 2019," says Andrijašević.

Drago Nosić, director of Sol tourism, says that both facilities, hotels Miramare and Biokovo, will open on May 1.

"We are preparing for the season as if it will be more intense than last year, but if it were a normal year, at the beginning of January, we would already have some more concrete indications. Anyway, we have to do everything as if it will be normal. Here, today we are inspecting the rooms to see what we have to adjust," says Nosić, who agrees that the vaccine is positive news, but that we still do not know the dynamics of vaccination or conditions for travel.

"It is good that all partners are more or less interested in starting as soon as possible, but I do not know how tour operators and airlines will solve this. Also, to prepare, you have to invest; if you invest, you expect to earn something, and at the same time, you do not have solid or clear indicators that you will succeed because there are many unknown factors. We are, therefore, guided more by optimism and hope than by logic. In general, everyone is cautious, and we see that the number of flights has decreased by 20 percent compared to 2019. However, it is a good thing that none of our partners is in trouble," says Nosić, who says that demand will certainly be considered when the criteria are clearer. But if the restrictions continue, it will be a problem.

Currently, the biggest problem regarding investment is not investing in hotels because they are relatively new, but the workforce needs to be addressed for the season.

"If it is 70 percent from 2019, we will be satisfied. Anything beyond that is a bonus. It would be unrealistic to expect that 2020 will happen again because now we still have some tools," Nosić emphasizes.

Marko Luketina, director of the Morenia resort in Podaca, says that they are preparing as if everything will be normal, with full capacity and employment, believing that the results will be at the level of 2019, or even better. They open on April 10 and close on October 31, if all goes according to plan.

"We will even extend the cooperation agreements compared to 2019, and we expect 55 to 60 thousand arrivals. This is our plan according to realistic settings; without that, you can't even plan. If there is not enough vaccination, it will affect us to achieve less, but we should expect a plus-minus of 5 percent compared to what was expected by all accounts. I do not believe that there will be major deviations," Luketina is extremely optimistic and assesses the German government's reaction to the situation with TUI, which is crucial for the Croatian market. The problem is aviation tourism, without which the hotel industry cannot work, and that area is still unclear.

"These are all real issues, flights, the issue of conditions related to vaccination, and we know little about it. But there is no choice; we have to act and be prepared as if nothing happened and as if we will have a normal season," concludes Luketina, who added that Morenia achieved extraordinary numbers in 2020 as well.

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Thursday, 7 January 2021

New Year 2021: 6 Times More Croats Than Foreigners in Croatian Hotels

January the 7th, 2021 - Despite the fact that Croatia's current coronavirus measures prohibit the entry of foreign nationals unless they hold lawful residence in Croatia or can prove that they have pressing personal, family or economic reasons to be here, there are still foreign guests in the country. Croatian hotels, however, recorded far more Croatian guests than they did foreigners over the New Year period.

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, although the epidemiological profession urged Croatian hotels to refrain from any New Year programmes due to the increase in the number of people infected with coronavirus, there were still Croatian hotels that, primarily symbolically, rang in 2021.

According to data from eVisitor, a total of 5,249 guests stayed in Croatian hotels on New Year's Eve, ten times less than on the previous New Year's Eve, with a significantly different structure of guests than last year.

Namely, while at last year's celebrations there were three times more foreign guests than there were Croatian ones, this time, there were more than six times more Croatian guests than foreigners staying in Croatian hotels.

Nevertheless, domestic tourist traffic was two thirds lower in terms of overnight stays than it was on New Year's Eve previously, with 4,556 overnight stays recorded, while 693 foreign guests were accommodated in Croatian hotels across the country at the turn of the year.

However, only a handful of Croatian hotels were actually open for the New Year, which in normal years is mostly dominated by hotels in Zagreb, Kvarner and Istria. Only 193 hotel facilities out of about 1,200 recorded overnight stays on New Year's Eve, and they recorded an average of about 21 percent occupancy.

Despite the above, there were exceptions in terms of occupancy, and full occupancy, according to eVisitor, was recorded by one facility in Buje and one facility in Karlovac County, but the Croatian Tourist Board isn't revealing which hotels are in question. Otherwise, 7270 guests were recorded as having stayed in private accommodation facilities on New Year's Eve.

Although a number of Croatian hotels announced back during October that they intended to organise a New Year's Eve party with live music and dancing, their plans soon failed with the deteriorating epidemiological situation and the introduction of new anti-epidemic measures.

Although they didn't actually specifically include the closure of Croatian hotels and hotel restaurants, the maximum number of outdoor and indoor gatherings was cut, and in the meantime, passes between counties were introduced one again, although it was possible to travel with confirmation of having previously booked accommodation. Meanwhile, passes after the recent Petrinja earthquake were lifted, but there are question marks surrounding just how much that affected traffic in this regard.

After the appeal of epidemiologists, Croatian hotels certainly gave up on the idea of live music and similar ideas in the meantime, and the celebrations surrounding the ringing in of the New Year was reduced enormously.

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Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Mali Losinj Boutique Hotel Alhambra Ranked Among Top 10 European Hotels

December the 9th, 2020 - Yet another praiseworthy ranking for a Croatian hotel even during a year which has challenged their very operation as Mali Losinj's Boutique Hotel Alhambra is listed among the top ten hotels in Europe.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Boutique Hotel Alhambra, a unique hotel located in beautiful Mali Losinj that has continued to delight guests from all over the world with its luxurious atmosphere, was ranked by the readers of Luxury Lifestyle Magazine among the ten best hotels in all of Europe. As part of the prestigious Readers' Travel Awards 2020, among the best in the Best hotel in Europe category lies the Bellevue 5 * hotel, another award-winning representative of the Losinj Hotels & Villas brand, a hotel group that is also the only Croatian representative in the company of the best European hotels.

The Luxury Lifestyle Magazine is a professional publication for the discovery new luxury destinations, gastronomic delights, exclusive locations and the top brands that inspire travellers from all over the world to explore destinations and hotels they've never visited before. The Readers' Travel Awards provide the publication's readers the opportunity to single out those tourist facilities that have left the strongest impression on them, with the aim of highlighting the unsurpassed gems of the global tourism industry and rewarding excellence in a number of categories. Readers were able to vote for their favourites after the nominations were reviewed by an expert committee, according to strict criteria.

Surrounded by the intoxicating scent of ancient pine trees and elegantly adorning Cikat bay, one of the most beautiful in the region, the luxurious Boutique Hotel Alhambra is housed in an Austro-Hungarian Art Nouveau-style villa built in 1912. It is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group, one of only two Croatian members of the American network of leading tourist entities Virtuoso and one of the five Croatian representatives of the Traveler Made community. The Boutique Hotel Alhambra offers a high level of privacy for guests who want to enjoy an escape from everyday life, with the offer of organised transfers, the rental of luxury cars and boats to travel and experiences designed according to the personal preferences of the guest. The world-class Alfred Keller restaurant is known for its indigenous seasonal ingredients and delicacies, and the unique Cube Spa Alhambra is a top wellness oasis where guests can indulge in a range of body treatments and rituals, from cleansing baths to detoxifying scrubs and wraps, enjoying the benefits of natural essential oils.

''We're very honoured that the readers of LLM, many of whom we've had the pleasure and privilege of hosting in our hotel, chose us among the ten best hotels in Europe. Our daily mission is to serve the most demanding wishes of our guests with a commitment to consistently create and provide an unforgettable experience in all aspects, exceeding their expectations. All praise goes to our dedicated team who have always gone above and beyond to fulfill the promises we give to our guests. We'd also like to thank our guests and readers for voting for us and we look forward to their return to the Alhambra and to our beautiful island,''  said Andrea Glavan, the director of the Boutique Hotel Alhambra.

The impeccably designed Bellevue 5 * hotel, which recently won the prestigious title of the best Spa hotel in Croatia according to the World Spa Awards, in the Spa Clinic which stretches over 2500 m2 and is the largest in the whole region, provides an excellent wellness haven where guests can enjoy integrated fitness, wellness and beauty programmes, complemented and treated by world-renowned brands such as Bastien Gonzalez, 45 Degrees, Forlle'd Japan, Pharmos Natur and Valmont.

The luxury collection of the Losinj Hotels & Villas hotel consists of the Alhambra Boutique Hotel, the Bellevue Hotel and three ultra-luxury villas - Villa Augusta, Villa Mirasol and Villa Hortensia, all of which located along the gorgeous coastline.

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Saturday, 12 September 2020

How Much Have Croatian Camps and Hotels Earned This Tourist Season?

September the 12th, 2020 - The Croatian tourism industry has taken blow after blow ever since the coronavirus pandemic broke through into the country back in spring this year. Croatian camps and hotels have had an extremely difficult time in drying to decide when to open, how to adapt to the epidemiological measures, or whether to bother opening their doors at all.

Despite the temendous amount of woes which plagued (and quite literally) tourism in Croatia, which is an economic branch of vital importance, accounting for around 20 percent of the country's GDP, the Croatian tourist season actually recorded far better results than were ever initially expected back during those dark lockdown-dominated days and weeks. With travel restricted and everything up in the air as the virus spread, many Croatian camps and hotels thought that there would be no season to speak of whatsoever, and the predictions from those in the industry were dire.

As summer arrived, flights began operating again and more and more Croatian camps and hotels began opening their doors. This was aided by Croatia's previously excellent epidemiological picture when compared to other countries in Europe, especially the terrible situations in both the United Kingdom and nearby Italy, and for the most part, the calculated risk of opening Croatia up to tourists paid off, resulting in a far better season than anticipated and a decent income level.

Now that the season is all but over and the cases of infection have begun to climb rather dramatically, just how well did Croatian camps and hotels actually perform when we look at the real figures?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes on the 11th of September, 2020, this year, Croatian hotels accounted for about 44 percent of last year's turnover during the summer season, with revenues that are 5 to 15 percent lower than physical indicators, according to a survey by the Croatian Tourism Association, which was revealed recently at a press conference at the Ministry of Tourism by Veljko Ostojic.

This shows that there was price pressure, to which some hotels responded. Croatian camps had better demand, they realised 57 percent of last year's overnight stays.

Minister of Tourism Nikolina Brnjac revealed that in the season, Croatia realised 5.2 million tourist arrivals, which is 54 percent of the level of traffic from 2019, from 39.8 million overnight stays, or 62 percent of last year's traffic.

This is significantly better than expected from the rest of the Mediterranean. The director of the Croatian Tourist Board, Kristjan Stanicic, revealed that the CNTB's revenue this year will be around 200 million kuna, which is 150 million less than last year, but he pointed out that this will be enough for the campaigns that are being prepared for 2021.

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Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Valamar Parentino: New 113 Million Kuna Hotel Opens Doors

As Novac writes on the 25th of August, 2020, back at the end of July, a completely renovated Valamar Parentino Hotel 4 * (formerly known as the Valamar Hotel Zagreb) was opened in Porec, Istria, specialising in active and fun family holidays. The hotel boasts 329 accommodation units and in the peak season it can accommodate over 1,100 guests. It also employs about 140 employees.

The investment in the Valamar Parentino Hotel worth an enormous 113 million kuna is the largest investment of the Imperial Riviera for 2020. Valamar Riviera is a leading Croatian travel company that manages the entire Imperial Riviera portfolio, and Valamar Parentino Hotel has become the seventeenth tourist facility bearing the well known and respected Valamar Hotels & Resorts brand.

The Valamar Parentino Hotel is a new family-oriented oasis that provides entertainment for children and a high quality holiday for parents. The excellently equipped Maro Mini and Maxi playrooms for children of different ages, outdoor cinema screenings, a multimedia game lounge, a soft play room, and entertainment with day and evening programmes for children are just some of the possibilities offered by Valamar's Super Maro programme for children up to 12 years of age.

The main Mediterraneo restaurant serves gourmet delicacies using local ingredients, while the Oliva Grill restaurant offers simple dishes which are perfect for a light lunch or dinner.

The offer also includes Sun & Spa - Valamar's signature wellness programme, two heated outdoor pools, water slides and a shallow baby pool. The family pebble beach - Val Parentino Family - offers a range of facilities such as the Splash Beach Bar and La Pentola Trattoria Italiana, famous for its hand-made pasta and pizza offerings.

For those who want an active holiday, there is also a Stay Fit programme, tennis courts and a Music & Fun entertainment programme with a very rich and impressive offer.

Photos can be views by clicking on the above link.

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Sunday, 9 August 2020

One of Most Luxurious Croatian Hotels Opening Doors in August

Croatian hotels were closed for a long time, and as things begin to re-open in attempt to save what remains of 2020's season, one of the most luxurious Croatian hotels announces the opening of its doors.

The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world on its head, and tourism is one of the most heavily affected industries across the globe. Croatia, which relies heavily on tourism as it makes up 20 percent of the nation's GDP, has been far from immune from the virus' negative consequences.

As Novac/Jozo Vrdoljak writes on the 8th of August, 2020, Adriatic luxury hotels is set to open their fifth hotel in the gorgeous Dubrovnik area. Hotel Bellevue will receive its very first guests this year on August the 11th. In addition to Hotel Bellevue, Hotel Excelsior, Hotel Dubrovnik Palace and Hotel Croatia in Cavtat and Hotel Odisej on Mljet have also opened their respective doors.

"The operational procedures in our hotels have been fully adjusted to comply with all of the prescribed measures and recommendations for the operation of Croatian hotels during the COVID-19 epidemic, as issued by the Croatian Institute of Public Health, with maximum effort placed on maintaining the expected level of luxury hotel service," reads a statement from Adriatic luxury hotels.

To quickly recall, Hotel Bellevue was completely reconstructed in April last year after the renovation that began on the last day of October of the previous year. In the complete reconstruction of rooms and apartments, the company has invested an impressive 400,000 kuna in each room, which is the first significant investment made within Hotel Bellevue since its opening back in 2006. The hotel boasts 115 rooms and 14 luxury suites with the Lovor Presidential Suite.

The redesign saw the complete renovation of the reception area and the area of ​​the Spice Lounge bar and restaurant Vapor with its terraces overlooking the bay. The investment, which included fundamental changes to all accommodation facilities and part of the hotel's interior, created a boutique hotel with stunning panoramic sea views. The Boutique Hotel Bellevue, is carved high into the rocks above Miramare Bay. The Portuguese design studio Tereza Prego was hired for the project, specialising in interior design of exclusive hotels and residences. After the renovation, in addition to the existing restaurants Vapor and Nevera, a new The Wine bar was also renovated.

The company to which it belongs is a leading hotel company based in Dubrovnik. Its brand has six hotels of the highest category under its belt: Hotel Excelsior, Villa Orsula, Hotel Bellevue, Grand Villa Argentina, Hotel Dubrovnik Palace, Hotel Kompas, Hotel Croatia Cavtat, two luxury villas: Villa Agave, Villa Sheherezade, Hotel Supetar in Cavtat and the only hotel - Odisej on the island of Mljet.

Photos of the aforementioned hotel can be viewed by clicking the link in the first paragraph of this article.

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Monday, 25 May 2020

133 Hotels, 65 Campsites Opened Last Weekend

ZAGREB, May 25, 2020 - Over the weekend 133 hotels and 65 campsites have been opened, the Croatian Tourism Association said on Monday, adding that it was necessary to launch targeted promotional campaigns in key markets as soon as possible.

"A good epidemiological situation is a basis for achieving results this year and we are among the best in Europe in that regard. We must use that to the maximum in the period ahead," HUT director Veljko Ostojic said, underlining the need to "intensively communicate with key markets to attract guests."

He said it was necessary to finalise agreements simplifying and expediting the entry of tourists from key markets and launch coordinated and targeted promotional campaigns there.

Campsites and more hotels are expected to be opened in Istria, Kvarner and Dalmatia by the end of this month, while the majority of hotels are expected to be open in June.

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