Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Međimurje Wins Financial Times Award Again

ZAGREB, 16 March 2022 - Međimurje County has been given the European Cities and Regions of the Future 2022/23 award by one of the most reputable world economic magazines the Financial Times, its fourth such award, among 160 larger or smaller regions and more than 350 cities in the European Union.

County Prefect Matija Posavec, who received the award in Cannes on Tuesday, told a press conference on Wednesday that the award was not a coincidence and that Međimurje has been recognised as one of the most favourable areas for successfully doing business in Europe thanks to a system that connects the economy and education, among other things.

It is an award to a proud Međimurje that combines all those values of our people, who are productive and diligent, Posavec said, underscoring that over the past two years of the coronavirus pandemic, Međimurje's economy continued to grow as it has been over the past 15 years.

Posavec highlighted several examples of a good entrepreneurial environment such as the Technological-Innovation Centre, the Međiurje Energy Agency and the Čakovec Metal Hub as well as the first scientific-research centre that is owned by a county government. He announced the opening of a regional competence centre in the next month.

"Results do not come overnight, but we are always thinking two steps ahead, and today we are thinking about what will happen tomorrow, which is our wish to become a pilot project in our health system and to apply artificial intelligence here too," said Posavec.

The director of the REDEA Public Institute for the Development of Međimurje County, Sandra Polanec Marinović, said that due to COVID-19 it was necessary to adapt to new criteria.

"We also presented those sectors that have the greatest potential for post-pandemic recovery, concentrating on new rapidly-growing sectors such as eMobility, as well as presenting the IT sector and creative industries," she said, recalling the huge municipal investments in business zones.

Business: For more, check out our business section.


Monday, 22 November 2021

Međimurje County Tourism Grants: Over 130 New Projects in 10 Years

November 22, 2021 - Međimurje County tourism grants have allowed for 130 new projects over the last 10 years. 

Ten years ago, Međimurje County started a tourism grants program, thanks to which 2.8 million kuna has been awarded so far to develop tourist products and improve the tourist offer in Međimurje, reports HRTurizam.

Through non-refundable grants, Međimurje County supports the development of tourism as an income branch based on sustainable development through expanding the existing tourist offer, activating untapped tourist potentials, creating new tourist products, and promoting Međimurje as a desirable tourist destination.

In mid-June this year, a public call for grants was opened in 2021, and a record number of applications were made again. Thus, for 29 approved projects, HRK 400,000 was provided from the county budget, according to Međimurje County.

"Every year we record an increasing number of applications, so this year we received a record number of applications, 44. Also, the largest number of grants has been approved so far, thanks to which 29 new tourist facilities will be realized in Međimurje," explained the head of Međimurje County's Administrative Department for Economy, Agriculture, and Tourism - Darko Radanović.

In this year's call, the content of the program was adjusted to the strategic development document "Međimurje County Tourism Development Master Plan" as a fundamental determinant to effectively managing and developing the tourism sector. This year, new criteria have been added, such as ecology and the generation of new values, and there are a total of 14 acceptable measures for project approval.

The director of the Međimurje County Tourist Board, Rudi Grula, pointed out that the funds allocated through the program are just a drop in the ocean of total investments that need to be invested to develop a quality tourist product or content.

"It is a great fact that despite the difficult times for tourism, our people from Međimurje are seriously investing in projects, and in very high quality and long-term sustainable ones. Although tourism is a small part of Međimurje's economy, it is an important added value because through tourism we place our domestic products, culture, customs, and values," says Grula.

He added that the grant program aims to place as much emphasis as possible on projects that are green, long-term sustainable, and energy-efficient.

"Since 2016, we have been encouraging the development of sustainable tourism, and now it is the mantra of the European Union as well. Thanks to the continuous support of Međimurje County, every year we get more and more quality projects. This year, we realized 80% of arrivals and overnight stays compared to 2019. We are slowly achieving our goal, which is to attract more and more of those guests who are ready to set aside for quality service," said the director of the Međimurje County Tourist Board. 

Among this year's approved applications is the Biserka and Zvonko Lajtman project, creating a small corner of paradise in Pleškovac, in the holiday house "Lina", which is part of the Mohokos family farm.

"We hope that we will justify the allocated funds, which we will use to obtain the European Ecolabel certificate. Our house would be the first in Croatia with the mentioned certificate. Through family farms, we deal with ecological and biodynamic production, and with the certificate, we will complete the story and offer our guests a new service and quality of accommodation. The goal is that all stakeholders in tourism, the surrounding family farms, can complete their offer with their products," concluded the Laitman family.

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