Friday, 15 October 2021

Valamar to Open First Sustainable Eco-Resort in Croatia

October 15, 2021 - Valamar and PBZ Croatia Osiguranje will continue with significant investments in repositioning the tourist portfolio of Stari Grad on the island of Hvar with the first sustainable eco-resort in Croatia valued at 220 million kuna.

The construction of Valamar's first sustainable eco-resort is only part of the investment that Valamar and PBZ Croatia Osiguranje are planning to manage mandatory pension funds for 2022, reports HRTurizam

Namely, the Helios Faros Supervisory Board decided that Valamar and PBZ Croatia Osiguranje will continue with significant investments in repositioning the tourist portfolio in Stari Grad on the island of Hvar to 4* and 5* in the amount of HRK 220 million.

In addition to the already mentioned sustainable eco-resort, it is planned to complete the investment at the Hvar [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar, the construction of the Aquamar pool complex, and the overall arrangement of the tourist zone.

The eco-resort is Valamar's new concept of a fully sustainable eco-resort positioned for family vacations. The construction of the resort will be achieved by respecting the highest standards of green building, which includes environmentally friendly materials with minimal impact on the environment, the use of renewable energy sources, and a high level of energy efficiency.

Valamar's eco-resort on Hvar is the first tourist project that will use prefabricated buildings and modular construction designed according to Valamar accommodation quality standards.

The concept is inspired by nature and sustainable design, so the resort’s architecture blends into the island’s natural environment in the design of the buildings while the interior design is signed by local designers and artists using local tradition and materials. Felled trees will be used in landscaping, and each felled tree will be replaced with newly planted ones. Great emphasis will also be placed on offering local food and groceries produced on the island, while digitalization will eliminate the use of paper throughout the hotel.

The project is planned to be built in two phases during 2022 and 2023, and to realize all green initiatives in full potential and all aspects of sustainable development of the resort, the project will apply for green EU funds.

Valamar and PBZ Croatia Osiguranje d.d. jointly acquired Helios Faros, a tourist company in Stari Grad on the island of Hvar, through bankruptcy proceedings. During the Covid-marked 2020, business at Helios was restarted, and in 2021 the first renovated hotel Hvar [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar was opened.

Helios Faros' business development plan assumes investments in the total amount of around HRK 800 million in sustainable high value-added tourism that will have a positive impact on the economic growth of the island. By 2025, the reconstruction and construction of three hotels and resorts of categories 4* and 5* with a total capacity of 700 accommodation units is planned.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Valamar Places Revamp on Makarska's Hotel Dalmacija: The Details

October 6, 2021 - Makarska's Hotel Dalmacija will be the second hotel to join the new Valamar Places brand. 

The Imperial Riviera d.d. Supervisory Board approved an HRK 67 million investment in repositioning Makarska's Hotel Dalmacija as a Places hotel by Valamar. The investment continues the announced five-year cycle of investments in Croatian tourism worth HRK 1.5 billion, jointly launched by AZ pension funds and "Valamar Riviera."

After the successful privatization of the companies "Imperial" and "Hotel Makarska," and the subsequent merger and increase of capital in "Imperial Riviera," investments in the total amount of HRK 580 million were made, and the hotels "Parentino," "Meteor," "Padova," "Imperial" and Camp Padova were repositioned.

The COVID crisis has temporarily halted and slowed down the investment plan, which is why investments started in 2019 were finalized only in 2021. The approval of the Hotel Dalmacija investment represents a partial restart of the investment cycle. The tourist season has shown the potential for a rapid launch of Croatian tourism and an opportunity for further growth and development of high value-added tourism.

As Slobodna Dalmacija reveals, with the HRK 67 million investment, Hotel Dalmacija will undergo complete reconstruction and refurbishment following the standards of the Valamar Places brand. Recall, the Valamar Places brand is "a new hotel concept for modern travelers seeking freedom of choice and a vibrant Mediterranean holiday by the sea in properties that introduce guests to the destination in a unique way with full respect for nature and the environment."

Hotel Dalmacija will become the second hotel operating under this Valamar brand from next season. 

"After the successful investment in the renovation, modernization, and repositioning of the Valamar hotel "Meteor" in the last two years, totaling HRK 90 million, Imperial Riviera continues to invest in its facilities in Makarska. An additional impetus for the continuation of investment was provided by this year's successful tourist season, which showed the potential for a rapid recovery of Croatian tourism in the still present COVID circumstances.

The investment includes reconstructing the existing facilities and constructing a new swimming pool, with a sun deck and a new pool bar, and reconstructing the 190 accommodation units and all other spaces in a modern lifestyle design. In addition, the existing restaurant, ground floor, and lobby are designed as one unit, thematically separated by zones, and the current wellness facility will be branded in the Places Spa.

The focus will be on the unique atmosphere, ambiance, offer of local food and dishes, with people at its center. The target markets will be the UK, Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, and, of course, the domestic market," said Imperial Riviera, adding that lifestyle hotels today are a particular genre in the hotel industry, based not on the classic features of luxury and high gastronomy but on a specific type of service intended for target consumer groups who value unique experiences with people of similar affinities and affiliations.

"Makarska is a destination that has already successfully positioned itself in the market, so it was chosen as an ideal place to implement this type of hotel. This means contributing to the continuation of diversifying the hotel segment, not only in Makarska but also beyond," concluded Imperial Riviera.

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Hotel Dalmacija in Makarska Becomes 2nd Hotel Under Valamar Places Brand

September 29, 2021 - Hotel Dalmacija in Makarska will undergo complete reconstruction and refurbishment following the Valamar [PLACES] brand standards.

HRTurizam reports that the Supervisory Board of Imperial Riviera d.d. approved an HRK 67 million investment in repositioning Hotel Dalmacija in Makarska as [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar.

The investment continues the announced five-year cycle of investments in Croatian tourism worth HRK 1.5 billion, which AZ pension funds and Valamar Riviera jointly launched.

The Covid crisis has temporarily halted and slowed down the investment plan, which is why investments started in 2019 were finalized only in 2021. Still, the approval of investments in the Hotel Dalmacija represents a partial restart of the investment cycle. Namely, the tourist season showed the potential for a rapid launch of Croatian tourism and the opportunity for further growth and development of high value-added tourism, so Imperial Riviera decided to accelerate the investment cycle.

After the successful privatization of Imperial and the Makarska hotel, and the subsequent merger and increase of capital in Imperial Riviera, investments in the total amount of HRK 580 million were made in the past period, and the following hotels were repositioned: Parentino, Meteor, Padova, Imperial, and Padova.

With an investment of HRK 67 million, Hotel Dalmacija will undergo complete reconstruction and refurbishment following the standards of the Valamar [PLACES] brand.

From next season, Hotel Dalmacija in Makarska will become the second hotel to operate under the Valamar [PLACES] brand. The new concept is designed for modern travelers seeking freedom of choice, modern design, and an authentic destination experience with full respect for nature and the environment.

Imperial Riviera has in its portfolio seven hotels, three tourist resorts, and two camps in the leading Croatian destinations island of Rab, Poreč, and Makarska, which makes a total of 3,498 accommodation units and a capacity to accommodate almost 10,000 guests. Valamar Riviera d.d. has been in charge of managing the tourism business of the entire portfolio since 2016.

The new hotel concept is based on getting to know the true local Mediterranean lifestyle of the destination or a focus on authenticity. The brand is intended for guests seeking freedom of choice, modern design, and an authentic destination experience with full respect for nature and the environment. 

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Valamar Already Seeking Employees for 2022 Croatian Tourist Season

September the 17th, 2021 - The height of the summer tourist season, which was put in doubt and which returned truly remarkable results despite various predictions, is now behind us. As the post-season approaches and as hopes remain high despite Croatia now being ''red'' on the ECDC corona map and with infection numbers higher, Valamar is already on the lookout for employees for the 2022 Croatian tourist season.

The global coronavirus pandemic made most people worry that we'd see a repeat of the dire summer of 2020 once again this season, especially as the beginning of the year started out so badly, with lockdowns across Europe, high infection rates, travel bans and a poor initial vaccine rollout. We were very pleasantly surprised by what ended up transpiring, with the record, pre-pandemic year of 2019's numbers even being surpassed in several segments. Could Valamar's early search for next year's workers be a sign that 2022 will be the year of total recovery? Maybe. There's a lure for would-be 2022 Croatian tourist season workers from Valamar, too.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the very well known Croatian company Valamar has reported that it will reward all its employees for an extremely demanding season with incentives in the amount of up to 1,600. kuna As such, through special reward programmes for the 2021 tourist season, Valamar paid a total of around 24 million kuna out to its employees, which amounts to 4,100 kuna per employee, according to the company, which has already started recruiting workers for next year.

"In order to keep hold of employees in tourism, the social partners and Valamar have launched a programme for year-round employment until the 2022 Croatian tourist season. In agreement with the unions, an employment programme was launched which would make the 400 most loyal seasonal workers permanent workers for an indefinite period of time during the autumn and ensure a year-round job in tourism,'' they explained from the popular company.

In the coming period, in order to develop high quality tourism, it will be necessary to increase and ensure the year-round income of employees and improve their overall working conditions. Thus, after the official end of this tourist season, Valamar is set to re-launch a series of initiatives from the "Good Job at Valamar/Dobar posao u Valamaru" programme.

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

Monday, 2 August 2021

Valamar Riviera's Summer Season Traffic Reaching Pre-Pandemic Levels

August the 2nd, 2021 - The coronavirus pandemic has taken an unimaginable toll on global travel and tourism, and countries which rely very heavily on this economic segment such as Croatia, have taken a heavy blow indeed. That said, things have dramatically improved when compared to 2020, and Valamar Riviera's traffic at the height of the season is more than encouraging.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, in the first six months of this year, Valamar Riviera generated an impressive 291 million kuna in total revenues, which more than doubled the revenues they had during the same period in 2020. At the same time, a positive operating profit of 19.6 million kuna was achieved, which is an increase compared to 2020, but it is also 67 million kuna less than in pre-crisis 2019, the company announced recently.

The achieved revenue growth is the result of the easing of travel restrictions, high demand from key markets, good season preparation, the opening of most facilities in June and significant investments in Valamar Riviera's wider portfolio in previous years.

Despite the continued impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a significant improvement in operating profit compared to 2020 was achieved through the general rationalisation of operations and internal austerity measures, as well as the continued implementation of the "Pause, Restart" programme which was adopted in April 2020. On top of that, the further use of measures the government introduced last year for support for job preservation also plays a role, Valamar explained.

In July 2021, Valamar generated about 90 percent of the board's revenues realised in the same month in 2019, which, together with the semi-annual results, indicates the beginning of recovery for tourism, which hasn't come a moment too late.

"In July, Istria and the northern Adriatic destinations achieved a result similar to that of 2019, while Dubrovnik and the southern destinations are still lagging behind. The trend of bookings for August is improving in southern destinations, and in the north it's almost reached the levels we saw back in 2019. The level of uncertainty for business results in 2021 remains high due to uncertainty about the further development of the pandemic across Europe and the generally low vaccination coverage here in Croatia. We expect that the tourism sector will continue to be affected by the crisis throughout 2021, while a return to regular operations is expected in 2022 and 2023,'' they concluded in their recent announcement.

For more, make sure to follow our dedicated business section.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Valamar Hotels Opening in Porec, Krk, Rabac, Rab, Makarska, and Dubrovnik Before Easter

March 29, 2021 - It'll be a busy week with Valamar hotels opening in Porec, Krk, Rabac, Rab, Makarska, and Dubrovnik before Easter!

Index.hr reports that just before Easter, the Valamar Riviera Hotel Group plans to open three hotels in Porec, two on Krk and one each in Rabac, Rab, Makarska, and Dubrovnik, and will also operate two camps, on Krk and Rab. For the spring holiday, Valamar expects domestic guests, just as they had during winter. 

Valamar Riviera is the largest hotel group in Croatia, which manages 36 hotels and 15 camps in Istria (Porec, Rabac), Krk, Rab, and Hvar, and in Makarska and Dubrovnik, most of which open in May. Valamar also manages a hotel in Obertauern, Austria.

"In our northern destinations in the upcoming tourist season, we expect the most guests from Germany, Austria, Slovenia, and Poland, and in the southern locations, guests from Great Britain, France, Germany, and Croatia. During this winter, there were mostly domestic guests in the open facilities of Valamar, and we expect them during the Easter holidays, mostly in the arrangement of weekend stays," said Valamar. 

Regarding tourist demand, they note that this year, similar to last year, higher demand is recorded by car destinations and camping resorts, with the expectation of intensified last-minute booking. Simultaneously, prices are said to be "dynamically determined through a 'revenue management' system according to Valamar's usual business practice."

"In all facilities and in 2021, the V Health & Safety program is applied following safety standards in Croatia and the recommendations of international health organizations, which in addition to high health, safety, and environmental standards, guarantees the improvement of cleaning protocols. Guests are provided with 24-hour support in case they need health care," said Valamar.

Valamar has also developed a package of measures through which it organizes all necessary health services for guests during their holidays, which includes the organization of antigen and PCR testing within the accommodation facility, as well as covering the costs of extended stay for people with COVID-19 and everyone included in their reservation.

Without giving exact figures, they point out that for this season, they are opening a "significant number of seasonal jobs," for which they offer a minimum net income of HRK 5,000 for the monthly fund of hours, accommodation, hot meals, and other benefits.

By the way, Valamar reached 7,000 employees in the record 2019 in the peak summer season, while according to the data from the business report for 2020, there were about 4,000 in the summer of 2020.

At the beginning of April 2020, Valamar launched the "Pause, Restart" program to preserve all jobs, which was extended until 31 March 2022 with the support of social partners. Under this program, all Valamar employees sent on standby without the obligation to work were provided with a salary compensation in the amount of 60 percent, but not less than 4,250 net kuna, with the support of the government's to preserve jobs in the affected industries.

Among the news for this tourist season is the launch of the lifestyle brand [Places] following the trend in the international hotel industry for lifestyle hotels that are aimed at creating a unique experience with authentic service, which emphasizes the most valuable in the destination and contributes to nature conservation and environmental sustainability.

Such hotels attract modern travelers, primarily "millennials" and young professionals. The first hotel under this brand is Hvar PlacesHotel in Stari Grad on the island (former hotel Lavanda from Helios Faros, which is in partnership with a pension fund PBZ Croatia osiguranje taken over in 2019).

They are investing around 53 million kuna in the hotel's renovation, and according to current plans, it will open in mid-May.

This is where guests from the markets of Great Britain, the USA, Germany, and Austria, but also Croatia, are most expected.

Hvar as a destination is "positioned in the market segments of younger, relaxed, and at the same time, experientially and environmentally aware people," said Valamar Riviera Vice President for Sales and Marketing Davor Brenko.

"We have high expectations from the new brand in the future, and in the next period, we plan to open several more such hotels," Brenko announced.

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Valamar Lifestyle Brand [PLACES] to Launch with Hotel on Hvar

March 25, 2021 - The brand new Valamar lifestyle brand [PLACES], aiming to target younger travelers, will launch with a hotel opening on Hvar later this spring. 

HRTurizam reports that lifestyle hotels have been a trend in the international hotel industry in recent years because they aim to create an authentic experience and push the boundaries of the traditional hotel concept. They are especially sought after among the younger target group of tourists, i.e., millennials.

Following new trends and signals from the market, Valamar has launched a new lifestyle brand called [PLACES] by Valamar.

The new hotel concept is based on getting to know the destination's true local Mediterranean lifestyle, focusing on authenticity. The brand is intended for guests seeking freedom of choice, modern design, and an authentic destination experience with full respect for nature and the environment.

One of the most significant features of this hotel is the [PLACESFLEXI] offer, which gives guests complete freedom to enjoy the restaurant offer in the rhythm that suits them best, according to Valamar. If for any reason they missed lunch or dinner - 25 euros of their daily credit can be used in a restaurant or hotel bar. What they don't spend that day, they can transfer to the next. Attention should also be drawn to the pool complex, which becomes the center of daily entertainment with live music by local bands and DJs, and the party continues after sunset.

With the introduction of the [PLACES] brand, Valamar continues to follow the latest trends in the hotel industry, said Davor Brenko, Valamar Riviera's vice president of sales and marketing, adding that this is a hotel concept intended primarily for millennials, young professionals, and those who recognize themselves in the specific lifestyle values that [PLACES] promotes.

The first Valamar hotel under the new brand will be HVAR [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar in Stari Grad on Hvar (ex hotel Lavanda), for a renovation of which a total of around HRK 53 million will be invested. According to current plans, it will open in mid-May. The hotel has 179 rooms which, in addition to high-quality workmanship and equipment, will also have the possibility of cashless payment with a bracelet and contactless check-in.

"For HVAR [PLACESHOTEL], the most important will be the markets of Great Britain, the United States, Germany, Austria, and of course, the Croatian market. Hvar is a destination that has successfully positioned itself in the market segments of younger, relaxed, and at the same time experientially and environmentally aware people. That is why we chose Hvar as a destination and an ideal place to launch our new brand, from which we have high expectations in the future. In the next period, we plan to open several more hotels under the [PLACES] brand," Brenko points out.

The visual identity of the [PLACES] brand by Valamar is signed by Studio Sonda from Vižinada near Poreč, and it is one of five Valamar product brands that operate under the umbrella identity All you can holiday (Valamar Collection, Valamar Hotels & Resorts, Sunny by Valamar, and Camping Adriatic by Valamar).

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 5 March 2021

Valamar 'Pause, Restart' Program Returns to Preserve Jobs until 2022

March 5, 2021 - Valamar Riviera's social partners, led by the Croatian Trade Union of Tourism and Services and the Trade Union of Istria, Kvarner, and Dalmatia, supported the continuation of the Valamar 'Pause, Restart' program to preserve jobs in the coming year.

T.portal reports that the 'Pause, Restart' program has been in force since March last year with the support of social partners, Valamar employees, and government measures. The new agreement was signed for one year and will be in effect from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.

The 'Pause, Restart' program provides compensation in the amount of 60% of the regular income, i.e., a minimum of HRK 4,250 net for all Valamar employees who are on hold due to business restrictions during the pandemic and are relying on the current Government measures. Valamar pays regular full salaries to other employees.

The 'Pause, Restart' program applies equally to employees and management. Each month, depending on the employment opportunities, employees who will go to work and those who will receive compensation when waiting for work are determined.

"Government support measures have been key to preserving jobs in tourism until the 2021 season. Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to affect the impossibility of normal business in tourism. It is already very likely that the continuation of support measures will be important for April and May this year, given that higher turnover in tourism can be expected only from June. Also, the continuation of the program aims to preserve jobs until the 2022 season, when business normalization is expected," the statement said.

"We are glad that our social partners have continued to support Valamar's "Pause, Restart" program because we all have a common goal, which is certainly to preserve jobs. Valamar is working intensively on preparations for the opening of the season and in 2021 guarantees a minimum net income of HRK 5,000 as well as the continuation of the year-round income program for permanent seasonal workers. Given the planned opening of most Valamar hotels, resorts, and camping resorts by mid-May, seasonal employees at Valamar can expect between 3 and 6 months of work in the 2021 season. We all hope for the normalization of business as soon as possible and a more successful season than last year," said Ines Damjanić Šturman, director of the human resources sector at Valamar Riviera.

"We are facing the 2021 tourist season, which, unfortunately, brings far more challenges than the previous 2020. STUH is aware that the tourist season in 2021 will not get results that provide liquidity to our companies while retaining the existing number of employees until next season, so I propose to the Government of the Republic of Croatia that in addition to aid in March and April, they should support tourism and hospitality in the 2022 autumn and winter tourist season," said Eduard Andrić, President of the Trade Union of Tourism and Services of Croatia.

Last year, Valamar opened 24 hotels and resorts and all 15 camping resorts with more than 4,400 employees. In 2020, almost 300,000 guests stayed at Valamar, and no COVID-19 cases were recorded, which confirms that tourist facilities achieve a high level of safety for guests, the statement concluded.

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Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Croatian Company Valamar Offering Accommodation to Earthquake Victims

December the 30th, 2020 - The Croatian company Valamar Riviera, otherwise the largest tourism company in the country, has opened the doors of its facilities and offered accommodation to families who have lost their homes in the Petrinja earthquake.

As Poslovni Dnevnik, Petrinja, Sisak, Glina, and the surrounding areas are full of families who have lost their homes and everything they once held dear in the horrendous earthquake which struck Central Croatia. The giant Croatian company Valamar has responded quickly.

The compant has made its Istria Premium Camping Resort in Funtana near Porec, Jezevac Premium Camping Resort on the island of Krk and Hotel Valamar Sanfior in Rabac available to families from Sisak-Moslavina County who have lost their properties in the earthquake and have nowhere else to go. Accommodation in camping resorts, in fully equipped camping houses, is available from today, December the 30th, and in the hotel Sanfior on a full board basis from tomorrow, December the 31st, 2020.

All those who need accommodation or who would like more information and to make arrangements can call 052/465 000 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Office for Reconstruction and Housing: 230 housing units are ready to provide temporary accommodation to those who have lost their homes as a result of the earthquake.

The Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing will make available 230 housing units for temporary accommodation of families in need, whose houses have been damaged or destroyed in Sisak-Moslavina County, from the available housing fund it manages.

The above was published on Wednesday on the website of the Central State Office, which states that, out of those 230 housing units, 44 housing units are equipped with furniture and household appliances.

For more, follow today's live updates. For more on how you can help by donating money, food, material and humanitarian aid, click here and here.

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Valamar Riviera Employees Encouraged to Join Elements of AI Project

December 10, 2020 - Valamar Riviera employees are encouraged to get involved in the "Elements of AI" project, which is considered the best program for mastering the basics of artificial intelligence in the world.

HRTurizam reports that Finland launched free training in cooperation with the European Commission to increase knowledge about artificial intelligence and bring the topic closer to the general public. Croatia is the first country in the region to translate the course and make it available to citizens. "Elements of AI" was developed by the University of Helsinki and the technology company Reaktor. The partner for Croatia is the University of Zagreb, and the project holder is the association CroAI. In contrast, the communication partner of the project is the agency 404.

Valamar applies advanced technologies in various business areas such as sales, marketing, and hotel operations, stating that they enable employees to communicate and learn on digital platforms, improve business processes and nurture an organizational culture that constantly innovates with new technologies.

“Valamar continuously invests in digitalization and business innovations, and in 2018 it founded VALDI, a team for the development of digital services and solutions that is behind numerous steps in Valamar, such as self-check-in and process automation via robots. This year, in response to the crisis, VALDI developed Valfresco in just a few months, an online store that offers delivery of products from local family farms and Valamar suppliers and ready meals from the Valfresco kitchen. Therefore, Valamar reluctantly accepted Elements of AI and invited all employees to get involved for at least 1% of colleagues to accept this challenge and acquire knowledge about artificial intelligence," said Ivana Budin Arhanić, Vice President for Business Development and Corporate Affairs at Valamar.

Valamar will also enable all employees who complete the course to continue working on digital projects and include them in its Valamar Digital & Innovation team. About 50 digital projects and innovation projects are already underway at Valamar, several of which apply technologies and artificial intelligence.

Get involved. It is free.

The project aims to demystify artificial intelligence, encourage as many people as possible to learn what artificial intelligence is, what can be done with it (and what cannot be done), and start developing artificial intelligence methods. Courses are a combination of theory and practical exercises and can be done at your own pace.

You can learn more about joining the project HERE.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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