Danijela Čavlović, HGK: While they congratulate us in Europe, some in Croatia are worried about the growth of private accommodation

first_imgWe will remember the last year by the best tourist results in recent Croatian history. Double-digit growth in overnight stays and arrivals exceeded even the most optimistic expectations, especially in October and November, where in some destinations it amounted to 30%, and we achieved more than 100 million overnight stays three years earlier than planned by the Croatian Tourism Development Strategy. 2020The strongest growth was achieved in family accommodation, where in the first 11 months 14% more overnight stays and even 20% more arrivals were recorded. Croatia was declared the absolute winner at the awards ceremony for the best European house of the year organized by the European Association of Family Accommodation, which brings together more than 20 million beds, while the Russians chose us as the best destination for family accommodation. “Bravo, you are a great example of the orderliness of this market, and we see that it is getting higherYou are investing in quality, ”they tell us in Europe, where they are still trying to find ways to more effectively regulate this important segment of the collaborative economy.However, it turns out that in Croatia they are not so impressed by the growth of this type of micro-entrepreneurship, which through more than 85.000 registered households directly or indirectly employs 350.000 people and generates income of 2,5 billion euros. We have even witnessed that some are seriously concerned with the explanation. “that Croatia needs more hotel accommodation than family accommodation because it is in line with the above-mentioned Strategy ”. On the other hand, politicians constantly point out that the demographic picture is devastating, and they are worried that people have managed to put their real estate into business and feed themselves and their families by watching their neighbors take their lives to Germany or Ireland. No work. “No, it is not the problem of the family but those who buy apartments in Zagreb, Zadar, Split… and make money on them”, Explains our interlocutor in a high position in the executive branch.So isn’t profit a goal considering the invested capital and operating costs, if the investor has registered the maximum allowed 20 beds per address and OIB by law? He also employs a laundromat, taxi drivers, nearby restaurants, increases the turnover of shops, museums, clubs… If you are worried that they may earn a lot more than 230.000 kuna per year as a lump sum (the threshold for entering the VAT system is from 1.1.2018. raises to 300.000 kuna) why do you not send them to the supervision of inspectors of the Ministry of Finance, ie the Customs Administration, which should determine whether the owner of the accommodation reports all guests and shows the total income?Another problem that has emerged thanks to good tourist figures is the lack of manpower. With 180.000 unemployed, we had to increase quotas for employing foreigners, which is fine because our people are accepted as workers in other countries, but the question is how many of them will want to work for Croatian wages and at the same time smile and patiently answer numerous tourist inquiries? Or maybe we could use the model from the 80s of the last century when Croatia achieved much higher tourist numbers, and workers were recruited from the local population, which especially in the coast has a tradition of tourism for more than a century.Hotel houses paid scholarships for the education of future waiters, chefs, maids, receptionists knowing that these young people grew up in a tourist environment and have a high culture of dealing with guests. Although hotel salaries were not high even then, the difference was compensated by transferring the excess guests to the apartments of their parents, grandparents and other relatives… In this synergy of hotels and family accommodation everything worked – there was no shortage of labor to his country and from his work.Photo: www.kvarnerfamily.hrBut somehow with each new change of structures we forget the models that have proven their effectiveness and bring new ones that too often benefit only a few, which we have especially witnessed in the last few months. At the same time, we are concerned that households make up more than 50 percent of the total tourist capacity, because, as our interlocutor says, this is not the case anywhere in the world.So shouldn’t we finally be pleased and proud to be at least in something of a ‘role model’ in much more successful markets instead of thinking about limiting or even reducing the growth of this micro-entrepreneurship thanks to which still a large part of the population decides to stay in this country full of life?Author: Danijela Čavlović, President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Family Tourism AssociationRelated news:CROATIA THE ABSOLUTE WINNER IN CHOOSING THE BEST HOLIDAY HOMES IN EUROPE! FAMILY MICRO ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN TOURISM – A ISSUE OF SURVIVALBE A HOST IN FAMILY ACCOMMODATION, NOT REAL ESTATE AGENTSlast_img read more

Kroger announces plans to scrap plastic bags

first_imgCincinnati, Oh. — Cincinnati-based Kroger plans to stop using plastic bags by 2025 company-wide. CEO Rodney McMullen says they will transition to reusable bags.The Kroger owned location in Seattle, Washington will be the first store to make the change by 2019.Company officials say the change is consistent with their “Zero Hunger/Zero Waste” commitment.last_img

El Centro Chicano hosts Power Pan Dulce speaker series

first_imgEl Centro Chicano hosted Leah Gallegos, former USC athlete and current member of urban folk band Las Cafeteras, to share the story of her career and discuss cultural and personal identity as part of El Centro’s Friday Power Pan Dulce, a speaker series held at the organization’s Student Union lounge on Friday.The speaker series connects Latino students and El Centro’s multi-layered community with experienced alumni and Latino leaders for discussions. During the event, students had questions about Gallegos’ career trajectory and personal journey to success.Leadership, career advice and cultural identity compose the three pillars of Power Pan Dulce that speakers usually address, though El Centro Director William Vela said students take the conversation in various directions.“It’s really interactive. I ask a few questions to get it rolling but pretty quickly we go to the crowd and it really becomes a conversation dialogue, not a panel or a lecture,” Vela said.Since transferring from Florida State University to USC, Gallegos has engaged in several different careers: soccer, music, yoga and business. She played on the USC women’s soccer team in 2005, nearly becoming a professional player, and then became director of operations for the USC women’s soccer team soon after graduating with an ethnic studies degree in 2007. Eventually, she left the position to spend more time with the seven-piece band, Las Cafeteras, which was named Best Alternative Latin Band by LA Weekly in 2013 and has toured with acts such as Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Still a band member, Gallegos also teaches yoga in Boyle Heights at the studio she co-founded in 2012, People’s Yoga.Gallegos addressed the challenges of her multiethnic, multi-identity background after growing up in Highland Park with a strong Latino culture and community.  She spoke of being heavily involved in soccer, which she described as “a privileged world; mostly white folk.”“In this more white world [of soccer], my friends would say, ‘You’re so Mexican!’ and in the Mexican world they would say, ‘You’re such a white girl,’” Gallegos said. “I lived this dual life of going back and forth, trying to fit in over here, and also accepting these identities that were being thrown at me.”After taking her first ethnic studies course at East Los Angeles Community College in the midst of transferring to USC, Gallegos started to come into her own.“It was a moment in my life where I understood not only being Mexican-American … but also of being from many worlds. I took this ‘chicanisma’ as being as many identities and none at the same time,” she said.When Gallegos joined Las Cafeteras, it was just a group of people at a community center that practiced a Son Jarocho-style together. She said the band allowed her to grow in new artistic and personal directions. Five of the seven members of Las Cafeteras, including Gallegos, never made music until adulthood. She said the topics the band writes about also provide an outlet for the members to tell their stories and encourage others to do the same.“We talk about love, immigration, politics, and what we think is right, just and unjust, and that’s because it’s relevant to our experiences,” Gallegos said. “We travel not only to perform, but also to tell people, ‘tell people your story too’ because we believe that the storytelling practice is an empowering and world-changing practice.”Power Pan Dulce evolved last year out of a pilot program modeled after other universities’ community-gathering programs. Vela began to introduce notable speakers after the beginning months of the pilot, an arrangement that he says students often engage in with personal stories.“There’s been some really deep things revealed by a lot of people in attendance,” Vela said. “I feel students have been comfortable with the people we’ve brought and it’s opened their hearts; it’s opened their minds; it’s opened their souls to just express what they’re feeling or what they’re going through and just ask honest questions.”Brian Vanover, a graduate student studying computer science, sees Power Pan Dulce as a way to keep himself informed.“It’s important to stay plugged into the Latino community,” he said during Friday’s event.Annalaura Arredondo, a junior majoring in chemical engineering, echoed these sentiments and believes attending El Centro’s events supports Latinos and helps her learn about how to manage career difficulties.“It is important to support Latino events since it’s a way to continue increasing the Latino voice,” Arredondo said.Vela said he is sometimes asked if he brings speakers specifically to motivate students toward social justice. He admitted that though social justice is not necessarily his goal, it does end up being central to the goals of El Centro. He said this comes in the form of helping students understand they should eventually reciprocate resources to the community that once helped them become successful.“I want every student that comes through El Centro to know that they didn’t just do it on their own and [they have] a moral obligation to give back, but they can do that in any form they want to,” Vela said. “I don’t think everybody needs to work at a nonprofit, [but] I just make sure [people don’t] forget. Other people helped you, so give back; that’s what USC is if you think about it. It’s a Trojan family.”last_img read more