Why Germany’s coronavirus strategy doesn’t appear to be working

first_imgA medic administers a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test on a motorist at a drive-thru coronavirus testing center at the Talavera car park in Wuerzburg, Germany, on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020.Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images In the first wave of the epidemic, the country built on existing local infrastructure to get ahead of the virus. Analysis published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found Germany’s intensive system of testing, contact tracing, and quarantine were all critical to its “successful control” of the outbreak. Dr. Hajo Zeeb, head of department for Germany’s Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology, told CNBC via telephone that the country’s public health offices tracing system was now being “challenged to its limit.” With this second round of lockdown restrictions, the German government said its aim was to push the number of new infections down to about 50 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period, so that local public health offices could once again trace all contacts. According to Thursday’s daily situation report by German federal government agency the Robert Koch Institute, there were now nearly 127 cases per 100,000 over a seven-day period.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img LONDON — Germany was lauded for its initial response to the coronavirus pandemic, but a four-week long return to strict public health measures has raised questions over the effectiveness of its strategy second time around.Germany started its “lockdown light” on Monday, which is set to last for the month of November. The new restrictions include the closure of bars, restaurants, cinemas, theaters and gyms, as well as the re-introduction of physical-distancing measures. Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Monday that Germany “must get the situation under control to a point where the local public health offices can trace contacts again — otherwise the exponential growth will simply spiral further upwards.” – Advertisement – The government said it was currently unable to trace 75% of new cases. ‘Major workload’Zeeb said a combination of factors had led to the latest upsurge in Covid-19 infections, including a relaxation of restrictions over the summer period. It was people returning to Germany from vacation, however, that was the main driver to the start of another wave, Zeeb said. This resulted in a “major workload” for local public health offices, as they then also had to test these returning citizens. “I wouldn’t say it was uncoordinated but there were some strange decisions taken in Bavaria and other places to test people even on highways and in different situations,” he said. Bavaria, Germany’s largest state, has had the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the country, at 119,505, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute.It is the only federal state in Germany to have rolled out free coronavirus testing for everyone. The move raised concerns it would overwhelm testing centers when it was introduced in June. Indeed, Bavaria has experienced testing blunders since it introduced the policy, with backlogs and data entry issues. A spokesman for the Bavarian state ministry of health and care told CNBC via email that both of theses issues occurred once and “could be solved quickly.”“The causes were clearly identified and solved,” he said. “The reasons were in one case a technical defect in a computer system and in the other case a process error or an error during the takeover of the test stations on the freeways by a new supplier.”Nationally, Zeeb said the spread of the virus had now gone beyond clusters of cases into wider communities, making it harder to pinpoint the source of infection. The German government said on Monday that while 21.5 million people had downloaded its Corona-Warn-App, “regrettably only 60% of people testing positive pass on their contacts.” The first time round, Zeeb said Germany’s effective handling of the virus was helped by the fact that its epidemic “started in a young age group, which didn’t lead to a lot of severe cases right from the beginning,” giving it more time to prepare its health care system. Clear communication of pandemic science, helped by Merkel’s training as a scientist, has also been said to have contributed to its effectiveness. While the historical investment in Germany’s health care system and the rapid response in providing extra intensive care facilities, meant its hospitals didn’t become overwhelmed. ‘Victim of its own success’Dr. Mike Tildesley, an associate professor who specializes in infectious disease control at the University of Warwick in the U.K., told CNBC that in some ways Germany, might be seen as a “victim of its own success.”Having a smaller first wave meant there were likely to be more people still susceptible to the virus, he explained, making a larger second wave possible.For Germany, he said the decision to impose another lockdown could be considered “brave,” and may be viewed as Germany acting pre-emptively once again.Dr. Rowland Kao, a professor of epidemiology and data science at the University of Edinburgh, told CNBC that unless a country manages to get rid of every single case of Covid-19, there’s still a chance of a resurgence when restrictions are lifted.As such, Kao said it might not be that there’s anything wrong with Germany’s strategy. “It could be that it’s impossible to do it right,” he said, as there are only so many tools at a country’s disposal for containing the coronavirus. Kao added that part of what makes the coronavirus so difficult to control is the fact that people are infectious before showing clinical signs. So mildly symptomatic and asymptomatic people contribute to the spread of the disease, meaning “it’s always going to be harder for test and trace to work.”A spokeswoman for Germany’s federal ministry of health told CNBC via email that there is “an increase in the number of cases when the infection rate generally increases (because of local accumulation of infections, family celebrations or leisure activities).”“Naturally, more tests are then carried out — without the test strategy changing,” she added.She said that “shutting down public life again is necessary in order to be able to track infections again.”last_img read more

A salute to the ‘colored soldier’ whose name I bear, and to all Black veterans

first_img– Advertisement – Fieldstones. Yucca plants. Seashells. The last object a loved one touched. For centuries, these items, cultivated from lives and landscapes, marked many graves at burial places for Black people in America. I have documented his history, in his own words and handwriting, on my website, including the surprise information that he played a cornet in the military band. He wrote,”my music teacher said to me, ‘Weaver I’m going to give you a piece of music to play that will either kill you or cure you.”The pension struggle with the government continued after Dennis died on June 27, 1911. Delia Fields Weaver, his wife, had to then prove she was married to Dennis in order to get a widow’s pension. The case was closed in 1935, when a check sent to Delia was returned, for she had died.I am more fortunate than most Black folks attempting to do research on their families, because Dennis was mentioned in “A History of Snickersville” (now Bluemont), by Jean Herron Smith. It tells the story of how Dennis obtained the land that is his legacy.“On This mountain side, James Fields, a free negro, already hadbought land . Now It was to become a haven for those negroes whowere just becoming aware of the privilege of home ownership. One ofthe first to buy was Benjamin Franklin Young, who bought 17 acresfrom Dr. Plaster in 1871. Later that year, Dr. Plaster sold DennisWeaver 6 acres. Dennis Weaver built a house on this mountainside,on the narrow road that bounds the Carrington house, winds past theold school, and twists up behind the breastworks of the war thatbrought freedom. Dennis and his wife Delia cleared the woods forlawn and garden and from This house went back and forth to thevillage – Dennis to help the farmers bring the scorched earth back to productivity and Delia to care for countless of the households andchildren. One of these children remembers today her spankings.Aunt Delia cared for others until about 1923, when she herselfneeded care. It was hard to persuade someone to live up in the woods,so Delia, in return for her services which she had agreed to render me in waiting upon me and nursing me during my last illness I willedWinifred Scott all her household and kitchen furniture and all hermoney, except $100 which she bequeathed to Christopher Scipio.Aunt Delia was healthier than she anticipated and by 1931 WinifredScott felt she could no longer render those final services (probablygot married) and the will was changed to name Glovia Scott as thenurse. Delia Weaver lived until 1935 and now lies buried besideDennis, not on the mountain, but only a few miles away, looking backto the village in which they lived in slavery and the home which theybuilt in freedom. “- Advertisement – Along with many of Loudoun’s Black citizens, Dennis and Delia are buried in Rock Hill Cemetery; Black people were segregated even in death. There is currently a movement to preserve those Black cemeteries that still exist.Austin Gaffney wrote about this effort for National Geographic this summer. The separating line on the World War I monument hits home for Marilyn Thornton, a Washington, D.C.-based author and the granddaughter of war veteran James Edgar Thornton, about whom she wrote a book. Marilyn Thornton is a relative of one of the Black Loudoun County deceased, Samuel C. Thornton. She supports replacing the plaque. My great-grand Uncle Dennis was not “African American,” or “Black” at the time of his birth: He was simply property. A Negro slave. Our family took the surname Weaver from the occupation of his grandmother—a weaver for the family who owned her.A polite term to use for Black folks back then was “colored.” So as I write today of this young “colored” soldier, I am reminded of the classic poem by Black poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, in which he honored “The Colored Soldiers.” It’s performed here by storyteller and poet Mitch Capel, who is also known as “Gran’daddy Junebug.”Those of you who are fans of classical music may or may not be aware of the work of William Grant Still, who was known as the “Dean of African-American Composers.”William Grant Still’s career was comprised of many “firsts”. He was the first African-American composer to have a symphony performed by a professional orchestra in the U.S., the Symphony no. 1 “Afro-American” (1930). It was premiered by Howard Hanson and the Rochester Philharmonic. The piece’s New York premiere was given by the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall in 1935. He also became the first African-American to conduct a major symphony orchestra in the United States when he led the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1936. In the world of opera, his Troubled Island was the first by an African-American to be performed by a major opera company (New York City Opera, 1949) and that same opera was the first by an African-American to be nationally televised.It is fitting today, in memory of my great-grand Uncle Dennis, and those who fought and died with him, and for the Black vets of all our wars, to close with Still’s In Memoriam: The Colored Soldiers Who Died for Democracy.The work was commissioned by the League of Composers, and was premiered on Jan. 5, 1944 by the New York Philharmonic under Artur Rodzinski. David Ciucevich writes in the liner notes: “The New York Times critic Olin Downes remarked on its powerful ‘simplicity and feeling, without affectation or attitudinizing’. The wording of the title does carry an ironic aspect, reflecting the fact that African-Americans were fighting for world freedom and civilization abroad while being denied those very freedoms at home.” Enjoy this performance from the Boston Symphony Orchestra.If any of you are fortunate enough to visit Washington, D.C., be sure to visit the African American Civil War Museum and Monument. In honor of these American soldiers who fought for freedom during the American Civil War, the Spirit of Freedom: African American Civil War Memorial sculpture and its Wall of Honor, was situated in the heart of the historic “U” Street district, and serves as a reminder of the courageous story of the USCT. The sculpture portrays uniformed soldiers and a sailor at a height of ten feet with a family depicted on the back of the sculpture, and is situated in the center of a granite-paved plaza, encircled on three sides by the Wall of Honor. The wall lists the names of 209,145 USCT drawn from the official records of the Bureau of United States Colored Troops at the National Archives, on 166 burnished stainless steel plaques arranged by regiment.Here’s a short video tour, until you get there.Dennis Weaver’s name is one of those listed. I have not forgotten. None of us should. Because no official database exists, it’s impossible to track how many historic Black gravesites dot the American landscape. But proposed legislation could change this: the African American Burial Grounds Network Act would create a network of Black cemeteries and a formal database of historic Black burial sites—including grant funding for research and restoration—under the purview of the National Park Service. That “property” had a dollar value. That your petitioner acquired his claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Negroes in manner following:(2) Partly by inheritance and partly by Purchase. having formerly Belonged to his father Mordicai Throckmorton. Who died in Loudon Co. State of Virginia. Leaving Said Negroes, as aforesaid, he the said Hugh, Paying the debts due by his said father, thereby partly receiving them by inheritance and partly by Purchase as aforesaidThat your petitioner’s claim to the service or labor of said Negroes was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of Seven thousand three hundred fifty Dollars dollars in money.(3) as follow to Wit. Lewis 1200$ Solomon 1400$. Henry 400$ Dennis 1150$ Joseph 1000$ Patsy 1000$ John 100$ and Winney 1100$. They all Being healthy, Young and Good Workers and no defect except Henry, as aforesaid, and that to the Best of My Knowledge and Belief they have no moral mental or bodily infirmities or defects except in the case as stated in Henry.As you can see, Dennis Weaver was valued at $1,150 ($23,755.71 in today’s money). Ask yourself, what would you have been worth? How can a price be set on a human life? Yet, it was, and we were bought and sold. I’m very aware of the conditions of enslavement he lived under, along with other members of my family, since I have been doing genealogical and historical research on slavery for many years. I have never questioned his burning desire to go off and join the Union Army to fight, and perhaps die, as so many did, for that precious thing called liberty, for himself and his family and friends.- Advertisement – Racism continues to haunt these final resting places. Unlike many predominantly white cemeteries, which were designed as garden spaces to honor both the dead and the living, Black cemeteries—like the communities they represented—were relegated to the periphery. In the generations since enslavement, many Black burial sites have been neglected by local officials or re-buried by development, leaving descendants unable to locate or visit their ancestors’ resting places. Now, in a moment of racial reckoning, the long-running efforts by communities to preserve these historic Black sites could gain new momentum. Cemeteries are not the only issue. Monuments to white supremacy, honoring the losers, have been in the news. However, even when Black soldiers are acknowledged, their contributions could be separated, like this example from Loudoun County last summer. xWhite and Black soldiers are segregated on Loudoun County’s World War I memorial — white on top, Black on bottom. Now one supervisor wants to change that. https://t.co/tHO2cqm3sa via @LTMnews— Loudoun Times-Mirror (@LoudounTimes) August 7, 2020 “Can’t you just see people sitting around in a meeting saying, ‘Oh, let’s put the white boys at the top?’” she said in an interview with the Times-Mirror. “It’s just incredible to me that anybody would think to do that.” That man who was once “property” was a patriot, in the truest sense of the word. Loudoun County historian Kevin D. Grigsby discussed my Uncle Dennis, and other Black men who fought for the Union, writing for The Washington Post in 2013.The fighting southeast of Richmond was especially bloody, and 14 African Americans received the Medal of Honor for their actions in the battle.A few county natives made it back to Loudoun after the war and, like Weaver, made a mark on the local African American community. Of the 250 or so black Loudoun soldiers Grigsby found, fewer than 20 returned.“I don’t want to say they lived an anonymous life,” he said. “But they just kind of settled back in. There weren’t parades or statues or monuments; they came back as victors.”“I can’t even imagine what it was like for an African American . . . to have had that moment,” Grigsby said. “In some cases, you went from a slave to a liberator . . . to a protector and then, within so many years, you begin to see that freedom slowly peeled back and you have the rise of Jim Crow.”My story about great-grand uncle Dennis deals with his struggle to get a pension after he returned home, to the county where he was once enslaved. It reminds me that Black veterans have historically faced obstacles; just look at the history of the G.I Bill after WWII, and see how our Black service members were treated. I was able to obtain Dennis’ pension files from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). I received a stack of documents—over 200 pages. His battle to get a pension involved legal wrangling for years. The amount of paperwork, bureaucracy, and persistent denials he had to face was enough to discourage anyone, but he persevered. He finally wound up with initially six dollars a month, which was later increased to 12 dollars. Dennis was luckier than many, for he could read and write.- Advertisement – Thornton said she saw the plaque for the first time when researching her 2016 book, “Letters From Edgar’s Trunk,” based on accounts from her grandfather in the 369th Infantry Regiment during World War I. The group was commonly known as the Harlem Hellfighters. The author dedicated the book to the Black soldiers listed on the plaque — Ernest Gilbert, Valentine B. Johnson and Samuel C. Thornton.last_img read more

Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile 12 times limit, says IAEA

Human trial of H5N1 vaccine prompts concern, Australia touts poultry test

first_imgJun 14, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Efforts to combat avian flu in both people and poultry are continuing, although some steps have proven controversial.Vietnam has announced plans to begin human testing this summer on a vaccine for H5N1 avian flu, a move that has evoked concern among some experts.Vietnam’s National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology has requested that the Ministry of Trade approve a vaccine trial on 10 to 20 volunteers and on 200 to 300 people living in areas that have had poultry outbreaks, China’s news agency, Xinhua, announced today.The trial would run from August to December, sources told Xinhua. The vaccine has been declared effective on mice, monkeys, and chickens, Xinhua said.However, an online version of TIME Asia magazine’s Jun 20 edition has a story that quotes experts with reservations about the vaccine.The seed virus used for Vietnam’s vaccine was mixed with cancer cells to boost replication, and then grown in monkey kidney cells, a method the article describes as highly unorthodox. It is not the same seed virus as the one approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for H5N1 vaccine development.”People could get cancer from the vaccine,” according to a TIME quote attributed to Klaus Stohr, head of the WHO’s global influenza program.And although the vaccine’s creators say they have followed international protocols to prevent the H5N1 virus from mutating in the course of vaccine production, they “haven’t opened all their records or allowed an inspection of their labs,” the story says. TIME describes WHO officials as trying to convince Vietnam’s government to call off the human testing and create a new vaccine using the WHO-approved seed strain, but indications are that Vietnam’s planned tests will continue.Vietnam has been Ground Zero in this year’s human H5N1 outbreak, which began in mid-December 2004 and continues today. The WHO today updated its avian flu tally to reflect three new human infections diagnosed during the last two weeks of May.”All three patients are from Hanoi and remain alive. No further data about these cases have been provided,” the update noted.WHO now tallies 55 human cases of H5N1 diagnosed in Vietnam since last December. Eighteen of those patients have died.In Australia, researchers this week are touting a new test for avian flu that they say will identify 15 subtypes of flu in poultry within 1 day instead of the usual 3 weeks.The test was created by the Department of Primary Industries in Melbourne, according to a story in today’s Sydney Morning Herald.The test is best used as an early warning system in areas that haven’t already identified a particular strain, said Bob Cameron, Victoria’s Minister for Agriculture, in the Herald story.Details of how the test works and what methods have been used to determine its sensitivity and specificity were not available. However, the story noted that the test will be discussed at a biotechnology conference in Philadelphia that begins on Jun 19.See also:WHO’s Jun 14 avian flu update on Vietnamhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2005_06_14b/en/index.htmllast_img read more

Avian flu hits Gaza Strip, West Bank, Jordan

first_imgMar 24, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Avian influenza spread quickly in the Middle East this week, with news of a poultry outbreak in the Gaza Strip two days ago followed by outbreaks in the occupied West Bank yesterday and in Jordan today. The outbreaks followed the discovery of poultry cases in Israel last week.In the Gaza Strip, tests were run after chickens were found dead on Mar 22 at two sites, one on the south edge of the small Palestinian territory and one in the central part, according to reports from BBC News and the online edition of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.Tests first confirmed the presence of the H5N1 virus in the village of Juhr al-Dik, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report. Today, authorities said tests had identified the virus in chickens that died in the southern town of Rafah, AFP reported.In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the virus was identified yesterday in the Jewish settlement of Beqaot on the Jordan River, according to an AFP report citing information from the Israeli agriculture ministry. A Haaretz report said dozens of turkeys were found dead on a farm there.The newspaper said authorities began culling poultry yesterday on the four farms within 3 kilometers of the outbreak site.Jordan, neighbor to Israel and the West Bank, announced today it had discovered the H5N1 virus in three turkeys in the northern governorate of Ajlun, according to another AFP report.”The results of laboratory tests have shown that the birds had the H5N1 strain of bird flu,” Health Minister Saeed Darwazeh was quoted as saying. “There are no suspected cases in human beings.” He added that culling of poultry within 3 kilometers of the outbreak site had already begun.Agriculture Minister Akef al-Zohbi said 22 people who live on the farm and had contact with the birds were tested for the virus, with negative results, according to AFP.The story said the government planned to vaccinate all poultry with 5 kilometers of the affected farm, under an avian flu response plan established 6 months ago.Israeli and Jordanian officials believe migratory birds brought avian flu to the region, according to AFP. Officials in Jordan say an estimated 5 million migratory birds fly over the Jordan Valley and the surrounding region.In Israel, authorities have destroyed about 1.2 million birds on 13 farms since the first H5N1 outbreak was found last week, according to a Reuters report today.In other news, the World Health Organization (WHO) said China has agreed to share up to 20 virus samples from poultry felled by avian flu, according to a Mar 22 AFP report. The samples are to be studied in WHO reference laboratories.Julie Hall, a WHO official in Beijing, said the samples were expected to be sent within days, or weeks at most, according to the story.The last time China supplied any poultry virus samples was in 2004, when it provided just five, the report said. Hall said China’s health ministry has been sharing virus samples from human cases, but the agriculture ministry has been less cooperative in supplying poultry samples.Hall said part of the difficulty is that Chinese scientists want to complete research on the viruses they collect and receive credit for it. The WHO and the Chinese have negotiated an agreement that will give the scientists recognition and involve them in subsequent research, she reported.She said the WHO hopes the agreement will mark the beginning of regular sharing of virus samples from poultry.last_img read more

Nedo Pinezić: Tourism and Consumerism

first_imgThe neoliberal social system, which is best manifested through consumerism – the addictive disease of modern society, has “eaten” all the millennial positive achievements of Western civilization.”To own, not to be”, is the motto of the society in which we live, where material values ​​are placed before and above everything.A good car, house, apartment, yacht,… long and expensive tourist trips with the use of luxurious accommodation, dining in prestigious restaurants… All this photographed, documented so that it could be shown to friends and “friends”, relatives, acquaintances with the basic goal of arousing jealousy and admiration for our successes. These are the symptoms of consumerism in tourism.INSATURABLE GENERATIONThis lifestyle is promoted by insatiable generations growing up in an environment of poverty, and pervasive shortages caused by the wars and restrictions of utopian ideologies that prevailed after World War II in a half-divided world. When we look at the mentality of people from post-socialist countries and countries in transition today, this cramp for material fulfillment and proof is inevitable. The tourist offer follows such demand, so the “luxury” drops to a level accessible to a wide range of “materialists”. Luxurious resorts, cruisers, rich meals in all-inclusive arrangements, are the contents that “burn” generations of “Baby boomers” (the generation born during and immediately after World War II). Of course, the entire machinery of the consumer industry supports demand by broadcasting a whole range of content through the mass media, which presents materially well-off people as an example of success. This famine continues to be fueled by the ongoing process of immigration of millions of people from war-torn and conflict-affected countries to Western democracies. These people are faced with a consumerist measure of success and the vast majority accept such a life.ARE WE BUILDING A TOURIST OFFER FOR GENERATION ON DEPARTURE?Yet the world is changing. The digital industrial revolution has lifted the veto from the free exchange of information, the mass media is slowly losing its influence. Generation X (generation born from 1960 to 1980) has been consuming much less television and even print media. Millennians (the generation born from 1980 to 2000), on the other hand, follow almost nothing that is not on digital platforms. By the force of nature, the baby boomers generation is slowly leaving the life scene and is no longer predominant. Generation X is now “in its prime” when it is slowly becoming aware of what the Millennians already know well. Millennians do not want to be enslaved to material values ​​and repay their loans for real estate and movables all their lives, on which they still have to pay taxes. The younger generations do not buy cars, apartments, or houses, much less boats and villas. The only things they buy are digital devices and bicycles. Everything else they rent, “share”, share. Hence the name for the new economy, sharing economy or “sharing economy”.Millennians will be the predominant travelers, tourists, guests in ten years. They are not enchanted by the luxurious facilities, they are looking for an experience. Instead of a luxurious villa, they would rather try spending the night in a tree house. Instead of a “buffet”, they will taste local naturally grown products. They are increasingly vegetarians, eating small meals, paying attention to the quality of food, looking for the lost core values ​​of society. While nothing will change in vain, overnight, planning the development of the tourist offer over the next twenty years simply has to follow the transition of the traveler profile.CREATION OF THE OFFER “BY SHOEING THE SHOES OF FUTURE PASSENGERS”Meaningful, marketing-organized offer creation begins with the study of future users of our services. We simply “have to get into the shoes of future guests”Among the Millennians, there are five basic types recognized so far, “persona”: Achivers, Sparks, Stampeders, Fierfliers, Simple lifers. At this point, for the first time in Croatia, we will present the main characteristics of travelers who will dominate the world of tourism in the next twenty years. Achivers are very organized and strive to do everything they do with full engagement. Sparks are extremely environmentally conscious, creative, independent and want to make a positive impact on the environment. Simple lifers are relaxed, they want to go “easy through life”, they are very comfortable, satisfied with an uncomplicated routine. Firefliers are active, spontaneous, carefree, eager for fun and eager for positive action for the world. Stampeders want to be at the center of all events and want to participate in all important events.Photo: ww.everplans.comTRANSITIONThe time we live in, at the beginning of the digital industrial revolution, is a time of transition of consciousness and behavior of the average traveler. We are already noticing the first signs of saturation of the uniform offer at all levels of quality. People become more specific in their preferences. Families with children are looking for places with certain facilities that children will enjoy, pet owners are looking for destinations where pets are welcome, cyclists are looking for destinations and accommodation with the highest possible level of infrastructure and service for cyclomobility.Pedestrians, nature lovers, people who prefer an active vacation combined with relaxation and enjoyment of indigenous enogastronomy… Dozens of “personas”, imaginary people of today’s travelers, are looking for an environment conducive to their lifestyle. The search for such an environment is increasingly individual, independent, exploratory. The freedom to create free time without detailed pre-definitions is sought. The availability of information from the wish list of an individual “person” is important.LABELING, BRANDING, OFFER SPECIALIZATIONCurrent events in the hotel industry clearly show the necessary direction of movement. Kinder hotels “Amarin” in Rovinj and “Vespera” in Mali Lošinj, are branded and specialized hotels that most accurately meet the wishes of the market segment of family vacations. Needless to say, these hotels are extremely well stocked with above-average prices in the supply segment. Another hotel group, “Valamar”, follows a similar path in Rabac, where family hotels and hotels for couples without children are specially profiled. Older people, whose children have grown up, occasionally need a little rest from their grandchildren and time devoted to each other. But there are also hotels that are dedicated to grandchildren and grandparents who still have more free time available for quality socializing with their grandchildren. There are over a hundred market segments, “persona” and today’s tourist offer is trying to adapt to the profile of the desired guest. All of these are indications of a more rational, more meaningful spending of free time where seeking luxury and fueling the pity of neighbors is no longer the main motive for travel. Travel is a necessity of life today. Physically, mentally, socially conditioned need.We are looking for something that we do not have enough in the environment, be it peace, good food, the beauty of nature, communication with people, family rapprochement… Family accommodation has a great opportunity to “branch out” to all known segments of demand. The first step on this path is the transformation of accommodation owners from landlords to hosts, then association with other hosts through quality clubs and constant education and acceptance of service standards according to the desired specialization.WE LIVE WHAT WE OFFER TO OUR GUESTSThe credibility of our offer is visible through the honesty with which we live what we offer. If we love pets and have a pet ourselves, our “pet friendly” offer will gain in value. If we ride a bike, even recreationally, we will be able to “get into the shoes” of a cyclist much easier and understand all his needs. Our “bike friendly” accommodation will get on the price.WE CHOOSE THE FUTURE OURSELVESBy ignoring modern trends, we run the risk of lagging behind and not competing in the market. This can happen to us even if we nicely equip the accommodation, if everything looks good and there is no “soul”, no tuning, no specialization. Being average, offering the same or similar to thousands of others, means “drowning in the mass” of supply. Then we are left with the only marketing tool we use to attract guests – lowering the price.Materialism lives and will continue to live, especially in our area, but the ratio of guests who choose luxury will change in favor of those who choose experience.Nedo Pinezićlast_img read more

The island of Hvar nominated for the best European destination

first_imgNext year, the sunniest island in Croatia will celebrate 150 years of organized tourism, and the title of the best European destination would be a great addition to the whole story.Namely, the Tourist Board of Stari Grad on Hvar last year was nominated for the title of European best destination organized by the European Best Destinations portal, and this year with one more experience, it decided to run again, but this time the whole island of Hvar is running.It is certainly commendable that the whole island of Hvar decided to run because the island of Hvar is one tourist destination. By the way, the island of Hvar can also be called the Island of UNESCO because the UNESCO list of cultural and intangible world heritage includes the Old Town and the Old Town Field, Agave Lace, the Procession of the Cross, Klapa singing and Mediterranean food.The title of the best European destination is as relevant as we make it relevantThe title of the best European destination is as relevant as we make it relevant. TZGZ succeeded in that and excellently branded the whole story about Advent in Zagreb, and in the end it “charged” through the increased arrival of tourists and branding of the city. On the other hand, Zadar, which was declared the best European destination last year, certainly did not make good use of this situation. It’s all about investing, and the money spent on promotion and branding is certainly not an expense, but an investment.Applying alone is not enough to achieve success, it is only the first step. After the initial application, the real work is just beginning, so it is necessary to make a good promotion plan in order to hear the vote on the nomination as far as possible and finally get a sufficient number of votes. Of course, the focus should be on our market because we are counting on local patriotism, which will bring us an initial buzz in a short time, but we should certainly communicate in English in order to “catch” the voices of foreign tourists. One of the segments, in my opinion, should target tourists from areas that are not nominated, but the most important thing is to communicate with tourists who have already visited Hvar and who are constantly returning to this beautiful island. All tourist employees of the island of Hvar, from hoteliers to hosts in family accommodation, who should voluntarily communicate via newsletter to their guest base as well as on social networks, must certainly get involved.The destination is the whole island and without synergy there is no long-term success, and also in this story everyone benefits. If Hvar doesn’t get the mentioned title, every promotion is great, including this one. Voting is coming soon, and the first step is for us, you, to support our candidate for the best European destination. The island of Hvar is certainly that, with or without the mentioned title, but it is always nice to get recognition such as EBD, which should be used later through promotion.

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In 2017, Valamar achieved an operating profit growth of 20% and HRK 1,84 billion in revenue

first_imgAccording to the audited annual business report for 2017, the largest tourist company in Croatia, Valamar Riviera, generated total revenues in the amount of HRK 1,84 billion, which is 17% more than in 2016.Revenue growth is primarily related to overnight growth of 20% and an increase in the average price of 6,4%. There was a strong growth of operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of 20% to the level of HRK 623 million with an increase in operational efficiency and the realization of an adjusted EBITDA margin of 35%. The market value of the Valamar Riviera share increased by 26% last year.The growth is the result of large investments in the portfolio in recent years, including the largest investment cycle of HRK 906 million realized for the 2017 season, growth in demand for higher value-added supply and services, growth in direct sales and successful business of Imperial dd, which Valamar and AZ fund took over in 2016, they point out from Valamar.In 2018, a new investment cycle of HRK 705 millionValamar continues to develop and in 2018 will invest HRK 705 million. This year’s key investments include the completion of the Valamar Girandella Resort, as part of which Valamar will open its first Kinderhotel 5 *, the renovation of the Valamar Argosy Hotel in Dubrovnik, the renovation of the Imperial Hotel on Rab and continued investment in camps in Istria and the island of Krk. within which more than 4 billion kuna has been invested in Croatian tourism so far.Valamar Riviera is the first company in Croatia to guarantee all employees a minimum net income of HRK 5.000 to 7.500. In 2018, a salary increase of 11,5% is focused mainly on key occupations in tourism, and this year alone Valamar is investing over HRK 20 million in increasing employee benefits. At the same time, in the 2018 season, Valamar continues to invest in raising the quality of accommodation for seasonal workers by opening a fourth hotel for employees at two new locations in Poreč, after opening Valamar Houses in Rabac and on the island of Krk in 2017. “Business results in 2017 are a continuation of the successful realization of the goals we set in the business strategy until 2020, which include the achievement of double-digit growth of results and values ​​of the company in a sustainable and socially responsible way. Valamar continuously invests in raising the quality of products, in the development of destinations in which it operates and in the improvement of salaries and working conditions in tourism. Croatian tourism has a market opportunity to grow towards tourism of higher purchasing power, added value and quality jobs. We continue to invest in Valamar, this year we will create 600 new jobs and put a special focus on further improvements in income and employee development”, Pointed out Željko Kukurin, President of the Management Board of Valamar Riviera.New acquisition – Hotel Makarska In February 2018, the Center for Restructuring and Sales accepted Valamar’s offer to purchase 55,48% of the share capital Hoteli Makarska dd Valamar Riviera enters into the acquisition of Hotel Makarska dd in partnership with AZ mandatory pension funds with which in 2016 the acquisition of majority shares in Imperial dd on the island of Rab.According to the proposal of the Supervisory Board, the realized net profit in 2017 in the amount of HRK 232 million will be distributed to retained earnings, and the General Assembly is proposed to make a decision on dividend payment in the amount of HRK 0,90 per share, which is 12,5% more than in 2016 and is in line with the strategic goal of achieving an attractive and long-term sustainable dividend to shareholders, Valamar concludes.last_img read more

ZDTVH sent a request to institutions to protect quality and accurate interpretation of cultural heritage as well as licensed tourist guides

first_imgThe Association of Croatian Tourist Guides (ZDTVH) has sent a request to the Association of Historic Towns, the Association of Counties and the Ministry of Culture asking them to put a letter attached to their institutions in visible places, in order to protect cultural heritage and its presentation.Also, if we care about a story that tells our history, culture and identity, so should counties, cities and tourist boards, which have tourist attractions and sights.In the European Year of Cultural Heritage, encouraged by the practice in many EU Member States, where Ministries of Culture, regional and local government units in many institutions have posted letters like the one attached, in order to protect cultural heritage and its presentation, especially in designated areas. as protected sites (which can be presented only by persons who have been specially trained to interpret the cultural heritage of historic cities – protected sites) ZDTVH sent a request to the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Tourism, the Croatian Union of Counties and the Association of Historic Cities. in their areas of activity) in which they are asked to place attached letters in visible places in all institutions under their jurisdiction – areas designated as protected sites.We consider the way our cultural, sacral, tangible and intangible heritage will be presented to be extremely important for our national identity because historical cities, cultural, sacral, tangible and intangible cultural heritage are woven into the very core of our national identity.Do we care about ourselves and our culture, traditions, heritage…? Tourist guides are interpreters of cultural heritage, and we must care how our story is told. However, all this is a negative implication in accordance with the amendments to the Law on the Provision of Services in Tourism, which has just allowed foreign tourist guides to tell the story they want about our history without any control or education, ie they think it is accurate and sufficient. our localities. Interpretation is key!This is not just about our interests, but about the interests of each State, because one cannot read a classic tourist guide or pick up information from Wikipedia about a tourist destination, locality… and talk about it. Both for foreign tourist guides in Croatia and for our guides in Europe. That is why it is insane and counter-productive for tourist guides who have not undergone quality and extensive education, either domestic or foreign, to guide tourists through protected localities and tell false and untrue stories.I wonder: Who cares if our history, culture, identity is misinterpreted and distorted? Each country preserves and nurtures its culture and history, identity, and it certainly cares about the story being told, and most of all that the story is true and credible. It is up to us how and whether we will regulate the market and start systematically, planned, long-term and strategically dealing with tourism.We are destroying ourselves, our market and most importantly our identity and authenticity.Post notices about the importance of licensed guides and protect our history, culture, heritage… from misinterpretation or misinterpretation.Side dish: Do you have a licensed guide?last_img read more

This is how he dies for his destination and breaks the status quo

first_imgPhoto: FB Tatjana Rau When you’re small, then you have to be fast, agile, proactive, creative, and innovative to stand out in the crowd and fight the big ones. This is exactly what Mirko Bačić, the director of the Tourist Board of Županja, is doing. a great spectacle in the middle of Zagreb. All with the aim of promoting and branding Županja and announcing its biggest event – Šokačko sijelo. This event has been representing carnival customs and other folklore original contents for more than half a century, so this year in its 52nd edition it will once again show all the beauty of the original folk costumes, chariots and horsemen, the folk word will be heard again – Slavonians. Last week (February 15.02), hundreds of Županja residents proudly presented the upcoming 52nd Šokačko sijelo on Ban Josip Jelačić Square. Of course, we can always say that it could have been done much better, but the people of Županja gathered their strength, joined forces with one goal and got the most out of the whole situation that they can and know. And that is exactly what is most important. Proactivity and desire for development. They showed how it is always possible, no matter what. This is a story of how he fights for his destination, how he dies and how the status quo collapses, with all the flaws and troubles, in spite of everyone and everything. They said that the Days of Croatian Tourism in Slavonia could not be held, but it would still be held. Even some Slavonian tourist boards lobbied not to support the whole initiative, because it disturbs their status quo. Unbelievable, but true. But this is a story I will tell on another occasion, and the motive of this article is just the opposite. Along with Slavonian tamburitza players in the center of Zagreb, a big Šokac wheel was danced, KUDs presented themselves, and this was a great opportunity for the promotion and tasting of autochthonous Slavonian products (kulin, honey, Slavonian plum brandy, wine, jams, cheese, leaves, etc. .). Thus, in the best way, with the focus of the national media, they called on all citizens of Zagreb to from February 23 to March 5 come to Županja for the oldest and largest manifestation of traditional culture of the Županja region – 52. Šokačko sijelo. Yes, it is certainly much harder to work to develop tourism on the continent, but I personally mind because the good majority is guided by the slogan that nothing can be done and they adhere to the status quo. It is possible, in fact, especially today in the 21st century and the opportunities offered by the online world. Only the will is important. center_img Small tourist boards, especially those on the continent, do not have nearly the same prerequisites as those at sea. First and foremost, they do not have the financial or logistical conditions to be in a somewhat equal match with other maritime TZs. Not to mention the statistics of the number of arrivals and overnight stays, investments and much less support from the Ministry of Tourism or the CNTB. It is possible to make a show and tell a story without a “budget”, ie with the minimum budget that every tourist board has. For all the effort and proactivity, Mr. Mirko Bačić deserves every praise and great respect. I hereby call on the CNTB to support such stories and people, and not those who only know how to whine and stick to the status quo. In the table for collecting points related to co-financing, this category should be at the top, which should bring the most points. Of course, they also used their visit to Zagreb to get closer to the national media, so they presented their story in the show Dobro jutro, Hrvatska on HTV and through various other media appearances. O Županjo, you are always dear to me – the slogan of the 52nd Šokački sijelo These are the ambassadors and heroes of our tourism. He could say you can’t, I don’t have money, the CNTB doesn’t see me, etc.… he could find hundreds of reasons to stick to the status quo. And probably no one would tell him anything, because what can a director of the tourist board from distant Županja do. Screenshot Zupanjac.net Fair and honest. Let’s support those who want and are involved in development. The glove is thrown again, what is your excuse?last_img read more