World Travel Awards honours Maldives with top Indian Ocean prizes | News

first_img– Advertisement – OlderNew ONS figures reveal collapse of UK tourism sector Maldives enjoyed a strong showing in the hospitality sector. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, home to the world’s first underwater villa, lifted the title of ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Hotel’, while Vakkaru Maldives, with its unique take on luxury, picked up ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Resort’, and Kurumba Maldives won ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Family Resort’.New arrival on the region’s luxury hospitality scene, Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa, was voted ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading New Resort’. Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa claimed ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Villa Resort’ and Andilana Beach Resort, Madagascar declared ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Beach Resort’.- Advertisement – Winners include Maldives, which cemented its reputation as the definitive secluded sanctuary to win ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination’, ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Beach Destination’ and ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Dive Destination’. Meanwhile the lush forests, wild waterfalls, unique wildlife and palm-fringed beaches of Mauritius helped it lift ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination’ and ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination’. The mystical island of Madagascar was named ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Green Destination’, whilst Reunion Island was heralded ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Nature Destination’.- Advertisement –center_img In the aviation sector, Air Seychelles lifted ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline’, while ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Airport’ went to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, Mauritius.The results follow a year-long search for the world’s top travel, tourism and hospitality brands. Votes were cast by travel industry professionals and the public, with the nominee gaining the most votes in a category named as the winner.Graham Cooke, founder, World Travel Awards, said: “Our winners represent the very best of the Indian Ocean’s travel and tourism sector and my congratulations to each of them. “They have all demonstrated remarkable resilience in a year of unprecedented challenges.”He added: “The World Travel Awards 2020 programme received a record number of votes cast by the public. “This shows that the appetite for travel and tourism has never been stronger and bodes well for the industry’s future as the global recovery begins.”Other winners include Constance Hotels & Resorts (‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Hotel Brand); Cunard (‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Cruise Line’); Simply Maldives Holidays (‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Travel Agency’); The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort (‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury Resort’); Seychelles Travel (‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Tour Operator’); and Hey Hey Maldives (‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury Tour Operator’).More InformationFor a full list of winners, head over the official website.World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.Each year, World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective success within each key geographical region.For more information about World Travel Awards, take a look here. World Travel Awards has unveiled its Indian Ocean 2020 winners to coincide with its inaugural Indian Ocean Winners Day.The global initiative to recognise and reward excellence in travel and tourism will also reveal its global title holders later this month during the Grand Final. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Casts of CBS Reality Shows to Be More Diverse, Network Says

first_imgCBS reality shows, including “Survivor,” “Big Brother” and “Love Island,” will feature more diverse casts next season, under an initiative that will also target development budgets and writing rooms, the network announced on Monday.Starting in the 2021-22 season, at least half of the cast members of its unscripted programs will be people of color, the network said in a statement. It said it would also allocate at least a quarter of its annual development budget for unscripted shows to those created or co-created by people of color, including Black and Indigenous people.- Advertisement – Those complaints came to light this year as widespread protests swept the United States after George Floyd, a Black man, was killed in police custody in Minneapolis, leading some entertainment companies, news organizations and other businesses to question longstanding industry practices. The announcement on Monday was the latest development in a series of steps the network has taken regarding diversity in its casting, staffing and storytelling. The network did not immediately reply to a request for more details about the initiative.In July, CBS Television Studios and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People announced a production deal for N.A.A.C.P.-produced content, saying that 25 percent of the network’s programs would come from creators who are people of color. CBS also pledged that, by the 2022-23 season, 50 percent of the writers on its shows would be people of color.The initiatives for its reality shows built on those commitments, CBS said in the statement on Monday.- Advertisement – Mr. Cheeks moved to his current role at CBS as it made a significant change in its leadership in January, months after the network merged with Viacom.- Advertisement – The network has faced criticism in recent years for a prime-time lineup that lacked diversity, including complaints from staff writers over how race and gender were handled at “All Rise,” a drama with a Black woman as its protagonist. George Cheeks, the president and chief executive for the CBS Entertainment Group, described the commitments as “important first steps” in bringing in new voices.“The reality TV genre is an area that’s especially underrepresented, and needs to be more inclusive across development, casting, production and all phases of storytelling,” Mr. Cheeks said in the statement. The network will also work to expand diversity in the creative and production teams, it said. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Pandemic funding, liability shield clear Congress

first_imgDec 28, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Before adjourning last week, the US Senate passed and sent to President Bush a bill providing $3.8 billion for pandemic influenza preparedness and a controversial liability shield for those who produce and administer drugs and vaccines used in a declared public health emergency.The preparedness funding and liability protection were part of the fiscal year 2006 defense spending bill passed by the Senate on the evening of Dec 21. The bill had cleared the House 2 days earlier.The $3.8 billion for pandemic preparedness is a little more than half of the $7.1 billion Bush had requested in early November. House Republican leaders said last week the measure would fund roughly the fiscal year 2006 portion of Bush’s request.As reported previously, the amount includes $350 million to improve state and local preparedness and directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to use most of the rest on “core preparedness activities,” including increasing vaccine production capacity, developing vaccines, and stockpiling antiviral drugs.The liability provision offers broad legal protection for the makers of drugs, vaccines, and other medical “countermeasures” used when the HHS secretary declares an emergency. The provision says people claiming injury from a medical countermeasure can sue only if they prove “willful misconduct” by those who made or administered it. The bill calls for Congress to set up a compensation program for injuries, but it provides no funds for that purpose.Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and other Republican leaders argued that the liability measure was necessary to induce biotechnology companies to develop products to counter pandemic flu and other disease threats.In a news release issued after the bill passed, Frist said the measure “extends limited protections to manufacturers, distributors, and first responders, so that life-saving countermeasures, such as an H5N1 avian flu vaccine, will be developed, deployed and administered.”He added that the bill “strikes a reasonable balance where those who are harmed will be fairly compensated and life-saving products will be available in ample supply to protect and treat as many Americans as possible.”But Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and some other Democrats, along with consumer groups such as Public Citizen, derided the liability provision as a giveaway to the drug industry. Kennedy said the bill makes it “essentially impossible” for injured parties to sue for damages. He also argued that the measure allows the HHS secretary to use many common diseases as a reason to activate the liability shield.”Without a real compensation program, the liability protection in the defense bill provides a Christmas present to the drug industry and bag of coal to everyday Americans,” stated a Dec 21 news release issued by Kennedy and Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Chris Dodd, D-Conn.The liability protection language, called the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, was tacked onto the end of the huge defense-spending bill (H.R. 2863).It gives the HHS secretary authority to trigger the liability protection by declaring an emergency if he or she determines that a disease or other health threat represents an emergency or may constitute an emergency in the future. The act does not list any criteria for determining the existence of an emergency. The declaration would have to list the diseases, populations, and geographic areas covered and when the emergency would end.Such an emergency declaration is not subject to court review, and it preempts any conflicting laws or regulations of states or local communities, the act says.The measure says those who make and administer medical countermeasures covered by an emergency declaration are immune to lawsuits unless the plaintiff can provide clear evidence of willful misconduct that resulted in death or serious physical injury. “Willful misconduct” is ruled out if the party who administered the treatment followed HHS recommendations and notified health authorities of the relevant injury within 7 days.In addition, the act instructs the HHS secretary to write regulations “that further restrict the scope of actions or omissions by a covered person” that constitute willful misconduct.A party alleging “willful misconduct” can file suit only in US District Court in Washington, DC. The plaintiff must have an affidavit supporting the suit from a physician who did not treat the injured person. Before any suit can go to trial, a three-judge panel will consider any pretrial motions.The act says that an HHS emergency declaration will trigger the establishment of a fund to provide “timely, uniform, and adequate compensation” to anyone injured by covered medical countermeasures. However, the measure does not appropriate money for the fund.A person claiming injury from a covered treatment may not sue without first trying to collect from the compensation fund. But that requirement applies only if the compensation program has been funded. A person can sue if HHS fails to act on the request for compensation within 240 days.If a plaintiff accepts an award from the compensation fund, he or she is barred from suing anyone, the act provides.In arguing that the liability shield is too broad, Kennedy said in his news release, “The Bush administration could identify Vioxx as a needed countermeasure to treat the arthritis epidemic or to treat pain associated with flu, and completely immunize Merck [the manufacturer] from lawsuits currently pending against it.”See also:The Library of Congress’ Thomas site for the text of the liability shield (search “Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act,” part of HR 2863)http://thomas.loc.gov/last_img read more

Death rate for flu, pneumonia fell sharply in 2006

first_imgJun 12, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday that the death rate in the United States dropped significantly from 2005 to 2006, led by a 12.8% decline in mortality related to seasonal influenza and pneumonia. The findings were released in a 52-page preliminary report on death trends for 2006 from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. Heron said a final report on 2006 deaths would be published in the fall. Samuel Preston, a demographer at the University of Pennsylvania, told the AP that while US life expectancy doesn’t appear very impressive, “we may be in the process of catching up.” The overall age-adjusted death rate in 2006 was 776.4 deaths per 100,000 population, compared with 799 per 100,000 in 2005, the CDC said in a news release. The preliminary number of total deaths was 2,425,900, down 22,117 from 2005. Life expectancy in the United States still lags behind about 30 other countries, according to World Health Organization data for the same year, the Associated Press (AP) reported yesterday. Death rates for 8 of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States dropped significantly in 2006, but the drop in flu and pneumonia mortality was the steepest. Other conditions that had declining death rates included lower respiratory diseases (6.5%), stroke (6.4%), heart disease (5.5%), diabetes (5.3%), hypertension (5%), chronic liver disease/cirrhosis (3.3%), suicide (2.8%), septicemia (2.7%), cancer (1.6%), and accidents (1.5%). On the other hand, officials have also noted a rise in deaths from Alzheimer’s disease, which could reflect the steadily aging population, she said. Alzheimer’s disease passed diabetes as the sixth leading cause of death in 2006, according to the report. “We’ll keep watching as more and more baby boomers age,” Heron said. Heron said she was surprised that deaths dropped in so many of the categories and said the drop in diabetes deaths is particularly notable. “We’re making improvements in treating diabetes,” she said. Racial disparities in the death trends are still apparent, but aren’t as acute as in previous years, the authors reported. However, record high life expectancies were noted for both blacks and whites of both genders.center_img The CDC said the data are based on more than 95% of death certificates that are collected in 50 states and the District of Columbia as part of the National Vital Statistics System. For the first time, US life expectancy reached 78.1 years, an increase of 0.3 from 2005, according to the CDC release. CDC preliminary report on 2006 death trends “With a rapidly growing older population, declines in the number of deaths (as opposed to death rates) are unusual, and the 2006 decline is likely the result of more mild influenza mortality in 2006 compared with 2005,” the CDC release said. See also: Melonie Heron, a demographer at the CDC and lead author of the report, told CIDRAP News that the agency’s experts aren’t sure yet what contributed to the drop in influenza and pneumonia deaths. “We’re all speculating. It may be that the flu strain that year was less virulent or that the flu vaccine was really good,” she said. Jun 11 CDC press release A total of 56,247 deaths were attributed to flu and pneumonia in 2006, a rate of 18.8 deaths per 100,000 population, according to the CDC report.last_img read more

H1N1 BREAKING NEWS: Vaccine for pregnant women, risk for children vs older adults, sick leave for caregivers

first_imgJudge rejects bid to ban use of some H1N1 vaccines in pregnant womenA federal judge yesterday rejected an advocacy group’s request to bar the government from using thimerosal-containing H1N1 flu vaccines in pregnant women, the Washington Post said. The group argued that thimerosal could harm fetuses. But a judge in Washington said the group couldn’t prove that pregnant women would get shots containing thimerosal. Most flu vaccines contain it, but the CDC has said it plans to supply enough thimersoal-free H1N1 vaccine for pregnant women and young children.Chicago H1N1 study shows children far more susceptible than older adultsA study of the first 3 months of the H1N1 flu epidemic in Chicago shows that children aged 5 to 14 were 14 times more susceptible to the virus than adults aged 60 and older, according to Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Chicago had 1,557 confirmed cases during the 3 months, and the attack rate for children was 147 per 100,000 population. The hospitalization rate was highest for children 0 to 4 years old (25 per 100,000), followed by those aged 5 to 14 (11 per 100,000).http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5833a1.htm?s_cid=mm5833a1_eAug 29 MMWR articleFederal workers may be allowed to use sick leave to care for ailing relativesUnder a new proposal, federal employees could use accumulated sick leave to care for family members sick with H1N1 flu or other infectious diseases, the Washington Post reported. The proposal, published yesterday, would allow workers to use up to 13 days of sick leave to care for a relative before getting a doctor’s determination that the relative had an infectious disease. With the doctor’s determination, the employee could use up to 12 weeks of sick leave a year.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/26/AR2009082603604.htmlAug 27 Washington Post storyLiability, insurance coverage threaten Australia’s vaccine programAustralia’s pandemic H1N1 vaccine campaign is in peril because the government has refused to indemnify physicians who administer the vaccine and because insurance companies seem unwilling to pay doctors to deliver the vaccines, the Sydney Morning Herald reported today. Insurance companies have also raised concerns about multidose vial safety and a lack of vaccine safety data. The country’s vaccine campaign is slated to start in mid September, with enough vaccine to cover half of the population.http://www.smh.com.au/national/swine-flu-vaccine-plan-in-disarray-20090827-f17x.htmlAug 27 Sydney Morning Herald storyNew Zealand’s medical visit rate for flu-like illness tripled this yearFlu surveillance in New Zealand from early May to early August showed that the peak in weekly visits to general practitioners for flu-like illness was the highest since 1997 and three times as high as in 2008, according to MMWR. Surveillance also showed that as the season progressed, the number of 2009 H1N1 isolates rapidly exceeded the number of seasonal flu isolates, with the new strain making up 80% of all weekly isolates by early July.Aug 29 MMWR articlehttp://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5833a2.htm?s_cid=mm5833a2_eBrazil reports world’s highest H1N1 flu death toll at 557Brazil has displaced the United States as the country with the most 2009 H1N1 flu deaths, at 557, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday. The latest official death toll for the United States was 522 as reported by the CDC last week. Brazil’s health ministry said the country’s H1N1 epidemic appears to be declining. The ministry has allocated $1 billion to buy 73 million doses of H1N1 vaccine, along with oseltamivir, hospital equipment, and diagnostic tests.Defense Department secures its own vaccine supplyThe US Department of Defense has purchased a 2.7 million–dose supply of novel H1N1 vaccine for active military members through the federal government and will launch immunization campaigns in October, starting with high-risk groups and those who live in close quarters at sea, Government Executive reported yesterday. All service members are slated to receive the vaccine, though their dependents will receive theirs though civilian channels.http://www.govexec.com/ads/welcome/?rf=http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cfm?articleid=43475&dcn=e_gvetAug 26 Government Executive storySouth Korea rolls out strict school flu measuresSouth Korea’s education ministry yesterday announced strict measures to curb the spread of the pandemic H1N1 virus, including checking all students’ temperatures each day, sterilizing classrooms daily, and refraining from group activities, Agence France-Presse reported today. So far 46 schools have closed or delayed the start of fall classes. The government expects to place school children on its vaccine priority list.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS/World/Rest-of-World/All-South-Korean-students-face-swine-flu-check-/articleshow/4941249.cmsAug 27 AFP storylast_img read more

Protection after early flu shots likely to last all season

first_img National retail pharmacy chains such as Walgreens and CVS started offering seasonal flu vaccine in their stores on Sep 1. Seasonal flu vaccine campaigns don’t usually begin until October. See also: Seasonal flu vaccines are given each year because the viruses change, not because people have lost their antibody protection, he said. For example, he said some people who received the 1976 swine flu vaccine still show some evidence of immune system priming. When the novel H1N1 virus emerged in the spring, pharmaceutical companies announced they would speed production of the seasonal shots to free up manufacturing capacity for the pandemic vaccine. Public health officials, anticipating the complex task of rolling out two flu vaccine campaigns this fall, have urged people to get the seasonal vaccine early to free up clinics to offer the pandemic H1N1 starting in mid October, when it is expected in large quantities. Meanwhile, seasonal flu vaccine campaigns are continuing in the United States, though several Canadian provinces have decided to postpone the seasonal shots except for seniors and those who have high-risk health conditions. Those decisions were based mainly on an unpublished Canadian study suggesting that people who received seasonal flu shots last season had a higher risk of pandemic H1N1 infection—a phenomenon that the CDC and World Health Organization have not confirmed. Fiore said there’s no evidence base to suggest that waning immunity after vaccination during the flu season is a problem. He added that flu experts also believe cell-mediated immunity, which is difficult to measure, may also play a role in long-term protection. Skowronski DM, Tweed SA, De Serres G. Rapid decline of influenza vaccine—induced antibody in the elderly: is it real, or is it relevant? J Infect Dis 2008 Feb 15;197(4):490-502 [Full text] Experts also say the ebb and flow of seasonal flu this year can’t be predicted. Thomas Frieden, MD, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said at a Sep 25 press conference that though the United States seems to be well into a new wave of pandemic H1N1 activity, officials aren’t sure if the flu season will peak early and then decline for the rest of the fall and winter or if seasonal viruses will circulate at their normal times. He said the CDC isn’t telling groups who usually plan to do their mid October seasonal flu vaccine clinics to move the dates up. “But the vaccine is here earlier and in large quantities, so there’s no reason to wait.” “There’s no full agreement in the clinical world when the best time to vaccinate is. It’s a clinical management issue,” Fiore said.center_img Anthony Fiore, MD, MPH, a medical epidemiologist in the CDC’s Influenza Division, told CIDRAP News that there are no long-term data on how long protection lasts in younger populations. Though antibodies decline in the months following seasonal vaccination, it’s not clear if the drop has any link to vaccine efficacy. Frieden urged the public to take advantage of the early availability of the seasonal vaccine. “It’s in large numbers. More than 50 million doses are in the system,” he said. “That’s more at this stage of the year than any previous year.” The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has said it expects 116 million doses of the seasonal flu vaccine to be distributed to clinics and immunization sites. However, vaccine distribution problems have led to shortages in some parts of the country. Sep 24 CIDRAP News story “Unpublished Canadian data on seasonal flu shots and H1N1 stir concern” Although this flu season may well be unusual because of the H1N1 virus, seasonal flu typically peaks in February or even later—more than 4 months from now. This has prompted questions as to whether the protection conferred by a flu shot received now will last through the season. Sep 29, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The current public health advice that Americans should get their seasonal flu shots early this year has prompted some to voice concern that their protection will fade later in the season. But medical literature and disease experts indicate there is no good evidence that immunity conferred by the shots wanes so quickly. A February 2008 review of 14 studies on antibody persistence found no age-related declines in protection 4 or more months after flu vaccination. The authors noted that in the past, public health messages have raised unfounded concerns about waning protection over a season in elderly people who get flu shots. “Given the implications for the timing of seasonal and pandemic influenza immunization programs, historic statements expressing these concerns should be reconsidered,” they wrote. Sep 25 unedited CDC telebriefing transcriptlast_img read more

CDC cites bacterial infections in some H1N1 deaths

first_imgEditor’s note: This story was revised Sep 29 to correct a detail about when pneumonia cases were diagnosed.Sep 28, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Almost one third of a group of patients who died in the past 4 months from H1N1 influenza had bacterial infections that complicated their illnesses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in a conference call with healthcare providers. But the agency cautioned against applying that ratio to all cases of H1N1, saying the death records it reviewed were submitted by hospitals and medical examiners and did not represent a statistically valid sample.Nevertheless, the 22 cases (among 77 deaths confirmed to be from H1N1) emphasize that bacterial co-infections are playing a role in the ongoing pandemic, something that was not clear at first, the CDC’s Dr. Matthew Moore said on the call.”During the early part of this pandemic, evidence of bacterial co-infection was pretty much absent,” Moore said during the call, part of the CDC’s “Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity” program. That “may have led to the perception that bacterial co-infection is playing only a limited or maybe even no role in this current pandemic. . . . [But] bacterial pneumonia may be contributing to influenza-associated mortality in a manner similar to that in previous pandemics.”The 77 patients whose deaths and autopsy data were evaluated by the CDC are expected to be described in a forthcoming article in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. They ranged in age from 2 months to 84 years, with a median age of 39. Nine out of 10 had some underlying condition that made them vulnerable to the severest effects of flu, such as obesity, cardiac disease, asthma, diabetes, or HIV infection. Three were women in the last trimester of pregnancy.All appear to have been severely ill: 63% received influenza antivirals and 81% were put on ventilators. Pneumonia was diagnosed before death in 39% of the cases.The 22 patients (29%) who were confirmed to have bacterial complications were infected with Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus), Staphylococcus aureus, Group A strep, and Haemophilus influenzae. (Four were infected with more than one bacterial type.) Five of the seven S aureus infections involved methicillin-resistant (MRSA) strains.Moore said the CDC is especially concerned that 16 of the 22 fall into categories of people who are recommended to receive pneumococcal vaccine because of their age or underlying chronic conditions. The agency received limited clinical data on the cases and thus could not say whether they received the vaccine—but it is well-known, Moore said, that only 16% of Americans who should receive pneumococcal vaccine do so.In response, the CDC is urging people at high risk for pneumococcal disease to be vaccinated, Moore said: “If you add up all the people in the United States who should have received pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine but have not yet received it, that totals 70 million individuals. We have a terrific opportunity here to prevent additional pneumococcal disease.”See also: CDC recommendation for pneumococcal vaccination for adultshttp://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5934a3.htmCDC recommendation for pneumococcal vaccination for childrenhttp://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/rr/rr4909.pdflast_img read more

Employers in tourism are asking for a postponement of the proposed increase in the sojourn tax

first_imgEmployers in tourism oppose the increase of the sojourn tax without first analyzing the efficiency of the system of tourist boards and the effects of existing financial resources from the sojourn tax and without ensuring the efficiency of collection and proportional burden of all forms of accommodation-tax payers.At the proposal of the Decree on determining the amount of the sojourn tax for 2018, they sent a negative statement to the Ministry of Tourism and HUP i CCC, and during the public consultation the key opinion was given by key associations of entrepreneurs in tourism: Association of Employers in the Croatian Hotel Industry, HUP-Association of Hospitality and Tourism, Association of Hoteliers at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Croatian Camping Association, HUP-Association of the Nautical Sector, Association of Boat Accommodation Service Providers-charter at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.Employers believe that before making a decision on any changes in the arrangement and increase the sojourn tax, it is necessary to analyze the existing financial income and fulfill the purpose and task of tourist boards. Only when the necessary changes are defined and the system of tourist boards is reorganized through the adoption of the long-announced new Law on Tourist Boards and the new Law on Sojourn Tax will it be possible to determine the financial needs of the system and define necessary increases of sojourn tax based on expected effects. In this way, the representatives of the tourism industry communicated with the relevant ministry during the preparation of the new Sojourn Tax Act, after which the Ministry of Tourism put into the procedure only a proposal to increase the sojourn tax through the adoption of the current Decree. Also, as they point out in their statement, the increase of the sojourn tax would be another unjustified burden for Croatian tourism after the increase of VAT and real estate tax. Namely, the sojourn tax, although not paid directly by employers but by tourists, is an integral part of the final cost of accommodation paid by the guest, ie an integral part of the total price of all accommodation services with which Croatia competes in the tourism market. Any additional burden reduces the competitiveness of the Croatian tourism sector, which is in stark contrast to the strategy for the development of Croatian tourism and the EU recommendations to reduce the fiscal and parafiscal burdens of the economy. Revenues from the sojourn tax are already growing significantly due to the growth of arrivals, so that the increase in 2016 amounted to 6%, or HRK 25 million. “Associations of employers in tourism do not oppose changes to the current model of residence tax, but our unique position is that the system should be regulated first, ie the long-announced new Law on Tourist Boards and the new Law on Tourist Tax, which will specify activities in more detail. carried out by each individual level of the system of tourist boards in the Republic of Croatia, as well as the precise, ie more transparent purpose of the funds collected on the basis of the sojourn tax We believe that the Ministry of Tourism will respect the position of key associations in the tourism sector and review the justification for adopting the current proposal to increase the sojourn tax and postpone the proposed changes to the sojourn tax for now. We are available to cooperate in all necessary analyzes in order to make the best decision together in the interest of stable growth and development of Croatian tourism. ” conclude employers in tourism.Related news: THE LAW ON RESIDENCE TAXES IS CHANGED. GET INVOLVED IN THE PUBLIC DEBATE!last_img read more

Game of Thrones in Dubrovnik increased tourist spending by 126 million euros over four years

first_imgResearchers from the Institute of Economics, Zagreb Marina Tkalec, Ivan Žilić and Vedran Recher published in the prestigious scientific journal in the field of tourism the International Journal of Tourism Research scientific paper “Effects of the film industry on tourism: Game of Thrones and Dubrovnik” in which they evaluate “On tourist results in Dubrovnik-Neretva County.The results of the evaluation carried out using the method of assessing the effect of treatment suggest that the filming of the “Game of Thrones” in Dubrovnik had a very positive effect on tourism results. According to the results of the evaluation, in the period from 2012 to 2015 alone, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County was visited by an average of 60 more tourists every year due to the filming of “Game of Thrones”.Cumulatively, during the entire analyzed period, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County was visited by 244.415 more tourists due to the filming of the “Game of Thrones” in Dubrovnik, who realized almost a million and a half more nights (1.441.395 more nights). The guests who visited the county motivated by the “Game of Thrones” also spent a total of 126 million euros in the analyzed period.Scientists from the Institute of Economics, Zagreb, also found that the filming of “Game of Thrones” in Dubrovnik (it should be noted that Dubrovnik was the original filming location to which locations in other counties were added in later seasons) led to positive tourist results. in other counties, but this spillover effect to other counties was not subject to evaluation of the published work.Photo: InstagramOne of the most popular series in the world, “Game of Thrones”, began filming in Dubrovnik in 2011 in its second season. Dubrovnik was chosen as the location for King´s Landing, the fictional capital of the seven kingdoms that appears frequently in the series. The rich and exceptionally preserved Dubrovnik’s cultural and architectural heritage fits perfectly into the medieval context of the series, which is why images of Dubrovnik’s city walls, Lovrijenac and Lokrum often appear in the series. These recordings left a strong impression on the viewers of the series, raising the global visibility of Dubrovnik and stimulating the demand for tourist visits to that city.”Evaluations of this type are of great social and economic importance because they enable policy makers to assess the profitability of possible investments of public funds in attracting production companies that would shoot new films and series in Croatia in the future. Such evaluations should be done for all other forms of spending public funds and subsidies, so that both taxpayers and policy makers are sure that investing public money through certain public policies is both economically and socially justified.”From the Institute of Economics in ZagrebUnfortunately, in Croatia such evaluations are very rare, so decisions on spending public funds are usually made without any prior evaluation, while subsequent evaluations of the efficiency of spending these funds are either not done or conducted at a very superficial and insufficiently professional level.You can read the whole scientific paper herelast_img read more

Crikvenica promotional film “Discover, Enjoy, Repeat” – video with a story

first_imgAnother valuable and well-deserved award has arrived on the Crikvenica Riviera these days, at the international level.After the promotional film of the Tourist Board of the City of Crikvenica “Discover, Enjoy, Repeat” won the award of the “US International Film & Video Festival” from Los Angeles in mid-August this year, in early September the Riviera received another reason to celebrate. Namely, the mentioned film also received the award “White Acacia” (“White Acacia”) for the best editing at the International Festival of Tourist and Environmental Film “SILAFEST 2017.”How to better present the destination in just 7 minutes and 90, 60 or just 30 seconds?  The answer is simple – the video must tell a story, interest the viewers and give them a motive for coming, all through emotions and experiences. And the promotional video of Crikvenica just arranged all the elements nicely and told a great story.The Tourist Board of the City of Crikvenica has done this very successfully through four tourist films, which were presented in 2016. “The first version is approximately 7 minutes long, showing the entire offer of the Riviera, and is called “Discover, enjoy, repeat”, as well as its shorter version of 90 seconds. The film “Relax, feel good, repeat” lasts 60 seconds, is dedicated to active vacation and health tourism, while the fourth and shortest version of the film in just 30 seconds brings the story of events, and its name is “Live, learn, repeat”. The majority of the film was shot during 2014 and 2015, and various motives and activities that make up the totality of the tourist offer were shot according to the ideas of the Tourist Board of the City of Crikvenica. Attractive shots of four places – Crikvenica, Dramlja, Jadranova and Selce are accompanied by music, and of course, it is partly a traditional musical expression, so, for example, the film also includes the women’s klapa “Sveta Jelena” and Trio “Crikvenica”  stand out from the Crikvenica Tourist Board.At the “SILAFEST 2017.” is the longest-running version of the film (below attached), which harmoniously intertwines local gastronomy, beautiful beaches, natural beauty, health, sports, recreation and entertainment, various events, traditions and cultural and historical heritage.“SILAFEST 2017.” has, in addition to a well-deserved place in the company of this year’s most successful tourist and environmental films, provided the Crikvenica Riviera with an additional opportunity for promotion on the world market. “Discover, enjoy, repeat” is undoubtedly one of the most impressive and original invitations to come to the destination, which next year, 2018, marks 130 years of tourism.Crikvenica Riviera – “Discover, enjoy, repeat” – a longer versionlast_img read more