When we understand what we can truly offer, so will those to whom we offer it

first_imgOur offer of sun, sea and unbridled entertainment must increasingly approach a deeper and broader insight into the tradition and history of the region, precisely segmented in relation to our regions and their specifics. And only then can we talk about the development of tourism in Croatia.  I have been communicating with service providers (winemakers, oil producers, adventurers, fishermen, farmers…) through the development of the platform for almost a year now. And what I can say is that this segment of tourism entities may be a little treasure of domestic tourism; small and family business, hardworking people, passion, tradition and a clear vision of fulfilling their dreams are the things that inspire me and in which I see the future of the tourist offer (in our country, but also globally).  The offer is still underused and needs to be developed in the following segments: marketing with an emphasis on branding and distribution, mergers, branding of regions and micro-regions, increased market fluidity and turning resources into everyday tourism business without too much dependence on large group arrangements. communicating the true authenticity of services and destinations. The natural hospitality and approach to the guest that stems from love and commitment to what they do is an incomparable and immeasurable tourist “asset” and a guarantee for the successful future of tourism by focusing on such services. Taking into account the quality of the products they deliver (tasting, excursions, tours, activities…), I think that there is definitely room for further price growth. In addition, they have a very good insight into the behavior and challenges of tourists that they should attract in Croatia and this is their advantage. CONTRIBUTION FROM ALL SIDES Such intergenerational connections, responsibility for heritage and the passion they naturally have allow them to be creative in product design and agile in their development. Such a huge influx of foreign tourists leads to long-term unsustainability. With its size and population, Croatia cannot engage in major battles to increase the number of tourist arrivals and overnight stays with, for example, Greece, which has more than 2 times the territory, Spain, which has an area 9 times larger, or Turkey, which is almost 14 times larger. space. Our growth strategy must be completely different and focused on extracting quality from resources that are not and must not be negligible in a global context – nature, people and culture. Multiplicative function: with revenues from tourism as an induced effect, certain entities from rural areas can additionally finance their regular activities, the income of which in turn contributes to the consumption of individuals.  Inductive function: rural tourism provides providers with new income and investing part of it in expanding the offer, realization of creative ideas, introduction of new types of services, etc. Also, for some of them tourism can be a great system to increase return on investment in plants, workers, branding, etc. . Source: Eurostst Photo: Personal archive of the author of the text I believe that certain structures in public institutions are working on that, but probably the mentioned deviation must be more drastic and, inevitably, accompanied by measures at several different levels. Certainly not an easy job, but if it didn’t start yesterday, decisions should start today. Author: Dominik Antonio Šalov Some of them, who deal with this type of business and tourist services, according to the principle of tasting as a test framework, can get additional sales to quality guests and earn money on sold bottles or food. At the same time, the foundations are being laid so that the image of their brand can spread globally. This proves that the tourist environment is very good for marketing products through services, without global competition and distribution costs. CHANGE OF FOCUS? 3. They do their job passionately and are therefore almost destined to succeed In addition, the project we are working on will try to dynamize the hitherto somewhat dormant market of tours and rural tourism activities through direct communication between tourists and service providers and payment via the Internet.  However, without going into the core of the source of the difference in income per tourist night between Croatia and, for example, on the other side of Poland and Portugal, it is clear that these countries are achieving this advantage for some reason. And that reason is part of nothing less than – development strategy. I believe that such differences are not created by chance. I am fascinated by the fact that with a significant number of people I spoke to, the concept works well in which younger generations take over the family business from their parents, including grandparents, and thus continue the tradition by implementing some modern achievements and striving to raise business to a higher level.  On the other hand, it is obvious that, according to the basic economic postulates, such a form of demand, ie the number of overnight stays (relatively considered), exists in accordance with the pronounced price competitiveness of domestic tourism. According to the study Key issues of sustainability of Croatian tourism, Croatia generates 67% less income from international tourism per night than the EU average. Domestic tourism, most readers of this medium are aware, is faced with several structural problems. This is not new news, although some recent public appearances may give the impression that Croatia’s position in the tourist macro-environment (slowing down and reducing the intensity of demand) is a newly detected phenomenon, not just a logical and expected consequence of roads and detours. When we understand what we can truly offer, so will those to whom we offer it. Conversion function: sea, rivers, forests, vineyards in rural areas are monetized through tourism and thus these non-economic resources become economic.  Therefore, I would like to point out 5 points, which I confirmed or realized about rural tourism through direct contact with the market and analysis of what I saw, heard and read. 1. Rural tourism can very well fulfill most of the economic functions of tourism 4. Their service is mostly top notch and stems from a first-class user orientation.  The following table also supports the thesis of a shift in strategic focus. Using Eurostat data for 2017, we can very easily see where Croatia is positioned in relation to some other countries in the context of tourism. Countries selected because with a smaller number of international overnight stays and a significantly lower intensity of tourism, they generate up to 60% higher revenues from tourism, or, like Austria, with a slightly higher number of overnight stays, they generate almost 100% higher revenues. (op.a. Without going into the correctness of the calculation of the absolute amount of income from tourism as a relevant metric, and given Tourism satellite account and derived results, but focusing solely on country comparability).  High seasonality, debatable structure of accommodation (not necessarily at a higher level but qualitatively, within certain types of accommodation) and general tourist offer, uneven geographical distribution of consumption, untapped potential of individual regions… These are just some of the ills of our tourist system. Employment function: growth of tourism revenues and new employments are especially important for rural areas and revitalization of local population standards Acceleration function: rural tourism can definitely contribute to the faster development of certain industries such as organic food production, production of premium wines, olive oils, cheeses, etc. 2. Significant improvement is needed in marketing support to rural tourism The direction and vision of Croatian tourism should be related to the focus on quality and not quantity. Cessation of growth or reduction of the burden on infrastructure (ie tourist intensity) and increased unit spending on services that belong to a higher price / premium range are important goals that we must set before ourselves. It is very important to move from cheap and fast to long-term, sustainable and authentic quality.  If you want to be a part of the story of authentic rural tourism with your offer, contact us via the form on the page or at [email protected] I am also thinking of building a brand of destinations and the types of tourist services that are provided, as well as building strong and reliable distribution channels tailored to service providers. It is not a marketing yet mature market and for much of it there is plenty of room to expand distribution. But, of course, it requires knowledge, time and money, and for that they need quality partners and the previously mentioned paradigm shift in tourism when it comes to national strategy. So, the fact is, our country is more than normally burdened by tourist arrivals, and yet it does not earn as much from them as it could. We need a more even distribution of income by periods of the year and areas in which tourism takes place, as well as the diversification of the types of tourist services we offer; tourism should be a consequence of the tourist valorisation of high value-added activities and not a proving ground for quick earnings through below-average expensive mass consumption services, or worse – above-average expensive services of poor value for money. And in order for such reservations, transactions and consumption of these services to take place in the destination, the country needs to be branded on these bases – authenticity and uniqueness – much earlier in the shopping cycle of a tourist. The state tourism strategy cannot be based only on the crystal clear sea, sunny days and dear people.  MORE, MORE AND MORE… BUT UNTIL WHEN? Photo: Personal archive of the author of the text Integration function: tourists staying in coastal cities can perform their daily tourist activities in the hinterland, which represents a huge integration potential, as well as an excellent method of reducing the intensity of tourism in coastal cities. The belief that there is room in Croatia for further serious valorization of special forms of tourist offer – high added value and for which demand is resistant (inelastic) to price increases, is one of the main reasons why it will soon enter the market. Authland – an internet platform offering tourist tours and activities that take place exclusively in rural areas: wine, oil and cheese tasting, fishing tourism tour, climbing, hiking and trekking tour, safari tour, rafting and kayaking tour, etc. Absorption function: by development premium services in rural areas can potentially be influenced by turning the excess purchasing power of more developed countries into a basis for stronger economic development in Croatia. In the analysis of such indicators, the share of the number of overnight stays by regions and counties should be taken into account, as well as the level of development and the population and population density of individual regions and counties, so that the results become real. However, I believe that even with such an application, considering the structure of overnight stays by, for example, counties, the results might be more unfavorable for Croatia, if we take into account the significant concentration of tourist traffic on the coast.  In comparison with other countries, the impact of the general price level in these economies should certainly not be neglected, nor the fact that more people travel to these countries for business reasons than in Croatia, which is primarily a holiday destination. One of the consequences is that Croatia, according to Eurostat, for 2017 was the second country within the EU-28 when it comes to tourist intensity, just behind Malta. What does that mean? That the average number of tourist nights in our country, if you look at per capita (to show the intensity of tourist activity through the ratio of the number of people who stayed in the area as tourists and those who stay in the area as permanent residents) was 20,7. For Greece and Spain, for example, the number is 10,3 and 10,1, respectively.  STRATEGY TO FULFILL POTENTIAL In a highly competitive industry such as tourism, and especially for the Mediterranean area, we simply must not enter into generic forms – molds that form tourism based on the price competitiveness of services and products that can be found in any corner of the civilized world.  If we look at revenues from tourism in relation to total GDP, or the metrics of the share of direct gross value added of tourism in total gross value added, Croatia is at the top and significantly ahead of comparable countries. And next to another country, with which it shares some of the characteristics – a long and beautiful coast and the tendency to rely on it “a little” too much in an effort to generate income: Montenegro. 5. They also see tourism as a very good sales channel  We would very much like a stronger strategic focus on gastronomy, oenology, culture, valorization of nature and other wonderful sectors that can hardly wait to be used as a tourism product to be enjoyed by tourists from the US, Korea, the Netherlands and other countries around the world. And especially in the rural area, which occupies over 90% of the territory of Croatia but with an almost negligible share in total income, and thus generates huge potential. QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY LESSONS CONFIRMED (AND LEARNED) BY COMMUNICATION WITH PEOPLElast_img

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