Education and retention of quality staff, extension of the tourist season, preservation of the authenticity of destinations and tax policy in tourism as key challenges in tourism

first_imgA special Masterclass on “Spring & Tourism Masterclass” which was held in the format of a panel discussion and introductory professional presentation held at Edward Bernays High School in Zagreb in cooperation with Jutarnji list detected key challenges in areas such as education and retaining quality staff in Croatia. extension of the tourist season, preservation of the authenticity of destinations and tax policy in tourism. Šolić’s team sat down at the table and decided to turn to health tourism, for which Lošinj has natural resources, strategy and future. He also recognized the potential in golf. “These are the two directions we have on Lošinj. Golf is not played in July and August because it is too hot. In the 7th, 8th, 11st, 12nd and 1rd month, the weather is beautiful and we will fill our capacities”, Is Šolić’s opinion. “First of all, our tourism is an extremely seasonal sector and as much as 86 percent of all tourist activities in Croatia take place during the few summer months. It is additionally problematic that 96 percent of these activities take place on the coast and in Zagreb. This means that we have a lot of room for improvement and development of the tourist offer for the rest of Croatia, but also for the extension of the season. Namely, we are well below the European average. For example, if we compare only the peak of the tourist season, ie the 7th and 8th month, in Croatia the load on space and population is 10 to even 20 times higher than in other European countries. Just remember what some destinations and beaches look like with us during July or August”, Said Tutek. The introductory speech was given by Emanuel Tutek, a partner in the consulting company Horwath HTL, who said that “the business model of Croatian tourism is unsustainable and has its serious challenges“. Given that 19 percent of domestic GDP comes from tourism, the unsustainability of the system is a more serious problem, reports Jutarnji list. At the panel discussion, the Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli, the President of the Luksic Group Davor Luksic Lederer, the President of the Management Board Jadranka Sanjin Šolić and Emanuel Tutek from the company Horwath HTL spoke. But the eternal problem facing the entire tourism sector remains labor and wages. “Wages are a problem, but they are the base that attracts workers”, Tutek thinks, and Šolić agreed with him, saying that he cannot increase salaries because he does not have enough income. That is why he pays his workers for trainings that cost around 25.000 euros, he explained. However, after completing their education, workers often leave Croatia. “Every year my guests pick the best workers. We are looking for ways to keep workers, but I cannot compete with Austria or any other European country. I offer a starting salary of about 5.000 kuna, and there the waiters have about 12.000 kuna”, Concluded Šolić. “We want to be competitive, but there are a number of things by which we are neither closer nor wider. Reducing VAT is certainly very important here, and there is also the issue of consistent policy. It is important to us that at some point we can have a perception of what will happen in the future, but if policies are constantly changing we cannot have a stable business”, Said Sanjin Šolić, President of the Management Board of the Lošinj hotelier Jadranka. Davor Lukšić, president of the Lukšić Hrvatska Group, agreed with him, pointing out that the VAT rate of 25 percent is quite high, while with 13 percent there is still room for improvement. “We must remain competitive, especially now that other destinations in the Mediterranean are returningHe added. One of the negative factors is non-competitive wages. In Austria, for example, hotel salaries are about 122 percent higher. However, hoteliers in Croatia have noticed a large discrepancy in the numbers, so they have started to increase the salaries of their workers. This has borne fruit – with the growth of salaries and expenses, revenues have also grown. “Now the pressure on public finances is being relieved and taxes on the economy can be reduced slowlyo “, concluded Cappelli. It is predicted that hoteliers could reduce the volume of investments by about 30 percent in the next three to four years. “We want to warn the Government that it must not allow this. We have to invest, but we expect that the Government’s measures will encourage us to do that, and not hinder us”, Said Sanjin Šolić. Croatian tax policy is also a problem. There is practically no real estate tax in Croatia. “We are champions in how good it is for private renters. Croatia is a tax haven”, Said Tutek. Gari Cappelli: Destination management is a bigger problem for tourism than VAT “We have a problem having five star hotels in destinations that have two stars. We must first start strengthening the quality of destinations and measure what is happening throughout the year and only after a few years see if there are satisfied residents and tourists and service providers and the environment. If everyone is more or less satisfied, then it makes sense to invest in a four or five star hotel business”, Explained Cappelli and added that in Croatia it is a common case to invest in luxury hotels, but no work is being done on the development of the destination. “Well we have cases where five-star hotels don’t have sewers but a septic tankHe said. In addition, there is the problem of human resources, but it is a global problem, explains Tutek. But given that the international labor market is more competitive than Croatia’s, foreign countries have their holes and a shortage of workers full of Croats. According to the competitiveness index on the labor market, we are only 100th out of 138 countries in the world. It is even worse that we are the last and penultimate in the world on the scale of attracting and retaining workers, Tutek pointed out. “We have no solution. The answers cannot be some lump sum measures and initiatives, we need something more fundamental.” In order to prolong the tourist season, Lukšić and Šolić turned to congress and health tourism, respectively. “In the past two years, we have extended the season, and the so-called ‘congress season’. But still we all have to sit down at the table and devise a strategy for the winter season as well which is actually the only problem”, Said Luksic. But Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli believes the high VAT problem is one of the easiest problems for the domestic tourism industry. He emphasized that the Government could easily reduce VAT to 10 or 13 percent, and announced this decision for the beginning of next year. Cappelli believes that destination management is a bigger challenge for tourism than VAT itself. He added that we have a lot of room for improvement and development of the quality of accommodation provided. Croatian hotels, which are the flagship of our catering industry, are losing the battle with the hotel industry in the rest of Europe, and the fact that with each new night of tourists the income in Croatia is decreasing from year to year is alarming, Tutek believes. “By increasing the number of rooms and achieving the seasonality of the Mediterranean, it is possible to realize the potential of about 50 million new overnight stays on a sustainable basis, but the point is that we do not have them in July and August but in the rest of the year.”, he pointed out. Source / photo: Edward Bernays High School, Jutarnji.hrlast_img read more

Governor Wolf’s Middle Class Task Force Kicks Off First Regional Roundtable

first_img Government That Works,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf’s Middle Class Task Force, a panel of business, labor, education and workforce development experts, today held the first of six regional roundtables to hear from Pennsylvanians about how to improve the lives of hard-working, middle class families.“This task force is bringing together a special combination of representatives for employers, workers, educators and students to listen to people across the commonwealth about how we can support and grow Pennsylvania’s middle class,” said Governor Wolf. “Our state is making progress by increasing education funding and expanding economic incentives and workforce training, but middle class families know we must do more.“It is important this task force hears from people on all sides so we can develop education, training and economic development opportunities to ensure middle class families can live and complete in the 21st century economy.”The governor appointed four chairmen to lead the task force: Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Assistant Vice Chancellor Dr. Sue Mukherjee, and Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association Chairperson Susie Snelick. Additional leaders from these constituencies will be invited to join these discussions as well.“With our prime location, diverse industry base and strong work ethic, Pennsylvania is uniquely poised for a host of economic opportunities,” said Gene Barr, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. “But despite these benefits, there are people without jobs, and there are good paying jobs without people to fill them. I’m excited to listen and meet with residents from across the commonwealth to discuss the challenges currently facing our state – including a growing jobs skills gap –  and to work with my fellow task force members towards solutions that will help the middle class and Pennsylvania’s economy to thrive.”“This is an exciting opportunity for worker advocates, businesses, legislators and community organizations to come together to hear the concerns of working people,” said Rick Bloomingdale, president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. “It is imperative for the future of Pennsylvania that we look ahead with the fullest understanding of the current realities working families face across our commonwealth. At a time when economic inequality is at the forefront of so many conversations, the Governor’s Middle-Class Task Force is a step toward understanding and growing opportunities for working people in the 21st century.”Over the next few weeks the task force will hold five additional regional discussions to listen to businesses leaders, workers, educators, students and others for suggestions on ways the commonwealth can better support working families to get and keep jobs, as well as to invest in education and training to make businesses in Pennsylvania more competitive.“By forming the task force, Governor Wolf is again helping us focus, individually and collectively, on a problem that matters,” said Dr. Sue Mukherjee, assistant vice chancellor with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. “At the State System, we believe that education is at the core of socio-economic mobility. We also know that our state continues to struggle with a mismatch among jobs, workers, and students. We need to learn more.“Governor Wolf’s Middle Class Taskforce will provide our education community the opportunity to learn directly from the families and regional businesses we serve so we can better catalyze pathways to economic security for all.”As the task force works to find common ground, Pennsylvania’s middle class and economy are changing, creating challenges for workers and businesses. Near full employment has caused a tight labor market and a shortage of workers in some industries along with the need to train workers to close the skills gap for the available in-demand jobs.“Governor Wolf’s Middle Class Task Force is an ideal forum for workers and employers statewide to collaborate on policy recommendations that support the governor’s ‘Jobs that Pay’ priority,” said Susie Snelick, chairperson of the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association. “I look forward to hearing from middle class workers and employers across the commonwealth about ways we can all help everyone succeed and sharing those suggestions with the governor.”Representing the Wolf administration on the task force are Department of Education Secretary Pedro Rivera, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin, Acting Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak.The task force will present recommendations to the governor later this year. September 29, 2017 Governor Wolf’s Middle Class Task Force Kicks Off First Regional Roundtablecenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more