Tourism employers' projects to strengthen networking and competitiveness

ZAGREB, 18.2.2013.

The Association of Croatian Employers in Hospitality (UPUHH) on Monday presented its planned activities and projects for the coming year, including the setting up of an association of tourism economy, further training for members, a web exchange, ways to draw EU funding, and activities on the EU ICT TOURISMlink project.

The common objective of all activities and projects is stronger links, networking and communications between members of the association but also to coordinate with other relevant associations and institutions at the country level in order to attract more attention to tourism in general, UPUHH president Kristian Sustar said.

UPUHH has already signed a letter of intent with other professional associations which has been supported by the Tourism Ministry. Sustar assessed that cooperation with the ministry was at a good level, particularly with regard to reducing Value Added Tax (VAT) in tourism.

Sustar pointed out the need to amend the legal-economic framework of doing business in Croatia which has been something hoteliers have been cautioning for years and if this is not done, the planned strategy in tourism up to 2020 will not be possible to achieve, he said.

There was talk of possibilities to utilise EU funds in tourism and of further training.

UPUHH is launching a web exchange of hoteliers aimed at networking hoteliers with producers and suppliers to facilitate better procurement processes.

The project is valued at around HRK 100,000 and is partially being funded by the ministry. This is an innovative step and HOTREC, which represents the hotel, restaurant and cafe industry at European level and of which UPUHH has been a member since last year, has announced that it wishes to take over this idea and apply it at the European level.

UPUHH is already involved in a joint European Commission project with HOTREC, TOURISMlink, intended as an online platform facilitating the flow of information among tourism service suppliers (such as travel agents and tour operators) and destination tourism enterprises (such as providers of accommodation, transport and complementary services). (Hina)