Osterholm says world isn’t ready for flu pandemic

first_img But to really be well prepared for a pandemic, the world needs 10 years of lead time and “a worldwide influenza Manhattan Project aimed at producing and delivering a pandemic vaccine for everyone in the world” soon after the start of a pandemic. “In this scenario, we just might make a real difference,” he states. Osterholm said the United States is ahead of other countries in preparing for a pandemic, but nations can’t deal with the problem singly. A pandemic emerging today would find the world severely short of vaccine production capacity and medical supplies and could bring the global economy to a standstill, writes Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of the Web site. He reported he has already received a lot of supportive feedback on his article. “A lot of people are really wondering where we go next. We need a G-8 [“Group of Eight” countries] initiative for vaccine, and every level of government needs to think about what they’ll do.” The H5N1 virus has killed at least 52 people in Asia in the past 17 months but has shown very limited ability to spread from person to person. If it gained the ability right now to spread quickly among humans while remaining highly virulent, the world would face a grim situation, Osterholm writes. “We need bold and timely leadership at the highest level of the governments in the developed world; these governments must recognize the economic, security, and health threats posed by the next influenza pandemic and invest accordingly,” Osterholm asserts. Osterholm submits that the current system for producing flu vaccine (growing it in chicken eggs) is unlikely ever to be adequate for meeting the challenge of a pandemic. He calls for development of a new cell-culture-based vaccine that would target proteins present in all flu viruses, rather than the surface proteins (hemagglutinin and neuraminidase), which constantly change and necessitate adjustments in the vaccine each year. It would take at least 6 months to produce a vaccine, and with current production capacity, the best that could be expected would be to have fewer than 1 billion doses of vaccine initially, he writes. Since two doses per person might be necessary, that might cover only 500 million people, or about 14% of the world population. Further, the world would face severe shortages of other products and services, including mechanical ventilators, antiviral drugs, and even food. May 5, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – A bleak picture of the world’s ability to cope with an influenza pandemic is painted in an essay by infectious-disease and bioterrorism expert Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine. “There would be a scramble to stop the virus from entering other countries by greatly reducing or even prohibiting foreign travel and trade. The global economy would come to a halt, and since we could not expect appropriate vaccines to be available for many months and we have very limited stockpiles of antiviral drugs, we would be facing a 1918-like scenario.”center_img In a brief interview, Osterholm told CIDRAP News there is good agreement among public health and infectious disease experts that a pandemic will occur, though no one knows whether it will be the H5N1 virus or some other one. He added that there is “no debate” about such preparedness gaps as the shortage of vaccine production capacity and ventilators, but said he couldn’t assess the level of agreement on other preparedness issues. Such planning should be “on the agenda of every public health agency, school board, manufacturing plant, investment firm, mortuary, state legislature, and food distributor,” Osterholm asserts. “I think our government is leading the way, but we have a lot of holes in medical and nonmedical preparedness,” he said. And nations need to cooperate on preparedness. “Even if countries are able to cover much of their own populations, the impact will still be dramatic. We’re in this together. . . . It could take down the economy.” He says that if the H5N1 avian flu virus now circulating in Asia sparks the next pandemic, it is more likely to mimic the disastrous pandemic of 1918 than the milder events of 1957 and 1968. Such a plague could kill 1.7 million people in the United States and from 180 million to 360 million worldwide, he estimates. Having a year of lead time before the next pandemic would make for a somewhat better scenario, Osterholm says. That might permit health agencies to find ways to extend the vaccine supply, improve supplies of medical equipment, and increase the healthcare workforce. “Beyond research and development, we need a public health approach that includes far more than drafting of general plans, as several countries and states have done,” the articles says. “We need a detailed operational blueprint of the best way to get through 12 to 24 months of a pandemic.” If the world fails to prepare adequately, he concludes, “The loss of human life even in a mild pandemic will be devastating, and the cost of a world economy in shambles for several years can only be imagined.” Osterholm MT. Preparing for the next pandemic. N Engl J Med 2005 May 5;352(18):1839-42 [Full text]last_img read more

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H5N1 vaccine trial shows limited benefit

first_imgMar 30, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The first experimental US vaccine for H5N1 avian influenza yielded only modest results in its first clinical trial, generating an adequate immune response in slightly more than half of participants who received a heavy dose, scientists report.Fifty-four percent of volunteers who received two doses totaling a dozen times the standard dose of seasonal flu vaccine had an immune response that was considered protective, according to the report in today’s New England Journal of Medicine. Those who received smaller doses were less likely to show an adequate immune response.On the positive side, the vaccine triggered almost no serious side effects, even at the highest doses. The results are in line with some preliminary findings reported last summer.But the findings underscore the huge gap between existing vaccine production capacity and the likely need for vaccine in a pandemic. In an editorial accompanying the report, vaccine expert Dr. Gregory Poland of the Mayo Clinic writes that all the world’s vaccine producers could make only enough of the vaccine for about 75 million people if the high dose that yielded best results in the study were used.”We have a long way to go,” commented Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), as quoted by the Associated Press. The NIAID funded the vaccine trial.The trial was conducted last year at NIAID-supported centers at the University of Rochester in New York state, the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, and Harbor–University of California–Los Angeles Medical Center in Los Angeles. John J. Treanor, MD, of the University of Rochester was the first author.The vaccine is based on an H5N1 virus isolated from a Vietnamese patient in 2004. The hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes from that virus were spliced together with genes from another flu virus strain commonly used in vaccines, the report says. In addition, the hemagglutinin gene was modified to make it harmless to birds so the virus could be grown in eggs. The vaccine was made by Sanofi Pasteur, but the company was not involved in the study.The researchers recruited a total of 451 healthy adult volunteers. They were randomly assigned to receive a placebo or one of four doses of the vaccine: 7.5, 15, 45, or 90 micrograms (mcg). Each volunteer received two doses, the second one 28 days after the first.The study was done in two stages, the first one involving 118 volunteers. After they received their two doses and monitoring showed no safety concerns, the other 333 volunteers were vaccinated in the second stage.The researchers used a neutralizing antibody titer of 1:40 (signaling a fourfold or greater increase in antibody titer) as the criterion for an adequate immune response. Of the 99 volunteers who received the 90-mcg dose, 54% reached this level (95% confidence level, 43% to 64%). Smaller percentages of volunteers in the lower dose-groups had this level of immune response: 43% in the 45-mcg group, 22% in the 15-mcg group, and 9% in the 7.5-mcg group.The volunteers reported few significant side effects, according to the report. They described 84% of symptoms as mild, and there were no serious allergic reactions. Systemic symptoms such as fever and headache were not significantly more common in the vaccine groups than the placebo group. One volunteer suffered a rash, which faded after a few weeks.The results indicate that two 90-mcg doses of the vaccine “would probably have an acceptable tolerability profile and could be effective in preventing H5 influenza in healthy adult recipients,” the authors write. “Elderly people, persons with impaired immunity, or children may have a different response, and trials of the vaccine in these populations are in progress.”Production of the vaccine and this clinical trial are important steps toward control of a pandemic, and the current vaccine would probably be acceptable for licensure, if needed. However, the need for a vaccine with a total dose of 180 micrograms would pose a considerable barrier to rapid production of a supply that would be adequate to meet the world’s requirements should a pandemic occur. Therefore, dose-sparing approaches should be pursued aggressively.”In the editorial, Poland says the results show that the immunogenicity of the vaccine is “poor to moderate at best.” He adds that current annual global production capacity for flu vaccine is estimated at 900 million 15-mcg doses. This means that, at a dose level of 180 mcg, only 75 million people, or 1.25% of the world population, could be fully immunized with the H5N1 vaccine, and only about half of them would actually have protection.In addition, Poland comments that the vaccine might not be effective against more recent strains of H5N1 virus. Researchers have identified an Indonesian clade, or subgroup, of H5N1 viruses that differs antigenically from the Vietnamese clade on which the vaccine is based. The US government recently announced plans to develop a vaccine based on the Indonesian strain of H5N1 virus, called clade 2.Infectious disease expert Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, said the study was well-designed and yielded important information. “Unfortunately, that information supports our earlier concerns that both the antigen requirements and the immunogenicity of an H5N1 vaccine mean that if H5N1 becomes the next pandemic strain in the next several years, vaccine will play a limited or almost nonexistent role in such a pandemic worldwide,” Osterholm told CIDRAP News.As he has before, Osterholm called for a “Manhattan Project–like investment” to develop a flu vaccine that could be produced before the emergence of a pandemic train. He is director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of the CIDRAP Web site.Poland comments in his editorial that the government has funded studies of more than 30 candidate vaccines for potential pandemic flu strains. These include vaccines with adjuvants (immune-boosting chemicals) to increase potency and live, attenuated vaccines, which could provide cross-protection against different viral subtypes.The study authors write that other possible dose-sparing approaches under consideration include injecting vaccine just under the skin (intradermally) instead of into muscle and “prepriming” the immune system by including an H5 component in the annual flu vaccine.Despite the limitations revealed by the study, flu vaccine expert Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University said the vaccine represents progress. “My impression is we are better off having stockpiled this vaccine than none,” he told the Associated Press. He added that the vaccine should be viewed as “the first strong step in a long journey.”Treanor JJ, Campbell JD, Zangwill KM. Safety and immunogenicity of an inactivated subvirion influenza A (H5N1) vaccine. N Engl J Med 2006 Mar 30;354(13):1343-51 [Full text]Poland GA. Vaccines against avian influenza—a race against time (editorial). N Engl J Med 2006 Mar 30;354(13):1411-13 [Full text]last_img read more

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CDC funds tests to sort seasonal, avian flu

first_imgJun 17, 2008 (CDIRAP News) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded two contracts worth a total of $12.9 million to develop influenza tests, with the aim of making it possible to distinguish seasonal from avian flu viruses within 3 hours.Contracts worth about $6.5 million each were awarded to Nanogen Inc., San Diego, and Meso Scale Diagnostics, LLC, Gaithersburg, Md., the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced last week.The contracts are for “initial phased development,” HHS officials said in a news release. Possible additional funds under the contracts could bring the total for Nanogen to $10.4 million and the total for Meso Scale Diagnostics to $12.1 million over 3 years, the statement said.Testing for H5N1 avian influenza now can take up to 24 hours, according to HHS. The contracts will support the advanced development of tests that could be used in hospital or commercial laboratories and “would expedite the diagnosis of large numbers of patients,” the agency said.”The early detection of emerging pandemic influenza is critical to the nation’s pandemic response,” HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said in the HHS news release. “Early detection will aid in improving patient survival, overall health outcomes, and use of containment measures in the event of an influenza pandemic.”Nanogen, in a Jun 5 news release, said it would use the funding to develop “a fast molecular test that simultaneously detects and differentiates” influenza A and B, the seasonal influenza A subtypes H1N1 and H3N2, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). In addition, the contract provides for a secondary test for avian flu subtypes H5N1, H7N1, and H9N1, to be used for samples that test positive for influenza A but negative for seasonal flu.The company said it would develop the tests in collaboration with the Medical College of Wisconsin and HandyLab Inc.Nanogen and Meso Scale were among four companies that received CDC contracts in December 2006 to develop 30-minute tests specifically for H5N1 influenza. At that time the CDC said it hoped a test could be ready and licensed within 2 to 3 years. The other companies that won contracts were Iquum, of Marlborough, Mass., and Cepheid, Sunnyvale, Calif.See also: Jun 12 HHS news releaseDec 4, 2006, CIDRAP News story “CDC funds work on rapid tests for avian flu”last_img read more

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H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Vaccine order for CSL, global count tops 15,000, unknown exposure source, students quarantined in China, novel virus name

first_imgMay 29, 2009US orders novel H1N1 vaccine from CSL BiotherapiesCSL Biotherapies, part of Australia-based CSL Limited, said today it has signed a contract to sell at least $180 million worth of novel H1N1 influenza vaccine in bulk form to the US government. The company said it “anticipates initial delivery of the antigen by September, subject to regulatory approval.” The firm has an option to finish processing the bulk vaccine at its plants in Illinois and Germany. The US also has ordered H1N1 vaccine from Sanofi Pasteur and GlaxoSmithKline recently.[CSL news release]WHO tally of novel H1N1 cases reaches 15,510Fifty-three countries have reported a total of 15,510 cases of novel H1N1 influenza with 99 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today. Countries added to the list since the WHO’s last update on May 27 are the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Romania, Slovakia, and Uruguay. The United States, Mexico, and Canada continue to lead the list. Other countries with more than 100 cases are Japan (364), Britain (203), Chile (165), Australia (147), Spain (143), and Panama (107).[WHO update 41]US case count approaches 9,000The US count for novel H1N1 flu rose to 8,975 cases in 48 states today, with 15 deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported. Alaska and West Virginia are the only states reporting no cases. Wisconsin led the list with 1,430 cases, followed by Texas with 1,403, Illinois, 1,002, and Washington, 575. New York has had 4 fatal cases, while Arizona and Texas have had 3 each, and Illinois 2. Single deaths have been reported in Missouri, Utah, and Washington.[Current CDC numbers]CDC: Exposure source unknown in 45% of US casesThe source of exposure is unknown in about 45% of US H1N1 flu cases so far, according to findings presented yesterday by Michael W. Shaw, PhD, of the CDC’s Influenza Division. Speaking at a webinar sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), Shaw said that 25% of patients contracted the virus from a family member, 12% had traveled to Mexico, 12% had contact with a known or suspected case, and 5% were healthcare workers who were exposed on the job.[NYAS H1N1 webinar information]Venezuela, Paraguay, Bolivia report first novel flu casesVenezuela, Paraguay, and Bolivia are the latest South American countries to report their first novel flu cases, according to media reports. The first case from Venezuela is in a man who had traveled to Panama, and five infected patients in Paraguay had contact with a traveler who had returned from New York, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported today. Bolivia’s health ministry said today that its first two case-patients had traveled to New York before they got sick.[May 29 AFP story]USDA study suggests swine lack immunity to novel virusUS Department of Agriculture (USDA) researchers have found that previous vaccination or infection with classical swine flu viruses does not appear to protect American swine from the novel H1N1 virus, according to a May 26 report from the USDA. In serologic studies the group found little cross-reactivity against the new virus. They said the next step is to challenge vaccinated pigs with the novel H1N1 virus to learn whether antibody titers in the pigs correlate with protection from the virus.[May 26 USDA report]US students quarantined in ChinaChinese officials have kept 21 US high school students and their three teachers in quarantine at a hotel in Guizhou province since May 25, after a passenger on a flight they took got sick with a suspected novel H1N1 infection. Although the airline passenger has tested negative for the virus, officials said the US group would be kept until today, CNN reported yesterday. The students are scheduled to return to the US on May 31.[May 28 CNN story]Eurosurveillance says novel H1N1 virus needs better nameFor manifold reasons, the novel H1N1 virus and its disease need a better name, says an editorial in Eurosurveillance. Calling the virus “swine flu” worries the pork industry, while “novel influenza A(H1N1)” is a term that can’t last, and mere “influenza A(H1N1)” fails to distinguish the virus from seasonal H1N1. One option the authors like is “influenza A(H1N1)swl,” with “swl” meaning “swine-like.” As for the illness, “2009 pandemic influenza” won’t do, because no pandemic has been declared.[Eurosurveillance editorial]last_img read more

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Croatian tourism is based on family accommodation

first_imgThese “complex organizations of associated labor”, state-owned enterprises, were in charge of infrastructure development, education and employment of people, development of agriculture and the like according to the principles of contract economy. Entrepreneurship development was not allowed. In the transition, we received the transformation of these SOURs into capital companies for which only profit became important, regardless of the moral and material debt to the homeland and the people. The “new SOURs” no longer perform the function of the old ones, but in the minds of the people, especially those in power, the system has not changed. Only a change of generation will bring about change. When young people who have gone out into the world return. That is why the transformation of family accommodation from the level of overnight stays to a small family hotel is slow and difficult. Sustainable family hotels are created by improving service through generations. As a rule, grandchildren are the ones who can set up a small hotel on “healthy feet”. This is the case in all developed world tourist destinations with a long tradition and high quality of service, such as Switzerland, Austria, Bavaria… Of course, a business reduced to 3 months may not be enough to cover the costs of business and development. No matter how much you work and earn in those three months in the other nine months you will spend it all.That is why basic services in family accommodation can only be a supplement to the household budget. From this income, real estate is maintained, children are educated, older members of the household are supported, and increasing fiscal and parafiscal levies are paid. It is well known that young people are offered a very small choice of permanent employment opportunities, so many seasonal workers earn a “full” salary at the level of the year with additional income from household accommodation services. Those who are in a better position, who have higher traffic and a higher price, sooner or later find themselves in a situation where they have to improve the service, upgrade it to the service of a boarding house, small hotel, restaurant and the like. It’s actually a normal, healthy growth of entrepreneurship that lasts for decades. There is no quick enrichment in tourism, except in the case mentioned by SOA these days, which is “laundering dirty money” through tourism.Currently, the number of registered facilities for accommodation services in the household is 92.000, 350.000 people are directly involved in jobs related to this service. Thanks to family accommodation, the generated guest traffic is around 2 billion Euros by the end of August alone. By the end of the year, that amount is estimated to reach 2,5 billion euros.I am especially pleased with the increase in the offer of legal accommodation in apartments in cities, because Croatia is an exception here as well. Our people, thanks to an increasingly flexible legal framework, prefer to work legally than to rent apartments as in Berlin, Barcelona and other major European cities – in a “non-tourist” way. According to the provisions on fundamental human rights and freedom of movement, you can receive other people in a private apartment, home, without asking the permission of the authorities. So it is, at least in democratic social systems. Also, citizens from EU countries and the European Economic Area do not have to report a change of residence for up to 6 months of residence outside their place of residence. Thus, apartment owners in cities where passengers stay for an average of up to two nights can provide accommodation for passengers without categorizing the accommodation. They can also rent an apartment on the basis of a lease agreement, which exempts them from paying the sojourn tax. I think that public authorities must take special care of the hosts of accommodation in cities for precisely these reasons. Such an offer should be gathered, promoted, branded, rewarded. On the other hand, large cities in the world impose an obligation on digital platforms to calculate and pay the sojourn tax for guests sent to accommodation, regardless of whether it is tourist accommodation. It is currently a major legal battle with an uncertain outcome. As for the strategy for the development of Croatian tourism, it was already behind the changes that are taking place at the global level when it was written. Our society has not yet realized that the digital industrial revolution has taken place, that the habits of travelers have changed especially in generations x, millennials, Z. We are also unaware of the emergence of a new economy and the gradual decline of the old neoliberal model of economy that undermined its foundations. It is impossible to build a sustainable development strategy on old settings. Our economists are not futurists, we need help from the world’s academic circles of young scientists and economic experts of the new economy, the economy of sharing. After twenty years of volunteering at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, behind me is a great and valuable experience imbued with the constant need to prove faith in their own strength.We respect every well-meaning investor in our economy, but above all we must give trust, encouragement and support to our man. People who live in this area, in their homeland would like to stay and live in that environment, they are happy there. A good tourism development is one that helps people to live in their home, to be happy, to communicate with other people, to receive them into their home regardless of racial, religious and other differences. Sustainable and responsible tourism has this irreplaceable role of exchanging ideas, customs, cultures, livelihoods. When we think of such tourism then it is actually a lifestyle that we share with our guests. It means that we have to keep our customs, gastronomy, food production, in general the way of life for the survival of ourselves and because of the unique appeal of such a lifestyle that is highly valued by our guests. I hope I have helped, at least a little, ordinary people to keep faith in their original values ​​and motivate them to stay and survive in their country.Author: Nedo PinezićRelated news:DANIJELA ČAVLOVIĆ ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE FAMILY TOURISM COMMUNITY AT THE Croatian Chamber of CommerceCROATIA THE ABSOLUTE WINNER IN CHOOSING THE BEST HOLIDAY HOMES IN EUROPE! Rural House Kod Slapa, Bogatic / Bookin.comFamily accommodation in Croatia is growing from year to year in terms of both capacity and traffic. Traffic growth is still greater than capacity growth. This tells us that the season of using family accommodation in some destinations has significantly lengthened. All major cities and their surroundings have a significantly longer season of demand for family accommodation compared to classic bathing places. The same applies to accommodation near major attractions, such as Plitvice Lakes and Dubrovnik and in places where hotels are closed during the winter months or not at all (Varaždin, Cres, Krk ().According to the data available so far, for 8 months of this year, 31 million overnight stays were realized in family accommodation. In August alone, the strongest tourist month, 13 million overnight stays were realized in family accommodation, 4 million more than in all hotels and camps combined. Currently, the number of registered facilities for accommodation services in the household is 92.000, 350.000 people are directly involved in jobs related to this service. Thanks to family accommodation, the generated guest traffic is around 2 billion Euros by the end of August alone. By the end of the year, that amount is estimated to reach 2,5 billion euros. Croatia would not have that income without such family accommodation. This is a concrete contribution to the national economy that Croatian citizens make with their private property. In this way, they keep tens of thousands of micro-entrepreneurs connected in their activities to family accommodation. In addition, the consumption of guests from family accommodation is not controlled and channeled as with package deals. Guests of family accommodation spend their money wherever they want, are extremely mobile and support a wide range with their spending.As far as public sector support is concerned, the spears are still being broken, so this support is not equal to the contribution that family accommodation makes to society. Large systems seek to influence business conditions and financial aid flows in their favor. Here the situation is similar to that in agriculture and imports. However, thanks to the cooperation of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian Tourist Board, this is slowly changing in favor of family micro-entrepreneurs in tourism. The issue of harmonization of categorization standards is still open, it is being discussed, satisfactory solutions are being sought, as in the case of credit programs for investment in quality under favorable conditions. I hope that this will also go in the right direction and that finally the Croatian man, the Croatian host, will receive full support and recognition in his own country after numerous international recognitions. The current unfavorable situation for family micro-entrepreneurs was partly “sponsored” by the state of consciousness from the previous system when only large SOURs were important.center_img The excellent placement of Croatian family accommodation at this year’s competition for the best accommodation in Europe is another great recognition of Croatian tourism.Croatian tourism is based on family accommodation, not only in terms of physical traffic, but also in terms of the interaction of hosts and guests, and in terms of quality, which is getting better. The luxury segment in family accommodation is represented in a relatively small percentage, we may have 1.000 facilities that can be presented that way. These facilities meet high standards of aesthetics, privacy, security, contact with nature, a high level of service provided “tailored” to the guest and special comfort facilities. We can classify a much larger number of facilities in the premium segment, there are up to 10.000 of them. This segment includes all types of comfortable accommodation, such as holiday homes, spacious urban apartments and the like.Most of the accommodation offer was positioned in the “standard” segment. This is the level that is most in demand, as with all other goods and services. If we wanted to compare our “standard” accommodation with the number of stars, then it is accommodation for three and a half stars. Compared to the same segment in Italy and France, our “standard” accommodation is much better. In the third segment “economic”, we have up to 20.000 facilities. These are mostly older facilities that were built and categorized according to standards from 20 and more years ago, but also newer facilities that target the audience looking for a basic accommodation service at a good price.last_img read more

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Dubrovnik breaks records in all segments, but also literally shoots at the seams

first_imgLast year, 1.991.000 passengers passed through Dubrovnik Airport (ZLD), and on Friday, for the first time in its history, ZLD reached the number of two million passengers within a calendar year.The historic result of Dubrovnik Airport, which received this year new terminal capacity of 3 million passengers, is certainly not accidental, and Dubrovnik Airport expects to draw the line at about 2,3 million passengers this year.The walls of Dubrovnik are also joining the trend of breaking records. Thus, this year, fifteen days before last year, the Dubrovnik Walls were visited by one million tourists, regardless of the increase in ticket prices from HRK 30, ie to HRK 150. By the end of the year, the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities (DPDS) points out that it will have over one million and one hundred thousand visitors. By the way, the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities has started renovating the Fortress of St. John, and by the end of the year it is expected that the Fortress on Prevlaka will get a new owner, the Municipality of Konavle, and thus under the direction of DPDS will start reconstruction, which will certainly be another additional cultural and historical pearl of Dubrovnik.THREE MILLION NIGHTS ACHIEVED IN DUBROVNIK 9 DAYS EARLIER THAN LAST YEARWe all know well that a fire is extinguished when smoke appears, not when a fire breaks out. Thus, in tourism, in accordance with the growth in the number of arrivals and overnight stays, especially in Croatia where cities are relatively small in terms of fusion,According to the E-visitor tourist check-in and check-out system, Dubrovnik has achieved record tourist results in all types of accommodation since the beginning of the year, with 17% more arrivals and 15% more overnight stays. As of September 03, three million overnight stays were realized, which is 9 days earlier than last year, not including the data on realized nautical overnight stays.From January 1 to September 02, 2017, 876.076 tourists stayed in Dubrovnik, which is as much as 17% more than in the same period in 2016. There were 2.985.324 overnight stays, ie 15% more than last year. In the first eight months, the most numerous tourists were from the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Sweden, Australia, Italy, and Norway. Markets that stood out in the increase in the number of arrivals are: the United Kingdom (28% more), the United States (39%), China (58%), Brazil (32%), India (64%).From January 1 to September 02 this year, 455.342 guests stayed in hotel accommodation, which is an increase of 7% compared to last year, and 1.546.984 overnight stays were realized, 6% more than last year. In the first seven months of this year, there were 305.048 arrivals in private accommodation, ie 28% more than in the same period last year and 1.066.725 overnight stays, which is 23% more than in 2016.EVERYTHING IS SUPER AND EVERYTHING IS FOR FIVE?We all know well that a fire is extinguished when smoke appears, not when a fire breaks out. Thus, in tourism, in accordance with the growing number of arrivals and overnight stays, especially in Croatia, where cities are relatively small in figure,According to the E-visitor tourist check-in and check-out system, Dubrovnik has achieved record tourist results in all types of accommodation since the beginning of the year, with 17% more arrivals and 15% more overnight stays. As of September 03, three million overnight stays were realized, which is 9 days earlier than last year, not including the data on realized nautical overnight stays.From January 1 to September 02, 2017, 876.076 tourists stayed in Dubrovnik, which is as much as 17% more than in the same period in 2016. There were 2.985.324 overnight stays, ie 15% more than last year. In the first eight months, the most numerous tourists were from the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Sweden, Australia, Italy, and Norway. Markets that stood out in the increase in the number of arrivals are: the United Kingdom (28% more), the United States (39%), China (58%), Brazil (32%), India (64%).From January 1 to September 02 this year, 455.342 guests stayed in hotel accommodation, which is an increase of 7% compared to last year, and 1.546.984 overnight stays were realized, 6% more than last year. In the first seven months of this year, there were 305.048 arrivals in private accommodation, ie 28% more than in the same period last year and 1.066.725 overnight stays, which is 23% more than in 2016.EVERYTHING IS SUPER AND EVERYTHING IS FOR FIVE or?The idyllic image and prosperity of Dubrovnik is tormented by long-standing problems which, unfortunately, no one has dealt with strategically, and as it usually happens, unfortunately everything comes to a head – the city is cracking at the seams. It is unfortunate that UNESCO must threaten us with taking away the flattering title because we do not care about preserving the walls themselves, as well as that we still have problems with parking, electricity, sewage, water and generally too much load on the entire infrastructure. Worrying is the fact that we live in the 21st century, and we have problems with the distribution of water and electricity. There is also the problem of accommodation of tourist workers. Houses and apartments are rented on all sides, people “move” to garages so that they can put their property in the function of tourism, especially those gold real estate valuable within the walls, and the walls remain without population and authenticity. Prices of services and products are growing rapidly, and quality does not follow the same. Dubrovnik Airport has expanded, and there is still no expressway to Dubrovnik. In line with the large growth of tourists, Dubrovnik also has a problem with the disposal of garbage, which is accumulating more and more from year to year.If the purpose of tourism is to increase the quality of life for the local population, what does that mean for the citizens of Dubrovnik who have lost the city and do not have that quality of life, especially those who are not directly connected to tourism. However, someone needs to work in other activities as well. By the way, in the historic core in 2016, there are 516 service facilities, and the number is only growing every year, while the population is falling. With once 5.000 inhabitants within the walls, today there are only about 1.500. A good portion of the local population only has crowds, noise and a more expensive cost of living, but I wonder where that “compensation” is for the local population in the context of increasing the quality of life in the city? To what extent is the local population involved in tourism in general, and does tourist spending disperse to the local economy? Or are we financing imports again?Growth, growth and only growth, and why isn’t infrastructure growing as well? There are a lot of problems, especially when we know that Dubrovnik cannot really expand, and the reason for all the problems is only one – that Dubrovnik has not developed strategically and sustainably. Problems are much easier to solve when they happen, and even easier to plan and fix them before they even occur. But the question is where all these years spent a lot of money from tourism in Dubrovnik?The new mayor Mato Franković has introduced some positive changes that look more like firefighting measures because they are not systematically and strategically connected, and we know how tourism is complex and multidisciplinary and connects various industries vertically and horizontally. One affects the other, as in nature where everything is perfectly arranged and coordinated, but if we break one chain, the whole system collapses and the consequences are far-reaching. At the end of August, the Management Plan for the historic core of Dubrovnik was adopted, but Dubrovnik is not only within the walls, so it is necessary to make a strategic development plan for the city of Dubrovnik and its wider surroundings and start its implementation as soon as possible. It should certainly be one of the city’s most important documents in recent history, and whether the document will remain just blank letters on paper or end up in someone’s drawer will be shown by time.Time is short, the city is literally bursting at the seams. Do we want tourism or not? If so, then we must be aware of how tourism must be sustainable and how we must deal with tourism strategically because if we skip all the stairs and just chase money and growth without thinking in the long run, we will have big problems that will cost us a lot later, if not disastrous . Dubrovnik is in that situation today. To be or not to be?MINT, CNTB or someone else is not to blame for this situation, it is the fault of the local community because they are the ones who are developing the tourist destination. The main question for the current development of tourism in Dubrovnik is the quantity or quality and the elements or strategic development? We have money, knowledge, resources, creativity and even solutions to problems – again, it’s up to us.Related news:DUBROVNIK & KONAVLE WALKING FESTIVAL GREAT TOURIST STORY AND PLATFORM HOW OUR TOURIST PRODUCT SHOULD LOOKDUBROVNIK AND KAŠTEL GOMILICA SELECTED FOR THE BEST FILM LOCATION OF EUROPElast_img read more

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Expansion of Y starts this year?

first_imgThe most important Istrian road, Y, can never increase its modest capacity for the summer influx of tourists.Although the construction of the extension from Rogović to the Učka tunnel, which would give a full profile of Y in the area of ​​Istria County, according to the most pessimistic announcements should start at the beginning of this year, nothing is happening, Glas Istre writes.Announcements of the expansion of Y began in the winter of 2016, more than two years ago, but none of the construction stands in operation yet. According to the announcements, construction should take two years. For the upcoming tourist season, there is obviously no shift in road congestion on the eastern branch of Y, but the concessionaire of that road, Bina-Istra, is still announcing the start of work for the middle of this year.As Glas Istre writes, the upgrade of Y should be financed by the World Bank and commercial banks according to the public-private partnership model. In order for the loan to be approved, the permission of the European Commission is required, and in order for the EC to give permission, the Government and Bina-Istra must first draw up a new concession agreement. The first step in the approval of this new concession agreement by the EC is called re-notification, and this is the phase in which the business is now.”The long-announced continuation of the Istrian Y project is obviously entering the final phase of preparations. Namely, the process of re-notification of the concession agreement with Bina-Istra has just been successfully completed by the European Commission. For this type of project, which is based on a public-private partnership, each EU member must receive an assessment from the DG Competition Office in Brussels on the compliance of the provisions of the contract with EU competition rules. It is a process in which the experts of the said office study the details of the project financing model, analyze the risk-sharing mechanisms and evaluate the market prices of the investment. This important stage required a precise and in-depth analysis of every detail of the contract. The successful completion of this procedure was received very positively by the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, especially when taking into account the complexity of the entire project and the fact that this is the first re-notification process for the Republic of Croatia.”, They say in Bina-Istra.Source: Glas Istrelast_img read more

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Opportunities for youth employment through the project “From vocational occupations to the creative industry”

first_imgFrom 7 to 12 May, a cultural and artistic workshop will be held at the Vukovar City Museum and the Museum of Vučedol Culture, as part of the project “From professional occupations to the creative industry”, which is carried out by the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb. The project was co-financed from the European Social Fund in the amount of HRK 670.900,43 (85%) and HRK 118.394,20 (15%) from the Ministry of Culture. This is a project aimed at empowering the labor market a total of 84 young unemployed people with vocational occupations from Vukovar-Srijem, Sisak-Moslavina, Virovitica-Podravina, Osijek-Baranja, Zagreb County and the City of Zagreb.By getting to know six different museum collections and art workshops in the field of design, they will develop the competencies needed to create new art products under the mentorship of local craftsmen. The results of the process are innovative products based on the reinterpretation of heritage that will be presented in 2019 in five museums collaborating on the project: Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, Museum of Vučedol Culture, Archaeological Museum Osijek, City Museum Virovitica and City Museum Sisak.In addition to these museum institutions, the project associate is also the Croatian Employment Service. The target group is young unemployed people aged 15 to 25, various professional occupations: textile and clothing designer, metallurgy technician, clothing technician, wood technician, goldsmith, ceramicist, carpenter, tailor, seamstress, haberdasher, shoemaker and all other similar production occupations .During the cultural and artistic workshop, the young participants were provided with a hot meal, refreshments during breaks, transportation on the route Vukovar – Vučedol, and the travel costs of arriving in Vukovar were covered. During the six days of the workshops, young participants will get acquainted with museums and their work and will be shown how to achieve successful business cooperation with them. Designers conducting education in the field of art will help participants to develop and implement prototype ideas based on the exhibits of the mentioned museums. Also, young people will have the opportunity to meet local craftsmen and entrepreneurs with whom they will cooperate in the development of their prototypes and thus achieve potential business cooperation in the future.last_img read more

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The Association of Marines of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce became a member of the International Council of the Maritime Industry ICOMIA

first_imgThe Marina Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce has become a member of the International Council of the Maritime Industry Association (ICOMIA), an international body that has brought together national maritime industry associations since 1966.ICOMIA creates guidelines for the development of nautical tourism, works to strengthen the role of the maritime industry as one of the key carriers of the economy in coastal countries and actively contributes to solving current problems faced by the maritime industry in its business.”We are honored that the Marine Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce is now part of this world association. One of the main goals of membership, in addition to exchanging experiences with colleagues from other countries, is a better insight into trends, world practices and access to and influence on international regulations, especially at the EU level. It is also important to further promote Croatian nautical tourism and maritime industry in general and to position Croatia as one of the world’s leading nautical destinations,”Said the president of the HGK Marina Association Sean Lisjak on the occasion of joining ICOMIA.”After several years of recession, Croatia now occupies an extremely important place in the global market with a promising fleet, both charter and privately owned. Joining the Marine Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce gives additional weight to ICOMIA in order to represent as much as possible a part of the world maritime industry,Said Martinho Fortunato, president of the International Marine Association (IMG), which operates within ICOMIA, adding that he expects to strengthen cooperation between the two organizations at the IMG session in Split, which will be held in Croatia for the first time next June with the Marina Association. HGK as the host and within the annual congress of ICOMIA.last_img read more

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Six new interpretation boards have been set up in Samobor

first_imgIn the week of marking the City Day, six Samobor historical and cultural sights received new, bilingual interpretation boards that accompany the new visual of the city.It is a project of the Tourist Board of the town of Samobor, with the aim of describing in more detail tourist sites, preserving cultural heritage, and promoting and raising the general educational and cultural level of domestic and foreign visitors.The plaques consist of a textual description of the famous location in front of which they are located, in Croatian and English, and are placed in front of the chapel of St. Mihalj, the old town, the chapel of St. Juraj, Prica Gallery, on the grave of Vrazova Ljubica and near the Samoborček train in Južni naselje.last_img

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