What is happening with private accommodation in 2019 – is an issue that is constantly highlighted in the media and social networks these days. “This means that all our efforts and tasks have succeeded. We encouraged and pointed out to our landlords the importance of increasing the quality of accommodation, and thus increase the quality of the overall offer of Kvarner. Because quality accommodation requires quality offer and facilities in the destination ” points out the director of the Kvarner Tourist Board, Irena Peršić Živadinov “From all this, it can be concluded that there have been large disparities between quality and price in the field. Therefore, we need to pursue a quality pricing policy to achieve guest arrivals at last year’s level. What was our goal, is to attract better quality guests, but this can only be done by investing in the offer and not by unjustified price increases without new investments. With today’s online booking tools, guests can easily compare the quality of the offer and the price, and bypass what they think does not offer “value for money”Concludes Peršić Živadinov. The following figures show that such initiatives are welcome but also well accepted among Kvarner landlords: “Most of all, we are pleased with the fact that we managed to increase the occupancy and attendance of the region outside the main season. Total overnight stays in the pre-season in all types of accommodation have increased by as much as 63% over the last 8 years! While this increase in overnight stays in family accommodation is much higher than the average, and amounts to a high 193%,”Says the director of the Kvarner Tourist Board and adds that all indicators said that the progress of the tourism business is possible only with raising the quality. We simply have a surplus of supply and less demand. The market has done its thing, and of course the quality in every segment always stands out. The initiative, which was preceded by a series of professional lectures aimed at landlords through the Kvarner Family project, first yielded great interest, and later very active involvement in this process. The renters used the credit potential of HRK 5 million over 3 years, from building a swimming pool, through additional landscaping, purchasing new devices or adapting their facilities to obtain additional labels such as Pet, Bike or Hike Friendly, said Peršić Živadinov, Director of the Kvarner Tourist Board and adds that for tangible results it was necessary to wait a year or two, and get feedback from the field. In addition, it should be emphasized that the higher the number of stars, the better it is possible to get a better price, which in the end brings renters and higher earnings. Landlords in Kvarner have recognized that investments in quality pay off and that the results are long-term and more than useful. And they see this best on days of occupancy, ie on their account, which is much thicker than other renters who did not go through the quality improvement. Although the whole thing around private accommodation is much more complex, ultimately the market happened. After years of expansion, we have reached a point where supply is greater than demand. There is no room for panic, all this was planned in accordance with global tourist trends this year, but few renters followed and heeded all warnings all these years. “Although here we primarily look at raising the quality of family accommodation, I must point out that we have started the same thing in the field of gastronomy, outdoor activities, cultural heritage, health tourism, etc. Thanks to everything, we see that increasing the quality of accommodation and offer was generally one of the most important prerequisites for achieving more nights and arrival, and this is an indicator of how the direction is right for us ” emphasizes Peršić-Živadinov. It is not disputed that we need to raise quality accommodation and offers, but mostly destinations, encourage family accommodation and hosts, not real estate business, and it is also not disputed that we need more hotels, especially small family and boutiq hotels. But everyone forgets that the motive for coming is not accommodation, but a tourist destination. Of course, again, this is not just about accommodation, but about the destination. For example, with Pet friendly accommodation, the destination has a veterinary station, “Pet Friendly” agency, dog grooming salon, “Dog Friendly” restaurant and cafe, beaches, etc.… because the motive for arrival is not accommodation, but a tourist destination. Kvarner family concept as a signpost in which direction family accommodation should be developed Great motive for someone to join the Kvarner family quality label. And to that you just need to add even more motives, from free professional photography of accommodation, education, free branded towels for guests, special promotion, fairs… the more market motives the better. Namely, the results of the analysis in Kvarner indicate one positive trend: The higher the number of stars in the accommodation, the higher and longer its occupancy. Thus, family accommodation is an advantage and a positive story in Kvarner. An example of how it develops and how family accommodation should be developed throughout Croatia. Participation in major world tourism fairs not only contributes to better visibility and promotion of the destination, but also places where tourism professionals have the opportunity, thanks to a series of lectures but also meetings with partners and other tourism professionals from around the world, learn and gain knowledge and experience about new trends and future tourist expectations, points out the director of the Kvarner Tourist Board, Ph.D. Irena Peršić Živadinov adds that it is precisely because of these experiences, but also because of the knowledge of the situation at home, that the Kvarner Family loan program. So, not everything is black and white. There are a lot of questions, to which we have to give an answer in order to connect and network everything into a tourist mosaic. Tourism is much more complex, for just one answer and comment. In the first six months of this year, 34% of all overnight stays in the Kvarner area were realized in family accommodation. But interestingly, on the example of Kvarner, this is an advantage and proof of the thesis that it is important to raise the quality of family accommodation and that someone must strategically deal with the same, ie the process of developing family accommodation. On the other hand, according to the analysis, the occupancy of family accommodation from 01.07. to 17.07. 2019, which records 9% fewer overnight stays, with family accommodation with 5 * it is evident that this type of accommodation achieves as much as 32% more overnight stays, and the one with 3 * (which has the most in Kvarner) by 11% less. Family accommodation in Kvarner has always accounted for almost 50% of all accommodation capacities. For many years, thanks to detailed statistics, it has been established that a large part of these figures were 3-star facilities. That is why the Kvarner Tourist Board started branding family accommodation through the launch of the Kvarner Family project back in 2011, in order to encourage and educate landlords to constantly work and monitor what the modern guest is looking for and needs. The competition is growing day by day and it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out with just one ad on booking.com, and on the other hand, tourists have a choice. Logically, those accommodation that is not of better quality will be the last to be filled. A matter of market competition. This year there are more beds in total, and fewer (or the same) guests, and pure mathematics says that some will remain empty, ie will be less filled, which was announced this year, and has been warned for years. Growth in 2017 compared to the year before was an incredible 44% in realized overnight stays, and last year in 2018 the increase was 27%. Also, according to research conducted by the Kvarner Tourist Board, it can be seen that household facilities with the Kvarner Family quality label are better filled than household facilities without the label for a total of 30%. For example, the apartments in the Kvarner Family system with 5 * located on the Opatija Riviera had the best occupancy – 105 givea., while the same quality in the same area outside the Kvarner Family system only 57 days. Kvarner Tourist Board Irena Peršić Živadinov / Photo by Luigi Opatija But let’s get back to private accommodation. First, we need to make a clear distinction hosts in family accommodation, private renters te real estate agents (those who bought a plot and erected a building with ten or more apartments). But, again, the fact is that the good majority unfortunately did not raise the quality, that you can find everything on the market, (we have a selection, reviews, pictures and prices on booking portals and they are the best proof of categorization, ie stars have replaced reviews) the market has played its part and it is great for the day-to-day development of tourism. The situation is similar with holiday homes where 3 * recorded a minus of 81%, which is largely caused by a large increase in prices of this accommodation without additional investment compared to previous years, while holiday homes with 5 * recorded more overnight stays by as much as 36%. We have the best example in Kvarner, where a quality label has been developed Kvarner family. The just mentioned concept shows how they managed to raise the quality in family accommodation, and the market rewards them with a longer season and better earnings from tourism. The message is clear – do not lower prices, but raise quality The continuation of the story was an additional specialization through the branding of accommodation with the labels Pet, Bike or Hike Friendly, and later they included restaurants under the label Kvarner Gourmet and Food. For the Kvarner Gourmet quality label it is necessary to satisfy everything, and for the Kvarner Food quality label at least 75% of the defined conditions It is constantly said that we need more hotels. That this is not is not at all obvious, but is private accommodation a competition to hotels? If so, then hotels have a big problem with themselves. It’s about a different profile of tourists, so it’s out of place to talk about it at all. But the real question is why do we not have more investments in hotels in Croatia? And especially in greenfield investments? Who prevents hotels from working all year round? The reason for this is certainly not private accommodation, but the destination, market and economic, legal frameworks, etc.… Pet, Bike or Hike Friendly But let’s go in order… Thus, the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, three commercial banks and the Kvarner Tourist Board launched a line of loans within the Kvarner Family project to help renters involved in the project raise the quality or specialize their facilities to accommodate “specific” guests: eg guests traveling with their pets, cyclists, guests hiking or hiking… On the one hand, I have quality accommodation, say 4 *, and the destination is late and at a much lower level. We have a problem again. I emphasize again as a parrot – the motive for coming is the destination, not the accommodation. Personally, I consider and see family accommodation as our advantage, at least it should be. Because the hosts in the family accommodation, welcome the guest, talk to them, socialize and just give the best references to our guests. THESE are the ambassadors of our tourism. It is a relationship that is much more than just handing over the keys to the accommodation. Family accommodation should be branded, quality should be raised and small family hotels should be encouraged to open. Family accommodation is our tradition and should be our advantage. But someone has to lead those processes. Unfortunately, other quality labels in family accommodation in Croatia are lagging behind and are developing too slowly, dealing more with form than content. In the market and global competition, those who want and engage in market development succeed. So this success story in our backyard is a great example of how to develop family accommodation in Croatia, and not to stifle it, destroy it and blame it for all the problems of our tourism. Kvarner Family: Hospitality with a guarantee – it is a message and a promise and a slogan of the whole concept that has the trust of the guests and to which the guests return. Precisely because of the host, the color quality and added value. That’s the way to go. The story about renters, ie private accommodation in Croatia, is much more complex and cannot be viewed from only one angle, and that is why the current media “chase” towards it is ridiculous to me. Yes, there is everything in the offer of accommodation, especially in the past few years, but the main problems of our tourism are not in private accommodation. If only it were that simple. The main problems are in our heads, destinations that have not developed infrastructure, a dysfunctional system as a whole, poor supply and content, brand and most importantly values for money etc.… In 2018, just 2 years later, the situation was already significantly different: 2.700 facilities with 16.500 beds in 4-star family accommodation, and as many as 322 facilities and 2.150 beds rated with 5 stars. According to these data, it is clear that the 4-star capacities recorded an increase of more than 50%, and those from the 5-star category a fascinating 130% The Kvarner family concept is the best proof of how to accommodate family accommodation. And here we are talking about market development, not inertia. Don’t lower prices, raise quality – the main message for years. In 2016, there were 1.800 facilities with 11 beds in 4-star family accommodation and only 143 facilities or 5 beds with the highest XNUMX stars; The “Pet Friendly” label is a welcome sign for pets, and Bike and Hike object labels are tailored to the needs of lovers of active holidays and carry the label, which means that they are adapted for accommodation and meet the specific needs of cyclists and hikers. Also, through the project, about 30 travel agencies are included, which in their offer emphasize the promotion and filling of capacities with the labels “Kvarner Family”. The market is the alpha and omega, the law – and it is precisely market, strategic and sustainable tourism that we must deal with, not that tourism happens to us by inertia. That is why we are where we are, because we have been developing tourism by inertia for years and no one has watched what will happen tomorrow, let alone followed global trends and trends. Strategy, brand, vision, synergy, sustainability are still foreign concepts in our tourism, honoring a couple of positive examples. Everyone is guilty because we are ultimately hypocritical. Everyone would change, but not to concern them. Our biggest problem is precisely in the strategic development of tourist tourism and destinations, ie the chaos in destinations. Tourism is complex and complex because it is not one industry, but it connects various other industries vertically and horizontally. On the other hand, guests are not stupid, value for money is the main currency, and accommodation stars have replaced reviews on booking portals. On the other hand, private accommodation is not represented, managed, strategically and smartly developed by anyone, except in one part of ZOS HGK, and yet it all started with him and is the largest share of accommodation capacity. When there is no smart leadership, then there is anarchy and chaos, and that is exactly what has happened to us these years, and now everything is paying off. Tourism, as well as family accommodation, should be dealt with and developed, and not allowed to develop spontaneously and uncontrollably. So, it is quite clear that the chaos in the market is not the result of poor private accommodation, but that we are not dealing with strategic and sustainable development. We do not deal with market development. It is not questionable that there is any kind of accommodation, but who controls it and gives the categorization? Who allowed one building to be taller, another wider, one blue, another red, etc.… where there is the same architecture and visual identity of the destination throughout the story. Why does our sewer go to the sea? Why is the shore concrete? Just look at Vodice and Makarska, which destroyed their space due to unplanned “development”. Interestingly, on the other side of the coast, there is no chaos in Tuscany and everything is the same architecture, color and building material. How’s that? How’s that? This was confirmed by a recent statistical review in 2019, which shows that family accommodation in the Kvarner area has continued the excellent trend of a significant increase in the number of nights in family accommodation with 4 or 5 stars. Also, I don’t know if you know, in 2013 it was passed National program for the improvement of family accommodation. But the story is somewhere in the drawer. This is just one small part of the story, and in response to a ridiculous chase on private accommodation as the main culprit. Not to defend the same, as I said, there is everything on the market, but the problems of our tourism are much bigger. If only it were that simple. For years, the story of raising quality in private accommodation has been taken care of, hundreds of trainings have been held, but still some have not taken all the announcements seriously and have not invested in raising quality, promotion, professional photography and raising their overall performance. In the 3 years that the loan program has been open, more than 60 loans worth HRK 5 million have been approved. It is important to emphasize that these loans have aroused great interest due to subsidized interest rates – for example, renters from the area of Gorski Kotar and more remote Kvarner islands (Union, Mala and Vela Srakane) interest rate on the loan was only 1%, while the interest rate for all other landlords was maximum 2%, and the remaining 4% interest was co-financed by the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. After all, the market will clearly show, as shown this year, without effort, investment in promotion, quality, etc.… there will be no success. And finally, the example of the Kvarner family concept clearly says everything – development strategy, brand and quality. Every destination could have followed this positive example, but it didn’t. So no whining now. As with voting in elections, if you did not vote, you have no right to whine. We all know everything, everything is available, but we are hypocritical. But the market does not ask or care. The market rewards those involved in market development, those who are proactive, creative and innovative… who go forward ..
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