A little more than a month ago, more precisely 03.07.2017. The Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Croatia published the results of the tender from the Competitiveness of the Tourism Economy Program, which was published on March 6.3, and closed on April 10.4.2017, 21.900.000,00. Given that the total number of registered projects is not known, it is impossible to say whether it really took three months to make decisions on project financing or whether it is simply an undercapacity of the Ministry to allocate the planned XNUMX kn.This analysis could probably also have been published earlier, but not for the simple reason that the Ministry’s decisions are published in .pdf format in a very non-transparent way, which makes any in-depth analysis very difficult. It is convenient to mention that Croatia has been a member of the World Partnership for Open Government since 2014 and has committed itself to transparency and openness in the work of public authorities. This also means publishing data in formats that allow easy management such as excell. But as we can see, it has not yet come to life.In the results of the tender, the Ministry publishes only the name of the project holder and the allocated amount, without the name and objectives of the project, ie the purpose of spending the funds. Also, the evaluation criteria, as well as the evaluation method, have not been made public. Are they employees of the Ministry or are external commissions engaged? How are projects evaluated and what is the maximum number of points required to approve funding? Why were some projects selected and some not? All these open issues shed a negative light on the work of the Ministry itself, which should explain to tourism workers and citizens in the most transparent way how they will spend almost 22 million of their budget kuna for the further development of Croatian tourism. Sorry, almost 25 million kuna has been awarded this year, and only in this tender.About the Program The Competitiveness of the Tourism Economy program of the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Croatia has been implemented for many years, and the data on the Ministry’s website provide information on financing since 2005.The goals of this year’s Program were: development of the offer of complex / innovative / creative tourist products; increasing the level of occupancy of accommodation capacities and extending the season in destinations; increase in average consumption per day of stay; increasing the level of employment and self-employment; networking with other tourism service providers at the destination level and improving international visibility. The program is implemented in 4 measures.Measure A it refers to increasing standards, quality and additional supply, diversifying business and sustainable development, using new technologies, and improving social inclusion. The measure is divided into 4 sub-measures, depending on the registration of the service provider. Thus, sub-measure A1 refers to Hotel, Heritage Hotel, Diffuse Hotel, Aparthotel, Tourist Resort, Tourist Apartments, Pension, and Integral Hotel – joint). Submeasure A2 refers to camps (camps and camping resorts), submeasure A3 to other catering facilities for accommodation (Hostel, Mountain lodge, Hunting lodge, Student dormitory or Student dormitory or Akademis, Room, Apartment, Studio apartment, Holiday house, Accommodation , Resort for children, Robinson accommodation facility, submeasure A4 on family farms (Winery / Tasting room, Excursion site, Room, Apartment, Rural holiday house, Camp, Camping rest area) and A5 on household facilities – private landlords (Room, Apartment, Studio apartment, Holiday house, Camp or Camping rest area in the household) which this year financed only the construction of the pool.Measure B refers to the development of special forms of tourism, and refers to entities registered to provide services in tourism and hospitality.Measure C refers to increasing the availability and safety (introduction of defibrillators and compensation for aquifers on islands), while measure D refers to the recognizability of Croatian tourism (activities related to the Croatian island product, connecting agriculture and tourism, and co-financing of international conferences / forums in the Republic of Croatia related to investments in tourism)Measure C refers to increasing the availability and safety (introduction of defibrillators and compensation for aquifers on islands), while measure D refers to the recognizability of Croatian tourism (activities related to the Croatian island product, connecting agriculture and tourism, and co-financing of international conferences / forums in the Republic of Croatia related to investments in tourism)Eligible project activities for each measure can be found on the Ministry’s website http://www.mint.hr/UserDocsImages/2_170301_program.pdf. The Ministry finances up to 60% of eligible costs with the exception of measure C where the costs are financed at 100%. Unlike some other tenders to which the Ministry awards grants, the investor needs to invest a minimum of 40% of its own funds. Approved support can range from 20.000 to 350.000 kn.Project selection in 2017 A total of 606 projects of total value were awarded 24.843.785 kn in 8 categories: Hotels, Camps and rest areas, Other catering facilities for accommodation, Rural household – family farm, Household facilities – Pools, Development of special forms of tourism, Defibrillators and aquifers, and Recognition and Croatian island product.Projects by categories Almost 40% of projects were approved in the Domestic Pools category (237). They are followed by projects in the category of family farms (105 projects – 17%) and in the category Development of special forms of tourism (102 projects – 17%). 65 projects (11%) were approved for the category Other catering facilities for accommodation, and 61 projects (10%) for the category Hotels. In the category Camps and rest areas, 17 projects were approved (3%), 10 projects (2%) were approved for Defibrillators and Aquifers, and 9 projects (1%) were approved for Recognition and Croatian Island Product.Source: TCNGiven that swimming pools are an enrichment of the offer and a prerequisite for extending the stay of guests in households, it is not surprising that their financing in households is constantly increasing. For example, in 2016, 176 swimming pools were financed in households, and in 2015, 167. The number of financed swimming pools is certainly higher, considering that they are financed in other categories from measures A and B, in addition to the category of household swimming pools.What is surprising in the results of the competition is only 9 approved projects in the category Recognition, which is focused on advertising and the application of new technologies, so the question arises – how will the accommodation capacity be filled if they are not advertised? Of course, this is especially true for those in lesser-known Croatian destinations, especially in continental Croatia.Financial value of projects by categoriesA total of HRK 9.304.000 or 38% of the total approved almost HRK 25 million was approved for the construction of a swimming pool in a household (private renters). HRK 3.567.000 was approved for tourism on family farms, HRK 3.510.000 for other catering facilities for accommodation, HRK 4.010.000 for hotels, and HRK 1.020.000 for camps and camping resorts. A total of HRK 21.411.000 (86,18%) was approved for measure A. For Measure B – development of special forms of tourism HRK 2.780.000 (11,18%) was approved, for Measure C – defibrillators and aquifers HRK 332.785 (1,33%) was approved, while for Measure D – Recognition and Croatian island product approved HRK 320.000 (1,28%). The average value of the awarded aid per individual project is approximately HRK 41.000.Source: TCNAnd what are these special forms of tourism? There are a number of definitions that come down to one thing – forms of tourism that attract tourists with their motive for coming, and which in our case does not refer to the sun and the sea. So special forms of tourism are cultural, sports, health, diving, enogastro, mountain, rural, etc., and whose season by its nature lasts almost all year round. Given that the mantra of the future development of Croatian tourism repeats the departure from the concept of sun and sea and the extension of the tourist season, the question arises whether the Ministry, as the umbrella institution of Croatian tourism, follows this logic, which is provided in the Tourism Development Strategy. by 2020? Judging by the types of this year’s approved projects – difficult.Projects by geographical determinant The first level of analysis included projects according to the geographical definition of the project holder or owner, in such a way that all projects that are not geographically located along the coast are classified in the category of continental projects. These include, for example, the interior of Istria, the Dalmatian hinterland and the interior of the island.Out of a total of 606 approved projects, 329 (54,30%) refers to the sea, in 277 (45,70%) on the continent. Out of the total allocated HRK 24.843.785,00, projects at sea occupy HRK 13.466.066,00 (54,20%), and projects on the continent HRK 11.377.719,00 (45,80%).What is the priority of the development of Croatian tourism – continent or sea? The vision for the development of Croatian tourism until 2020 is: In 2020, Croatia is a globally recognizable tourist destination, competitive and attractive for investments, which creates jobs and manages development in a sustainable way. on its entire space, nurtures a culture of quality, and provides its guests with hospitality, security and a unique variety of authentic content and experiences throughout the year.So, tourism needs to be developed in the entire territory of the Republic of Croatia – where it is less developed than in established tourist destinations.However, when the assigned projects are classified according to the criterion that all counties that do not have contact with the sea are classified as continental counties, the picture of financing development projects is significantly different. The second level of analysis shows that out of 606 projects only 178 (29,37%) refers to continental counties while 428 (70,63%) projects approved in coastal counties. In financial terms, 17.376.785,00 kn (69,94%) awarded for projects in coastal, a 7.467.000,00 kn (30,06%) for projects in continental counties. While this can be justified to some extent by tourist revenues and the number of guests in coastal counties, the question arises as to what extent the Ministry is really serious when we talk about the balanced development of tourism in the Republic of Croatia. The above vision will be difficult to achieve by 2020 if 70% of the budget funds from this, and probably other tenders, continue to be spent on projects related to coastal tourism. In order to achieve the given vision of the Strategy, the ratio should be exactly the opposite.What do we fund on the continent? Given the lack and insufficient quality of accommodation facilities on the continent, it is not surprising that 21 projects in the category of Hotels, 30 projects in the category of Other catering facilities, 57 projects in the category of family farms, and 27 projects in the category of development of special forms tourism, with an average value of around HRK 42. Is that enough for strong tourism development?But perhaps a better question is how are we going to direct tourists to the continent and what are we doing to promote it? Despite the fact that the Republic of Croatia through the Ministry of Tourism and other ministries, and local government units, and private entrepreneurs have probably invested hundreds of millions of kunas in the last twenty years, the promotion of continental tourism, especially in the international market is negligible. With the exception of the continuous promotion of Plitvice Lakes and to some extent Slavonia and Baranja, the question arises whether and when the promotion of the beautiful continental part of Croatia will finally start. To name just a few destinations and attractions unknown to domestic and foreign tourists: nature parks of continental Croatia – Kopački rit, Papuk, Žumberak-Samoborsko gorje, Medvednica, Lonjsko polje, Museum of Krapina prehistoric man, Vučedol culture in Vukovar, the oldest city in Europe – Vinkovci, Đurđevački pijesci, Ivana’s house of fairy tales, Karlovac aquarium, 11 spas and numerous objects of rural tourism, especially in Baranja.And as we watch columns of tourists come and go in summer exhausted by long waits in columns for one reason or another, shouldn’t we wonder what we need and can do to help them discover the charms of continental Croatia and deviate from their usual routes? Advertising campaign in a foreign market? Setting up info desks at the entrance to Croatia? Setting up signposts along highways and other roads? Redefining the financing of tourism projects in order to create strong tourism in continental, and not only in coastal Croatia, as the Minister promised? Another year for that is definitely lost.Author: Paul Bradbury, Total Croatia News
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by Ed Trimmer, Kansas State Representative, District 79 (Northwest Cowley and Northeast Sumner Counties) â€”Â The Kansas Legislature has completed the 2013 Legislative Session.Â As expected, it was another difficult year filled with complicated and controversial issues.Ed TrimmerAfter working into the night, we adjourned at around 2 a.m. on the 99th day of the session.Â The Speaker of the House had predicted an 80-Day session, due to the overwhelming majorities of Brownback supported conservatives in both the House and Senate.Â Because the session ran nine days over the traditional 90-day session, I will be donating my additional salary to high school student councils in my district which includes Belle Plaine, Oxford, Udall and Winfield.I will be conducting my bi-annual listening tour in July.Â The tour will be at several locations in each of the communities in our district.Â I will spend a few hours at each location.Â I want to meet you and listen to what you have to say.Â A tour schedule is included in this newsletter.Here is what I consider the most important issues of the wrap-up session.Common Core Education Standards:For many years, the American public has demanded more accountability for public education.Â Â Â In response, the National Governorâ€™s Association and the Council of Chief State Education Officers began creating common core standards as early as 2003, during the Bush administration.Â Since then, at least 45 states have worked cooperatively for over 10 years to establish standards that are common and more rigorous for each grade level.Â Each state sets their own set of standards using the common core as a bench-mark and each school has the freedom to decide textbooks and curriculum to meet the standards.This session, legislation was proposed to abolish common core standards.Â Many proponents based their arguments on a wide variety of misinformation.Â Many more people representing educators, administrators, state school board members, local school board members and businesspeople testified against the ban and for the standards.Â The bill failed in the House Education Committee on a bi-partisan vote of seven (Republicans) for and 11 (six Republicans and five Democrats) against.Â I actively opposed the bill.On the last day of the session, a few House members demanded that the Senate pass a bill to de-fund common core standards not already adopted or they would not vote for the budget and push the wrap-up session into its 100th day.Â The Senate passed a bill and sent it to the House but it failed to get the 63 votes it needed to pass.It is important to note, that common core standards are not a federal mandate, would not cost Kansas tens of millions of dollars and do not involve increased data collection by federal officials.Â These standards are supported by many Fortune 500 companies, the United States Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Army. The Army likes the idea that military families can move from state to state and their children will be educated with the same standards for each grade.Â For complete information and a list of standards, concerned citizens can consult the Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas State Board of Education web sites.The 2014 and 2015 budget bill:The state budget is more than just a list of expenditures.Â It is an expression of our values.Â I voted against the budget bill because it goes against the values we hold as Kansans.Â The self-inflicted budget crisis in which we find ourselves, threatens education, public safety, early childhood programs and employment.Kansas colleges and universities are cut by nearly $66 million over the next two years.Â This will threaten the overall quality and stature of our colleges and universities while forcing higher costs onto Kansas families in the form of higher tuition rates.The budget raids funds for early childhood education taking $9.5 million from the childrenâ€™s initiatives fund.Â This fund uses money awarded to the state as part of the settlement with tobacco companies.This budget fails to address K-12 school funding.Â Our public schools were cut drastically in recent years and a Kansas Appeals Court ruled back in January that school funding was over $400 million short of where it should be.Â Instead of addressing this, legislators chose to give more tax breaks to the wealthy.The state highway fund is raided for another $300 million over the next two years to cover state general fund obligations.Â This means less money for important safety improvements for our Kansas roads and highways.Cuts to the Department of Corrections will threaten supervision of sex offenders as well as parole supervision, mental health and substance abuse treatment for inmates.Â According to Brownbackâ€™s Secretary of Corrections, with these cuts â€œwe will be spending far more than we save with the potential for increased victimization of Kansans due to an increased rate of untreated, unsupervised offenders in our communities.â€Much like the budgets we see coming out of Washington D.C., under this budget Kansas borrows heavily from bonded projects or adds new bond indebtedness.Â The State is projected to spend $628 million more than it brings in through revenue over the next five years.Even with $777 million in new taxes, the budget will be $23.7 million in the hole by FY 2018, assuming no new expenditures for the next five years if only to keep pace with inflation.The tax plan:Last year, the legislature eliminated almost all business income tax, which I voted against.Â During his 2013 â€œState of the Stateâ€ speech, the Governor again pushed for additional income tax cuts with the stated goal of eliminating the personal income tax altogether.Â To pay for the income tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthy, the Governor sought to shift the tax burden to the working poor and middle class Kansas families.Included in the final tax plan was a permanent extension of the temporary sales tax increase passed in 2009.Â Raising the sales tax generates $1.1 billion dollars over the next five years and results in more than $145 million in higher taxes on food.Kansans pay the ninth highest combined local and state sales tax rates in the United States. The average Kansan pays $868 in sales taxes each year. This is 15 percent higher than the national average and 39 percent higher than a five state region including Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Missouri.The tax plan also raises taxes on Kansans by cutting standard deductions on single heads of households and married couples filing jointly by $311 million and reduces itemized deductions for items such as home mortgage interest and property taxes paid by an additional $664 million.Â Only the very wealthy will see any income tax benefit.The legislature isnâ€™t required to pass a tax plan before adjourning, but it is necessary to pass a budget.Â Senate Republicans refused to hold a vote on the budget without first passing a tax plan, effectively forcing negotiations on a tax plan before the 2013 legislature could adjourn. In the end, this resulted in a $777 million tax increase on low to middle income working families over the next five years.I voted against the tax plan because it fails to fix the budget crisis created by last years business income tax elimination, forces cuts to public safety and education, and forces the working poor and middle class Kansans to pay for tax breaks that benefit the wealthy.Washington style politics in Kansas?In 2010, Brownback Conservatives, the Kansas Chamber, and the Republican Assembly as well as tea-party groups, criticized Kansas Democrats for voting for the three-year (temporary) sales tax, calling it the largest tax increase in state history.In 2012, these same groups blamed Moderate Republicans in the Senate for gridlock in Topeka. and criticized them for voting for the 3-year (temporary) sales tax.This year, with the Brownback Conservatives in control of the House and Senate, there was still gridlock, resulting in 9 extra days in session at taxpayerâ€™s expense.Â Instead of the sales tax reverting back to 5.7 percent on July 2013, it will remain at 6.15 percent indefinitely.When the national economy was bad and Kansas needed the temporary sales tax, those voting for it were criticized.Â Today, Kansas suffers from a self-inflicted budget crisis caused by last yearâ€™s tax plan.Â Those who criticized the sales tax increase before now support it.Â Confused?Â Me, too!Listening tour schedule:Â I will buy the coffee and listen.Â I want to hear what you think.Thursday, July 11,Â Belle PlaineCaseyâ€™s 6:30 – 11 a.m.Senior Center 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.Friday, July 12,Â OxfordAngie Dâ€™s Cafe 6:30 – 9 a.m.COOP 9:30 – 11 a.m.Senior Center -Â 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.Monday, July 15th, Â WinfieldCollege Hill Coffee 7:30-11 a.m.Tuesday, July 16th, Â WinfieldBiedermanâ€™s 6:30 – 10 a.m.Wednesday, July 17, Â UdallPhillips 66 6:30- 9 a.m.Eagle Convenience Store 9-10 a.m.1.Â Should alcohol be sold at retail food outlets in addition to liquor stores?YesÂ 30, NoÂ 127Â Â I did not support the concept.2.Â Should the one-cent sales tax be extended beyond the promised elimination date of July 1, 2013?YesÂ 68 , NoÂ 88Â Â Â Â I voted not to extend of the sales tax.3.Â Would you favor a system that allows the Governor to select court of appeals judges directly?YesÂ 17, NoÂ 138Â Â Â I voted no on this issue.4.Â Do you favor the elimination of the Home Mortgage Interest Exemption?YesÂ 22, NoÂ 130Â Â Â I voted not to cut or eliminate the exemption.5.Â Should the issue of where concealed weapons are carried be decided at the state level not the local level?YesÂ 71 , NoÂ 82Â Â Â Â I voted to keep local control.6.Â Should adults with conceal/carry permits be allowed to carry weapons in public schools?YesÂ 57 NoÂ 98Â Â Â Â I voted to prohibit anyone but law enforcement, unless the local district decided Â otherwise, which is current law.7.Â Should adults with conceal/carry permits be allowed to carry weapons on college campuses?YesÂ 64 NoÂ 96. Â I voted to leave it up to the college.8.Â Should adults with conceal/carry permits be allowed to carry weapons in government offices and court houses?Yes Â 45 Â NoÂ 110Â Â Â I voted to leave it up to the local entity.9.Â Should investor owned corporate farms be allowed in Kansas?YesÂ 25 Â NoÂ 127Â Â Â The issue did not come to the House floor.I deeply appreciate the contact I received from so many constituents in recent months.Â I worked hard to ensure the interests of our district were addressed under the Dome.Â If I can ever be of assistance to you or your family, please do not hesitate to contact me at my Capitol office 785-296-7122 (when we are in session) or at home 620-221-7146. You can e-mail me at [email protected]Â If you would like frequent e-mail updates during the session, just let me know and I will add you to my update list. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (2) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +2 Vote up Vote down OurVotes Rlost · 373 weeks ago I miss having our representative in Wellington………….. Report Reply 0 replies · active 373 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down MJE · 373 weeks ago Mr. Trimmer, Let’s set aside the fact that the Common Core standards were developed by corporate interests, not classroom educators, and look at the standards themselves. Do you honestly feel that “Recommended Levels of Insulation by the the US Environmental Protection Agency,” and the “Invasive Plant Inventory,” by California’s Invasive Plant Council, are good reading texts to use in schools? Do you see any significance in the fact that James Milgram, the only mathematician on the validation panel, refused to sign off on the math standards, stating that they are actually two years behind those of other advanced nations? Keep in mind that the Common Core standards are subject to copyright and states that adopt them are very limited in the changes and additions that can be made. Do you feel the product placement is appropriate that has been reported in the tests Pearson has developed to comply with Common Core? Report Reply 0 replies · active 373 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. 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Member of Letterkenny Roatary Club with Dr. John Murray head of Little Angels HostelLetterkenny Rotary Club is running a night time 5k race and walk this Thursday in Aid of the Little Angels Hostel and Rotary Charities.The Little angels hostel provides homes for 8 young adults who have no homes for themselves. Most of them have no parents. The hostel provides house parents who look after cooking and funding etc. They are presently running at a massive deficit due to cutbacks and any money raised through the winter wollie warmer is badly needed.The Charities that the Rotary Club support include the shelter box appeal which are at present doing outstanding work in Haiyan. The event will take place at 9.30pm and participants are asked to wrap up warm. Each entrant will be given a High Vis vest and registration will take place in Divers Hyundai Garage from 7pm. Entry fee is €8 ARE YOU READY FOR THE WINTER WOOLY WARMER?! was last modified: November 19th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Letterkenny Rotary ClubWinter Wooly Warmer