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WhatsApp Pay Gets Green Signal in India in a Graded Manner, With 20 Million User Cap

first_img– Advertisement – Why are smartphone prices rising in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below. Recently, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) dismissed a case against Facebook’s WhatsApp, saying the company has not abused its dominant position to expand in the country’s digital payments market. In its order in August, the CCI said it did not find any contravention of antitrust laws, adding the company’s “actual conduct is yet to manifest in the market” as it has not fully launched the service yet.WhatsApp Pay was expected to launch in India much sooner — an announcement was expected around Diwali last year, and many feared that the 400 million user base that the company had at the time would give it an unfair advantage.Earlier this year, a report suggested that WhatsApp Pay would launch in May with three banks on board, but permissions had not been forthcoming. Now, with the NPCI’s green signal, the messaging platform can expand its payments operations in India, but will still see a relatively small cap on how many users it can register, when compared to the market leaders in India.- Advertisement –center_img The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) announced today that WhatsApp can go ahead with the rollout of WhatsApp Pay in India. The company will be allowed to rollout in a “graded manner” the NPCI said, and it will first be allowed to do so with a maximum of 20 million registered users in UPI. To compare, PhonePe recently announced that it has hit the 250 million user mark. Ahead of this, the NPCI also announced that third party apps like these will be capped to a maximum of 30 percent of all transactions in the future, stating from January 2021.This transaction share cap will most strongly impact Google Pay and PhonePe, both of which account for 40 percent of the UPI transactions in India, according to a recent report.- Advertisement –last_img read more


November 20, 2020 0

Too much debt in system, stocks may be stuck for years

first_imgBillionaire investor Leon Cooperman told CNBC on Friday that he was concerned about the long-term outlook for the stock market because “too much debt is being created.”“I think the overwhelming reality is the Fed is just creating this environment of free money. You have to kind of make a judgement whether that’s justified, how long it’s going to last and what impact this has on the longer-term outlook,” Cooperman said on “Squawk Box.”- Advertisement – “Longer term, I probably have a dissenting view than Wall Street because I’m of the concern as to who pays for the party when the party is over?’ added Cooperman, chairman of the Omega Family Office.Cooperman said stocks right now are adequately priced. But he said, “I went back and I looked. Whenever you bought into the S&P 500 when it sold at 22 times earnings or more, your five-year return that followed was near zero,” he added. “So I would not be surprised if the market averages very little.”In August, Cooperman also expressed worries about the long-term market outlook, following Wall Street’s robust rally from pandemic-driven lows in late March. “We’ve been pulling a lot of demand forward. I would expect that future returns will be relatively unimpressive for a long time,” he told CNBC then.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Cooperman said Friday that he recognizes the need for near zero percent interest rates and extraordinary monetary stimulus to help a U.S. economy, which has been upended by the coronavirus pandemic. However, he said that such policy decisions are not without consequences. “There’s just too much debt in the system, and I think ultimately there will be a problem,” he said.But for now, Cooperman said he believes the near-term outlook for the stock market is “favorable,” due to Fed policy, and the impending clarity on the outcome of the presidential race between Democrat Joe Biden and President Donald Trump. He also said Congress may pass another pandemic stimulus package and added that positive developments on a Covid-19 vaccine should be a tailwind for stocks.“I’m assuming that in the next 12 or 18 months, something will happen to change this Goldilocks environment and it will force the hand of the Fed” to change policy, he said. “It might be the dollar going to new lows and inflation picking up.”- Advertisement – Cooperman, a major philanthropist and son of a Bronx plumber, said on CNBC on Election Day that he cast his ballot for Biden in the presidential race, saying he “voted my values and not my pocketbook.” Back in August, he said he was undecided, citing uncertainty over Biden’s policies and concern for Trump’s divisive demeanor.last_img read more


November 20, 2020 0

Which states could go to a recount and how will it work

first_imgWhile election results from key swing are still trickling in, Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Friday appeared to be inching closer to victory in the 2020 presidential race. But President Donald Trump‘s campaign has already vowed to seek a recount in at least one battleground state, and more states could launch recounts if the races are competitive enough.The Trump campaign has called for a recount in Wisconsin, where NBC News has Biden projected to win, and election officials in Georgia, where Biden has a narrow lead, have said a recount is expected.Requests for recounts could also be filed in other states, such as Arizona, where Biden currently holds a slim lead, and possibly even Pennsylvania, a must-win battleground for Trump.- Advertisement – With races still too close to call in a handful of states, the former vice president holds 253 electoral votes, NBC News’ projections show. He needs just 17 more votes to win the election, and has multiple paths available to reach that threshold. Trump, on the other hand, trails Biden with 214 votes and would need to pick up most of the remaining states to win, according to NBC. Election workers count ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC), in Phoenix, Arizona, November 6, 2020.Jim Urquhart | Reuters – Advertisement – If recounts do occur, “I’m very skeptical” that they will change any results, Kollman said.By their nature, recounts can also be fraught with controversy — especially when one campaign is launching allegations of voter fraud and filing lawsuits that could affect the counting process.Trump and his campaign surrogates have claimed, without providing evidence, that various forms of electoral fraud have been committed in numerous states. The campaign has filed lawsuits to temporarily halt vote-counting in multiple states, including Pennsylvania and Michigan. Some of them have already been dismissed.“I can’t think of any situation where a major presidential candidate has behaved in this way,” Kollman said. “It’s a dangerous strategy and a damaging strategy for our civic culture.”Here are the rules for recounts in the most competitive states of the presidential election:GeorgiaBiden overtook Trump’s lead in the Peach State early Friday morning, and currently holds a slight edge of fewer than 1,600 ballots, with 99% of the expected vote already counted, according to NBC.Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said Friday that “with a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia.”While a razor-thin race in Georgia cannot trigger an automatic recount, the losing candidate is allowed to request a recount if they lost an election by less than 0.5% of the total votes. That request can only be made to the secretary of state within two business days after the election results are certified, which must be done by Nov. 20.The secretary of state can also order a recount of ballots if he or she believes that errors have been made.WisconsinBiden was projected on Wednesday to win Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes, according to NBC. On Friday, with 99% of Wisconsin’s expected vote in, Biden led Trump by more than 20,000 votes.Nevertheless, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said that the president plans to request a formal recount.“The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so,” Stepien said in a statement Wednesday, before NBC had made its call for Biden.Under Wisconsin law, an “aggrieved” candidate can request a recount if they received within 1% of the winner’s vote total. The loser can file a petition for a recount no later than 5 p.m. on the first business day after the state election commission has received final results from all counties. Those counties have until Nov. 17 to hand in their final tallies.The Trump campaign would also have to pay the state for the cost of conducting the recount. It could total millions of dollars.PennsylvaniaPennsylvania’s secretary of state, Democrat Kathy Boockvar, must order a recount if there’s a difference of 0.5% or less between the winner and the loser.A recount can also be triggered if at least three voters in each county allege errors or discrepancies in the count.The Trump campaign, including the president, have zeroed in on the Keystone State, filing multiple lawsuits related to the ballot-counting process and issuing sweeping allegations of fraud without providing evidence.Pennsylvania has 20 electoral votes. On Friday afternoon, Biden was ahead of Trump by more than 14,000 votes, with additional batches expected to favor him as they come in.If Biden wins Pennsylvania, he wins the presidency.ArizonaA recount is required in Arizona when the margin between two candidates is within 0.1% of the total number of votes cast.Trump on Friday afternoon was well outside of that range, having gained 48.6% of the vote compared with 49.9% of the state for Biden, according to NBC.But Biden’s lead has been slowly shrinking in the state, and the Trump campaign has maintained that they expect the president will come out on top. Recounts can only be initiated under certain circumstances, and the rules vary from state to state. Regardless of how they’re conducted, recounts rarely change the outcome of a race: Only three statewide general elections have been reversed after a recount since 2000, according to a report from FairVote that looked at 5,778 such races.“Statewide recounts almost never overturn more than a few hundred votes,” said Ken Kollman, professor of political science at the University of Michigan.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more


November 20, 2020 0

Delaware’s mask mandate, stay-at-home order suppressed coronavirus transmission, CDC study finds

first_imgSearch quotes, news & videos Delaware’s mask mandate, stay-at-home order suppressed coronavirus transmission, CDC study finds last_img


November 20, 2020 0

RNC shifting Wisconsin staff to Georgia Senate battle

first_imgTrump campaign manager Bill Stepien said last week that the operation would seek a recount in Wisconsin. Joe Biden is the apparent winner of the Midwestern swing state, according to NBC News’ projection. He has also won the overall presidential election, according to calls by NBC and other outlets.“There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results,” Stepien said in a statement last week, without presenting any evidence for his claims. “The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so.”The campaign and RNC did not return a request for comment on what the partial withdrawal from the state means for their recount efforts. The Republican National Committee has decided to several field staffers in Wisconsin to Georgia as that state gears up for at least one U.S. Senate runoff election in January.President Donald Trump’s campaign is seeking a recount in Wisconsin.The RNC told field staffers under the Trump Victory committee that at least two dozen of their over 100-member field staff in the Badger State will be heading to the Peach State, according to a Republican Wisconsin campaign official aware of the plans. The Trump Victory committee is a joint operation between the Trump campaign and RNC.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – This person told CNBC that the move comes as the RNC is looking to put resources toward what could be two Senate runoffs set to take place in January. NBC News projected that the race between Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and and Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock will go to a runoff. That contest is expected to cost well over $100 million.The other race in the state between Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., and Democrat Jon Ossoff has yet to be called by NBC News.Some Trump Victory field staff will remain in Wisconsin, while others will be losing their temporary positions, this person added. Those going to Georgia will be performing door-knocking and other field duties for the Senate contest.- Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement – U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally at Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, Wisconsin, October 30, 2020.Carlos Barria | Reuterslast_img read more


November 20, 2020 0

Disney Plus blows past expectations for its first year with 73.7 million subscribers

first_img– Advertisement – It’s worth noting that some of those subscribers arrived at the service through bundles or one-time promotions, but Disney doesn’t break out those numbers. Still, subscribers flocked to Disney right off the bat: 10 million people signed up within the first day. In its first operating quarter, the service secured 26.5 million subscribers.And it only shot up from there, as the Covid-19 pandemic kept viewers indoors — Disney+ jumped from 33.5 million subscribers in its second quarter to 57.5 million by its third quarter.The company had its doubters: Some analysts predicted prelaunch that the service wouldn’t reach even 20 million subscribers by the end of 2020. But analysts widely and quickly changed their tune since the service’s launch.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The Mandalorian and the Child on Disney+’s “The Mandalorian.”Disney Morgan Stanley on Thursday morning raised its streaming subscription estimates to 230 million by the end of 2025, and MoffettNathanson analysts in October upped their forecast to nearly 160 million subs worldwide by 2024.“We expect Disney to further lean into streaming, implying higher spend and more original content that moves more quickly to its DTC platforms,” Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne said in a note to investors Thursday.The strong subscriber numbers come as Disney pushes heavily into its streaming service. The company in October announced that it was restructuring its media and entertainment divisions, centralizing its media businesses into a single organization that will be responsible for content distribution, ad sales and Disney+.“We are tilting the scale pretty dramatically [toward streaming],” Disney CEO Bob Chapek told CNBC at the time.Disney’s next step? Proving to investors that it can retain subscribers as well as it can bring them in.Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of Universal Studios and CNBC.Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube. It’s been exactly a year since Disney+ launched, and the streaming service has far outperformed expectations.Disney announced Thursday that its platform surpassed 73.7 million subscribers. It’s remarkable growth considering Disney’s goal, at its launch, was to reach 60 million to 90 million subscriptions by 2024.Just a year in, and Disney+ is quickly creeping up on Netflix, which reported more than 195 million subscribers in its most recent quarter. Disney also joined the streaming wars at roughly the same time as Apple and a few months before Comcast‘s NBCUniversal. Apple has yet to release subscription numbers for Apple TV+. NBCUniversal’s Peacock reported nearly 22 million sign-ups as of October, up 12 million from its July report. – Advertisement –last_img read more


November 20, 2020 0

The Island Movement initiative seeks to extend the deadline for drafting the Islands Act

first_imgInitiative Island movement – platforma za održivi i odgovoran razvoj hrvatskih otoka, poslala je objavu za medije na temu donošenja novog Zakona o otocima. Kako ističu, Pokret otoka je uključen u radnu skupinu za izradu Zakona o otocima, ali kako ističu u priopćenju, smatraju kako se žuri s donošenjem Zakona koji je u svom sadržaju manjkav i zapravo gori od postojećeg.The announcement of the Island Movement initiative is transmitted in its entirety:Since April 2017, we have been participating in the working group for drafting the Law on Islands and, together with other experts, point out the complexity of defining the future development of islands and the need to approach this topic more systematically and with greater understanding of specific needs of islands and islanders. Of the members of the working group, we are actually the only relevant voice of the islanders who know the real situation on the ground and the different positions and levels of development, as well as the needs of the island. Namely, despite the similar island characteristics, our islands are very different in terms of management, wealth of own resources and the number of permanent residents.Nakon svega nekoliko sastanka Radne skupine moramo istaknuti da smo uspostavili zaista kvalitetnu komunikaciju s članovima Ministarstva nadležnih za otoke no ipak čini se da se odluka o što bržem donošenju Zakona donosi negdje drugdje. Sukladno najavi ministrice Žalac da će se Zakon o otocima staviti na javno savjetovanje već ovaj tjedan mišljenja smo da prijedlog Zakona o Otocima u ovakvom obliku spreman. U cjelini prijedlog Zakona ne osigurava ne osigurava jednake uvjete života i razvoja otočnog stanovništva s onima koje imaju ostali građani RH, niti aktivni dvosmjerni vertikalni pristup svih razina vlasti. U ovakvom obliku osigurava se samo pristup „od vrha prema dolje“, a isključuje svako odlučivanje otočnih JLS-ova i drugih subjekata otočnog razvoja (prije svega sektora civilnog društva i zainteresirane javnosti) u odlučivanju i usmjeravanju otočne politike na svim razinama.  Pojedine odredbe nisu do kraja definirane, nacrt ostavlja dojam nedovršenosti i mišljenja smo kako u ovakvom obliku nikako nije spreman za e-savjetovanje već mu je potrebna dodatna, stručna i konstruktivnija dorada. Između zamišljenog roka za donošenje ovog Zakona te donošenja kvalitetnog zakona koji će dugoročno biti primjenjiv i provediv predlažemo da se ne brza s donošenjem ovog Zakona te pruži dodatan prostor za njegovu razradu. Nadalje u odnosu na postojeći Zakon o Otocima, ovaj nacrt ostavlja dojam nedorečenosti i potpune pojednostavljenosti odredbi koje su većinom jako općenito formulirane. Novi Zakon o Otocima je, u odnosu na postojeći, trebao ispraviti njegov najveći nedostatak – nije se provodio u dijelu odredbi niti je osigurao mehanizme provedbe. Ovaj prijedlog Zakona ide čak i korak dalje: smanjuje obvezujuće odredbe države te izostavlja ugrađivanje kontrolnih mehanizama. Prije svega se ova primjedba odnosi na donošenje programsko-planske dokumentacije gdje su predviđena samo dva dokumenta sa nacionalne razine, bez vremenskog roka za izradu i donošenje, bez planova/programa niže razine (koji nužno i ne moraju biti definirani), ali bez ikakve obveze nižih razina na provođenje ili izvještavanje.We must especially point out that the problem of islands with a special regional structure, which act as local committees under the management of a nearby mainland town, has not been solved in any way, ie they remain unprotected under this proposal. In good faith, we start from the fact that each LGU that has islands in its composition as local committees and will take care of its territory and citizens living in these local committees, however, the reality is quite different and it is usually due to lack of funds in budgets. it saves on those who are few, who are not loud enough and do not represent a significant electorate. We conclude that the islands are unfortunately not given the necessary care and attention and are not understood as an area with special development specifics, and that this Act has done absolutely nothing to improve the situation but reversely centralizes the adoption of development strategies and operational plans without taking tom almost no expertise and opinion of the people who really live on the islands.If the Ministry ignores our request to extend the deadline for drafting the Islands Act and further refine it, we invite all citizens, islanders, all who spend their summers on the islands or consume them in any other way to participate with us in additional amendments to the Act. through e-counseling as well as the activities we intend to undertake to make the voice, needs and demands of the islanders heard and respected.Prilog: e-Savjetovanje – DRAFT PROPOSED STATEMENT ON THE IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF REGULATIONS ZA DRAFT LAW ON ISLANDSlast_img read more


November 18, 2020 0

Ognjen Bagatin, Polyclinic Bagatin: Health tourism can and must be one of the solutions in terms of seasonality

first_imgIn the past month, the Bagatin Polyclinic has received two foreign awards and recognitions for two activities, dental and dermatology. In the great competition of over 290 dental clinics around the world, the Dental Center of the Bagatin Polyclinic received the award in the most demanding category – complete jaw reconstruction. The annual award is given by the American platform ‘Dental Implants Friends’ and thus pays tribute to the achievements of dental clinics and their top dentists.Only a week later, the Bagatin Polyclinic was named the leading dermatology clinic in Europe according to the latest analysis of European dermatology clinics by the Global Clinic Rating – an international accreditation body for medical institutions. The overall international clinical reputation of the Bagatin Polyclinic for 2018 was rated very high at 4.55, which places it at the very top of clinics in Europe.  “This indicates an increasing health standard throughout Europe, but also in Croatia!” What makes me even happier is the fact that as many as 10 clinics from Zagreb are included in the top 3 clinics in Europe, and we also have the Poliderma Polyclinic and the Nola Polyclinic. ” Ognjen Bagatin, from the Bagatin Polyclinic, proudly points out.The latest awards of the Bagatin Polyclinic are just another in a series of successes of our polyclinics, specialized hospitals, surgeries, spas and other health institutions in the more than competitive European market and proof that it is high time to start seriously and strategically dealing with health tourism. When if not now when we are in focus and in trend as a desirable tourist destination.The above-mentioned recognitions were the reason for the conversation with Ognjen Bagatin from the Bagatin Polyclinic, in which we talked about all the challenges, potentials, the current situation and further development of health tourism in Croatia.The potential of health tourism has been there for years, and now Croatia has excellent, professional and highly professional institutions, such as the Bagatin Polyclinic, and it is the basis and the main base – professional, certified health institutions. But the institutions themselves are not health tourism, do we need a complete tourist product? What is the real situation in health tourism in Croatia?We are very optimistic when it comes to the future of medical and health tourism in Croatia. Given that the annual growth at the global level in this branch of tourism is 15-20%, part of the domino effect and impact must be felt in our country. According to some calculations and forecasts, and some of them confirmed by our Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli, the Croatian tourism industry can expect one billion euros in revenues from this branch of tourism, 400 million euros in investments and about 1500 additional jobs. Looking at the European level, it is the most propulsive branch of selective tourism because 15% of all trips are motivated by health reasons – 203 million Europeans travel annually. A total of 115 billion euros is spent annually on these trips.In Croatia, tourism with 19.6% has the largest share in GDP, in that share is currently only about 300 million euros in revenues from health services in tourism, which is less than 3% in Croatian tourism revenues. The strategic goal is to raise that share to 10%, while the world average is currently around 15%.BUT, ALL THIS WILL HAPPEN ONLY IF CROATIA MANAGES TO ADDITIONALLY DEVELOP HEALTH TOURISM AND MAKE IT GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE, AND THAT MEANS JUST TO PROVIDE A COMPLETED TOURIST BAG We providers cannot do it alone, we need the help of the state. Amendments to the law that would “facilitate” our work, by allocating funds for the purpose of advertising and joint foreign presentations, co-financing fam trips and visits of foreign delegations. The costs are extremely high and so far we have mostly financed them from our own budgets. None of us here are hungry only for our own success, we do it for the benefit of the development of the industry, believe me, there are enough clients for all of us. But the shift is there. For the first time so far, health tourism as a strategically important branch of tourism has received its budget and funds have been allocated primarily for advertising. That is still not enough, but it seems that our voice, I mean us providers, is finally being heard, so at least something has started to happen.Also, as of January 1, there have been changes in the law on the provision of services in tourism. These changes actually allow health care providers to provide services directly, ie offer packages, without additional administration and registration of companies or companies. They include, in addition to their health services, the service of travel, accommodation and all additional activities that the patient wishes during his stay in the destination – so we can offer a complete tourist product.There are a lot of excellent, professional, certified clinics that have become centers of excellence and can be compared to the world’s strongest clinics. Special hospitals Svjetlost and Sv. Katarina, Akromion Polyclinic, Rident Polyclinic, Smile Polyclinic, Bagatin Polyclinic, Lege Artis… are just some of the Croatian flagships that have so far focused all their efforts and investments on a long-term vision of opening foreign markets and establishing Croatia as a destination for health tourism.Do we have health tourism in Croatia? Somehow it all comes down to the own efforts of all the individual clinics, which themselves invest resources to offer tourists the whole package, which is neither logical nor natural? Healthcare facilities need to be what they are and the best at it, and not worry about what the guest will be doing 7 days in the destination? This is the job of DMC agencies, Tourist Boards, the Croatian Tourist Board and the Ministry of Tourism.Few people today know that the foundations of health tourism in Croatia in the form of organized tourism were laid back in 1686 with the founding of the Hygienic Society on the island of Hvar. At that time, the greatest emphasis was on spa tourism.Furthermore, Istria and Kvarner are known for dental tourism with a tradition of almost thirty years. Back in the XNUMXs, they recognized the strategic advantage of the proximity of Italy and that market, which was the main “driver” for the beginning of the arrival of Italians for treatment in Croatia. The emphasis was on northern Italy then, but it is still today. The second and equally important driver was the price, which is drastically lower in Croatia than the competition in Italy. And third, and equally important that despite growth and lower prices quality has never been compromised. The knowledge, specialty of doctors and their education, as well as the materials used in the work are comparable to those already “stereotypically” of good quality from Western countries.Regarding the packages you mention, yes, that’s true. We have experienced first hand what a bad system means when it comes to a complete product and offering it to foreign clients. We researched, tried and learned from case to case what our clients coming from abroad would like to do, see, explore, eat during their stay in Zagreb and Croatia, if of course their recovery allows it. While learning, we entered into partnerships with travel agencies, hotels, restaurants so that we could provide our clients with a top service at any time, equal to the one we provide in our Polyclinic. It always meant a lot of administration, a lot of steps that slowed us down in excellence but we succeeded. Changing the law on the provision of services in tourism is actually something that will facilitate all these processes, but we now have a long period ahead of us to systematically put it into operation and communicate in the right way.There is content, for everyone at will, now we just need to work smartly and persistently to present ourselves that way – we providers together with state institutions that should be our mainstay in such ventures.What are the specific problems and challenges to start the whole story about health tourism from the “dead point”? Somehow we all know everything, it is told through various associations, but everything stands or goes very, very slowly, too slowly in today’s business environment? You are at a high level of performance and standards, but the system is far below. And yet, without a rounded story and a tourism product, regardless of your performance, if there is no synergy there is no health tourism either?The biggest challenge, here as everywhere else when it comes to state aid, is finances. The funds allocated for the development of this branch of tourism by the state and institutions are very small, I would dare say that they are less than the funds allocated by the Bagatin Polyclinic from its turnover for regular advertising, campaigns and other marketing activities only for the domestic market. Associations as such are a positive thing and the benefits are really numerous. Joint advertising, joint appearance at fairs and conferences for health tourism, cost reduction when organizing family trips for foreign facilitators, sharing managerial knowledge among members, development of marketing expertise and strategy, joint and individual growth and development and, of course, providing even better and better services to all our clients. clients. But let us not forget again that the associations, too, are based on the initiatives of private clinics and hospitals. The membership fees we give to associations in order to maintain their survival are too small to talk about big projects and activities.WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BE ALONE FOR A LONG TIME, WE NEED THE STATE AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO HELP US BECAUSE ONLY TOGETHER CAN WE DO GREAT THINGS. IN EVERY FOREIGN CONTACT, WE PROMOTE THE ENTIRE DESTINATION BECAUSE IT MAKES NO SENSE TO SELL THE SERVICE WITHOUT A DESTINATION, WE ALWAYS PUSH THE DESTINATION IN PARALLEL WITH OUR SERVICE – OGNJEN BAGATINHealth / medical tourism is a specific branch of year-round tourism because, unlike some other segments in tourism that are sold exclusively through the destination, medical tourism works in a way that the client buys the service, in this case by medical and health care providers. that way he sells the destination.There are numerous cases and success stories of other countries where, with great state support and reforms, health tourism systems have developed, systems from which the community “lives”. Just look at the example of one Malaysia or Turkey where states have established councils (Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council and Turkish Healthcare Travel Council). Since their founding, they have worked exclusively on the strategic development of their health tourism offer and on building the profile of countries that are today, according to numerous recognitions and awards, globally preferred destinations for health tourism of world standards. Their projections for 2018 are to generate RM1.5bil in medical / health tourism spending in Malaysia, or $ 7,5 billion in Turkey.Furthermore, in Poland, the medical tourism promotion program is an initiative of the Ministry of Economy and is funded by European Union funds as part of the project “Promotion of the Polish economy in international markets.” The financial support of the Ministry covers 75% of the total costs, while the health institution itself must finance 25% of the costs. Incorporated into the program is the understanding of the need to promote Poland as a health destination because it is needed to attract patients from abroad. The costs of implementing each three-year promotion program in the period from 2016 to 2019 amount to € 1.163.000,00.Latvia, for example, has signed a contract with Central Finance and Contracting Agency on the implementation of a project co-financed by the European Union. The total budget of this project is € 485,874.42, of which the European Regional Development Fund finances 85% while the private sector finances the remaining 15% of the costs. What is certainly important to note is that the development of health tourism would certainly affect the retention of medical staff in Croatia, which is already lacking.Health tourism, as well as other forms of tourism, without the synergy of all participants in the chain and without a strategic and complete tourism product cannot be developed in a quality and long-term manner. Is Croatia recognized as a brand and does it have value and trust in the European market for health tourism?The first thing we need to work on is branding Croatia and that must be the focus of the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian Tourist Board. I’m glad it started in 2017 and I hope the advertising budgets will be higher with the time ahead. We cannot stress enough the role of the private and public sector and the fact that we need the support of key public and state institutions for all major initiatives and projects that will ultimately lead to faster development of health tourism in Croatia. Legal provisions, which include strategic and business-friendly visa regimes, taxation and infrastructure investment, are contributing to the growing growth of health tourism. According to the Vision 2020, the Government of the Republic of Croatia is on a very well-established path, but no country, including Croatia, can afford to develop this segment by the method of trial and error.Last year, the Croatian National Tourist Board presented a new website for health tourism that connects private and public sector initiatives with our potential foreign clients. Croatia is increasingly positioning itself as a top destination for tourism in general, and the public sector has a major role to play in positioning Croatia as one of the leading Mediterranean destinations for medical travelers. The Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Health, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, the Croatian Tourist Board, the Zagreb Tourist Board and medical clusters (Kvarner, Zagreb and Osijek) are all working together on this important vision – branding and positioning Croatia as a leading Mediterranean destination for medical travelers.We are currently regionally known for dental services and we need to work on that because the road has already been built, and to position Croatia as an excellent health / medical destination for all other branches of health and medicine because we can offer equally good service and standards at the world level.Polyclinic BagatinWe are constantly talking about extending the season, ie the problem of seasonality, can health tourism be one of the solutions? The implications are certainly multiplying throughout this chain? What is your specific experience on this topic?Health tourism can be and tends to become the main solution to this problem. The challenges are numerous, such as the choice of markets, the budget for those same markets (because in the markets we want to go to and advertising is more expensive) and the so-called. ‘visa regime’ for certain countries (Russia, Middle East, etc.). One of the biggest challenges is the fact that we are not yet an established destination for health tourism and we need the help of the Croatian Tourist Board and the Ministry of Tourism. Through advertising and branding Croatia as a health destination, we would position Croatia as a top destination for health tourism and thus help private clinics that are already advertising abroad that their money is worth more. And when the number of clients increases, then there will be higher investments that directly affect GDP growth. You yourself know that from 2009 to 2016, Croatia had a negative growth rate of -1%. Health tourism can and must be one of many generators of investment and growth in Croatia and a solution in terms of seasonality.Should we force the certification and accreditation of health care institutions so that they can deal with health tourism at all? Because one bad and unprofessional clinic can collapse the whole market because it is primarily about patient trust.Certificates and accreditations are by no means a prerequisite, but when you work exclusively with people they mean very, very much – especially in terms of the trust of clients coming from abroad. Therefore, my answer is one big ‘yes’ to certifications and accreditations. Thanks to the ISO 9001: 2015 certificate we have obtained, we have created standards with protocols and procedures for every step in caring for foreign clients, from the first contact with our clinic to care after the procedure and monitoring the entire process. The project team consisting of 12 representatives of the quality department went through: 75 records, 49 protocols, 124 work instructions, 165 forms and 5 regulations. Our goal is to improve these figures on a daily basis in order to correspond to the real situation in the operational and strategic activities of our Polyclinic.We are recognized as the leading clinic for plastic surgery, dentistry and dermatology in Croatia, and last year’s IMTJ (International Medical Travel Journal) award for “Best International Clinic for Aesthetic Surgery” says a lot. This year we applied for four applications for four different categories where we have already been presented as finalists in three categories, which is a huge value for us. According to Deloitte, we are one of the fastest growing small and medium enterprises in the medical sector in the region, and after 23 years of successful business in two locations in Zagreb, at the beginning of next year Polyclinic Bagatin opens its doors in the heart of Dalmatia, Split. We are proud holders of the Global Clinic Rating recognition of above-average service standards. GCR is an international accreditation body that evaluates medical institutions based on 4 criteria: expertise of staff, technological equipment and quality of medical and non-medical units, range and quality of medical and non-medical procedures and services, and criticism and evaluation of patients on independent websites. What I would certainly especially highlight is the Bagatin Academy, a five-year project to develop soft skills in healthcare. Once a month we have lectures and seminars with more than 50 coaches who are the best in Croatia in the field of leadership, soft skills and communication. Continuing education is the foundation and foundation of our corporate culture.The next step for us is accreditation by some of the leading accreditation companies in the world such as AACI and JCI. This is the right direction because it raises the quality standard in the institution and raises its own credibility in the market, which in turn further attracts potential international partners and clients to the clinic.COMMENT Goran Rihelj, gl. editor HrTurizam.hr / Health tourism – an opportunity we must not missPhoto: HTZThe potential of health tourism has been there for years, and now Croatia has excellent, professional and highly professional institutions, but without a strategic and complete tourist product there will still not be much progress. We have too late coast and climate, top specialized health facilities, excellent connections, ie accessibility, as well as amazing tourist stories – we just have to pack them nicely into a rounded tourist product and tell our guests the story.On the other hand, entrepreneurs seem to be shouting loudly and sending an appeal to tourist institutions to get involved and for health tourism to become part of the integrated Croatian tourist offer. How long do we have to wait for something to really move from a standstill? The system is there for us, not the other way around. If we draw a parallel with the private sector, ie the market and the operability of the system, everything is clear to us. The slowness and inertia of the system costs us, everyone loses money because there is no development, and the competition is moving forward. This has nothing to do with politics, but exclusively with the market.Health tourism is found as one of the focuses Master plan for tourism development until 2020. A lot of promising and optimistic strategies and plans have been listed, but unfortunately, there are still no concrete and real market shifts in the market. Here we are talking exclusively about strategic development.I emphasize once again and appeal to the close cooperation of the Tourist Board and the Ministry of Tourism with the clinics. They must complete the whole cycle, provide framework guidelines, encourage and develop the platform and, ultimately, brand Croatia as a top destination for health tourism and at the same time design content for their tourists – and our patients. On the other hand, we will continue to invest all our efforts and resources in bringing in new patients (their tourists) to whom we will provide the highest quality service. I would also mention that these patients / clients / tourists come in the pre-season as well as in the sub-season, and to generate higher consumption.We live in the 21st century where change is getting faster and faster, where there is strong competition, where it is getting harder and harder to stand out and get attention. We need to ‘start’, move the focus away from the sun, the sea and the counting of overnight stays, and stop giving priority to competition in the environment. It’s all up to us, we have it all, and I sincerely hope we know how to harness our potential in health tourism.We are constantly talking about potentials, it is time to concretize those potentials. Right now and now when Croatian tourism is a trend in the focus of global tourists and the media. Health tourism is an opportunity we must not give up.last_img read more


November 18, 2020 0

In the first eight months, there was an increase in overnight stays and arrivals

first_imgAccording to the data of the eVisitor system, which contains tourist traffic realized in commercial and non-commercial facilities and nautical charter (eCrew system), in Croatia in the period  from January to the end of August, 15,7 million arrivals (+ 5%) and 88,5 million overnight stays (+ 4%) were realized.Out of that, foreign tourists realized 14 million arrivals (+ 5%) and 78,2 million overnight stays (+ 4%), while domestic tourists also recorded increases in arrivals by 8% and in overnight stays by 6%.  During the eight months, most overnight stays were realized in Istria (24 million), while in the Split-Dalmatia County 16,6 million overnight stays were realized, ie 16,2 million overnight stays in Kvarner. They are followed by Zadar County with 12,5 million overnight stays and Dubrovnik-Neretva County with 7 million overnight stays. In Šibenik-Knin County, 6,1 million overnight stays were realized, in Lika-Senj County 2,9 million overnight stays, while in Zagreb 1,6 million overnight stays were realized. On the continent, not including Zagreb, there were 774.000 arrivals (+ 9%) and 1,6 million overnight stays (+ 11%), and looking at the counties, most overnight stays were realized in Karlovac (495.000), Krapina-Zagorje (239.000), Međimurje (134.000), Zagreb County (133.000) and Osijek-Baranja County (126.000).”At the end of the year, the preparation of the Tourist Satellite Balance will be completed, so we will have real indicators of the economic effects of tourism on the economy. I hope that in the public space we will stop counting arrivals and overnight stays which cannot be a measure of success because the data on arrivals do not speak about the realized value obtained with them, and the realized overnight stays do not provide data on daily tourist demand. Our eVisitor system shows a positive growth trend in tourist arrivals and overnight stays since the beginning of the year, and outside the summer months, but, I repeat, even more important is the growth of tourism revenues, and we know that in the first quarter we achieved an increase of 14 percent period last year. All this is the result of a well-thought-out tourism policy based on an integrated tourism product, quality raising and an offer that is innovative and in line with the demand in a dynamic and never more challenging tourism market. We do not want mass and we are developing in accordance with our strategy aimed at the sustainability of tourismSaid Tourism Minister Gary Cappelli.At the national level, during the first eight months, most overnight stays were made from the markets of Germany (17 million), Slovenia (9,3 million), Austria (6,3 million), Poland (5,6 million) and the Czech Republic (4,8 million). , and looking at the accommodation segment, most overnight stays were realized in  in households (33,3 million) and in hotels (19 million) and camps (16,4 million).Top destinations in the first seven months according to the criteria of realized overnight stays are Rovinj, Dubrovnik, Poreč, Medulin and Split. “During August, we successfully maintained the positive trends and the projected growth of tourist traffic. What makes us especially happy are the very good announcements for the rest of the tourist year, which confirms the ever-improving market position of Croatia in the pre- and post-season periods. Until the end of September, we are intensively conducting campaigns in eleven key world markets focused on advertising and promoting nautical and cultural tourism, gastronomy and active holidays through adventure, sports and cycling, and in early October on the markets of Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Great Britain and Switzerland. we conduct online and print health tourism campaignsSaid the director of the Croatian Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić.In August, there were 3 percent more arrivalsIn August, there were 4,6 million arrivals and 32,1 million overnight stays in Croatia, which is an increase of 2017% in arrivals and 3% in overnight stays compared to August 1. In the same month, the highest number of overnight stays was realized in Istria (8,5 million), in Kvarner (6,1 million) and in the Split-Dalmatia County (6 million). They are followed by Zadar County with 4,9 million overnight stays, Šibenik-Knin County with 2,4 million overnight stays, Dubrovnik-Neretva County with 2,2 million overnight stays, Lika-Senj County with 1,1 million overnight stays and Zagreb with 280.000 overnight stays. In August, there were 176.000 arrivals (+ 11%) and 395.000 overnight stays (+ 25%) on the continent, of which the highest number of overnight stays was in Karlovac (200.000), Krapina-Zagorje (44.000), Zagreb (28.000), Međimurje (27.000) and Osijek-Baranja County (18.000).last_img read more


November 18, 2020 0

Branding of Eco family accommodation in Istria ”Istra ecoxperience – All eco from Istria ”

first_imgAttachment: Brochure ”Istria ecoxperience – All eco from Istria ” The aim of the brochure is to promote the sustainable development of tourism, information on existing eco-friendly content in Istria, monitoring trends in the world, and raising awareness of the importance of ecology and networking of stakeholders in the ecological offer in Istria.  “Even then, we recognized the importance of encouraging organic agriculture, as well as eco-accommodation, and so we acted. In cooperation with cities and municipalities, we encouraged our farmers, but also renters, thus strengthening the synergy between agriculture and tourism”, Said the prefect Flego, announcing that the County will continue to encourage sustainability through concrete measures and activities and continue to develop Istria as a BIO region. In addition to the 11 facilities that received the certificate last year, fifteen new certificates were awarded to the following facilities: Zatka; Lavarino Royal; CasaMenta; 4 Seasons House; Apartment Nik; Villa Aria; Home & Apartments Sabina; Villa Deep Blue; Villa Benić; Villa Ana; Villa Nina; Villa Gelci; Veli Kus; Villa Kabola and Villa Moncalvo. In 2014, the County of Istria clearly determined which way it wanted to go, and the development guidelines were defined in the Sustainable Development Strategy – the Green Plan of Istria, the first of its kind in Croatia, and then in the County Development Strategy. Eco Domus is intended for small tourist accommodation facilities with a capacity of up to 30 beds that operate throughout the year, and its goal is to encourage private renters to operate in accordance with the principles of sustainable development and sustainable tourism.  Eco Domus – branding of family accommodation  In the Educational Gastronomic Center of Istria, on Gortanov brijeg near Pazin, the brochure “Istra ecoxperience – All eco from Istria” was presented, and on that occasion he awarded fifteen new Eco Domus certificates to eco friendly accommodation facilities from Istria.center_img “The brochure is intended for the domicile population who want to awaken ecological awareness and encourage ecological thinking, but also to introduce tourists to such an offer in Istria. We believe that this is a quality material that will adequately promote and provide a broader perspective of Istria as a “green”, eco-friendly destination., said the County Head of Tourism Nada Prodan Mraković. As part of the presentation of the new brochure, it also awarded fifteen new Eco Domus certificates to eco-friendly accommodation facilities from Istria. The brochure is multilingual, ie two variants were made: Croatian-English and Italian-German, printed on ecological paper, and designed by Judge Sonda, who also designed the title of the brochure “Istria ecoxperience – All eco from Istria.”  Branding Istria as a BIO region We would like to remind you that a new public call for inclusion in the Eco Domus program has been published at the moment, and all additional information, criteria and forms for inclusion in the program are available on the official website of the Istrian County. More in attached. Jpublic invitation to join the Eco Domus programlast_img read more


November 18, 2020 0