Croatia is still not sufficiently recognizable in health tourism

first_imgHotel “Omorika” in Crikvenica on Thursday, November 16, 2017, was a meeting place of health, tourism and knowledge. The reason for this was the fifth CIHT (Crikvenica International Health Tourism) conference, held in the organization of the Tourist Board of the City of Crikvenica and the co-organization of the Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster and Thalassotherapy Crikvenica.This year’s international conference gathered an enviable and record number of participants, about 150 of them, from Croatia, the USA, China, Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Russia and Slovenia. In the introductory speech, the director of the Crikvenica Tourist Board, Marijana Biondić, introduced the audience to the Crikvenica Riviera, the best health destination in Croatia in 2017. Interesting and educational presentations by lecturers from Croatia, USA, China, Ukraine, Poland, Russia and Germany presented current trends in the business world and medicine and provided answers to various questions. Many of them reiterated the importance of connecting everyone whose activities are related to health tourism as quickly, efficiently and with quality as possible, as well as the necessity of constant investment in human resources and promotion.There was talk about patients’ expectations, experiences from different world markets, concrete examples for new opportunities for cooperation in the field of health tourism (for example, cooperation between Croatia and Russia), but also successful international cooperation, such as between the Chinese Houliping TCM Hospital Group and Croatian. How to increase your profits by knowing your clients, what are the possible methods of financing health tourism, how does a satisfied client become an ambassador, what is a virtual 360 and Healing Hotels of the World?The central part of the conference was a round table on “Health tourism – yesterday, today, tomorrow”, which was attended by Kristjan Staničić, Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, Denis Kovačić, Deputy Minister of Health, Vladimir Mozetič, President of the Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster, Nevenka Kovač , director of the Polyclinic “Medico” and Vlasta Brozičević, head of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Polyclinic “Terme Selce”. A short introduction was made by Alfred Franković, manager of the Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster, and then a dynamic discussion began. Among other things, issues related to the proposal of the new Law on Health Care are open, primarily the position of health tourism and the need for compliance with the Law on the provision of tourism services. Assistant Minister of Health Denis Kovačić said that more intensive cooperation between the two key ministries – tourism and health – has finally begun, legislation is being harmonized and preconditions are being created so that entities can operate normally and offer their services on the market.Director of the Croatian Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić emphasized that the intensive development of health tourism is finally supported and, after the long-awaited legal framework, its strengthening and expansion is expected, as well as Croatia’s positioning on the world health tourism map. Emphasizing that Kvarner is the flagship of health tourism in our country, Director Staničić praised the successful work and initiative of private clinics, such as Terme Selce. It was said several times during the discussion that Croatia is still not sufficiently recognizable in health tourism, regardless of the comparative advantages and rich tradition, and that more should be invested in the promotion and intensification of the presentation of health tourism. The participants also agreed that the strengthening of health tourism in Croatia can have a significant impact on the decline of seasonality and increase income, and that in the development and promotion of this selective type of tourism, other segments are extremely important, such as outdoor, sports, gastronomy, cultural and historical sights… In the concluding part, it was repeated that positive changes are visible, that health tourism has finally started to gain in importance in terms of legislation that is a necessary prerequisite for further development and growth.Also, it is especially important to efficiently and quickly connect, network and cooperate all those involved in the “chain” of health tourism – from the creators of the service, who must constantly invest in quality, while maintaining authenticity and introducing modern world trends, through the legislator who must provide adequate financial and logistical support to those whose main role is the intensive promotion of Croatian health tourism.


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