Revenues from tourism in 2015 grew by 7,6 percent

first_imgAccording to the Croatian National Bank (CNB), in 2015, revenues from tourism from foreign guests amounted to 7 billion and 961 million, which compared to 2014 (7 billion and 401 million euros), represents growth of 7,6 percent, ie EUR 559,5 million.Revenues for personal reasons in that period amounted to 7 billion and 742 million euros and increased by 7,4 percent, or 534,1 million euros compared to 2014. Revenues for business reasons in 2015 for the first time since 2007 increased compared to the previous year in the amount of EUR 219 million, ie an increase of as much as 13 percent or EUR 25 million more than in 2014. year.In the fourth quarter, ie during the months of October, November and December 2015, revenues from tourism amounted to EUR 663,5 million, which is an increase of 622,8 percent compared to the same period last year (EUR 6,4 million), ie an increase of € 40,7 million. Revenues for personal reasons increased by 40,2 million euros, or 6,9 percent. In the fourth quarter of 2015, these revenues amounted to EUR 620,9 million, while for the same period last year they amounted to EUR 580,7 million. Revenues from business arrivals in the fourth quarter amounted to EUR 42,6 million, an increase of 1,2 percent and EUR 0,5 million more than in the same period in 2014.”We are very pleased with the revenues, which reached almost 8 billion euros, which was according to our expectations. With domestic consumption, revenues will amount to at least 9,3 billion euros, which is the best result so far. This is the result of the work of synergistic work of everyone in the tourism sector, and I congratulate them all on the excellent results last year. Given the investments planned this year in both the hotel sector and additional facilities, I believe that 2016 will surpass 2015. “Pointed out the Minister of Tourism Anton Kliman.The share of revenues from travel – tourism in total GDP in 2015 was 18,1 place which represents an increase of 0,9 percentage points compared to 2014. In the fourth quarter, the share of revenues from travel – tourism in total GDP was 6 percent, which compared to the same period in 2014 represents an increase in the share of 0,2 percentage points.Source: Ministry of Tourismlast_img read more

In the first nine months, Zadar County realized over 11 million overnight stays

first_imgIn the period January-September 2016, there were 1.513.077 arrivals and 11.124.696 overnight stays in Zadar County. Out of that, there were 219.600 domestic tourists, and they realized 2.576.460 overnight stays, while there were 1.293.477 foreign tourists who realized 8.548.236 overnight stays. In the first nine months, most guests stayed in private accommodation 685.711, which generated 4.836.388 overnight stays, followed by hotels with 285.951 guests and 1.137.411 overnight stays, and camps with 262.348 guests and 1.912.865 overnight stays.Regarding foreign guests in the period January-September 2016, most guests were from Germany 220.382 guests and 1.864.960 overnight stays, Slovenia 182.560 guests and 1.488.443 overnight stays, Austria 104.118 guests and 683.495 overnight stays, the Czech Republic 98.224 guests and 734.866 overnight stays , Poland 88.250 guests and 634.082 overnight stays, Slovakia 72.723 guests and 532.307 overnight stays, Hungary 67.418 guests and 409.368 overnight stays, Italy with 65.944 guests and 370.728 overnight stays, France 447.868 guests and 209.165 overnight stays and the Netherlands 33.539 guests and 240.099 overnight stays.In September 2016, there were 161.414 arrivals and 1.278.868 overnight stays. Out of that, there were 13.501 domestic tourists, and they realized 292.372 overnight stays. There were 147.913 foreign tourists in September, and they realized 986.496 overnight stays. In September, most guests stayed in private accommodation, 52.686, and 408.596 overnight stays were realized. They are followed by hotels with 47.048 guests and 174.018 overnight stays, camps with 29.784 guests and 233.234 overnight stays.As the eVisitor system was introduced this year, it is not possible to say with certainty what the growth of arrivals and overnight stays is, but one thing is for sure, the current tourist season is a record in all segments, both globally and in Zadar County.last_img read more

The formula for successful tourism product development

first_imgI know most of you don’t like math, so I’ll try to explain the formula for tourism success in words.The thing is very simple, but also complex, but these are all charms of tourism. The greatest power of tourism is that it is not an individual industry, but connects various industries vertically and horizontally. And that is the very essence of tourism, which with the arrival of tourists generates tourist consumption, encourages the development of the local economy and raises the quality of the local community.If we know that, then it is quite clear that investing in the development of tourism is an investment, not a cost. Because by creating the motive of arrival, tourist consumption is generated, which encourages the development of the local economy, raises the quality of the local community and the mentioned consumption returns to the city and the system of tourist communities through taxes and tourist tax.So, investing in tourism is not a cost, but an investment.Take, for example, the city of Zagreb, which is today the best continental tourist destination. In the first seven months, Zagreb recorded a growth of 6 percent in arrivals (a total of 571.562 arrivals) and 15 percent in overnight stays (1.066.553 overnight stays) than in the same period last year. By the way, the city of Zagreb has been recording double-digit growth from year to year for the last six years, and this year the millionth overnight stay was the fastest. This success did not come overnight and only because it is the city of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. It is no coincidence that tourists from South Korea discovered Zagreb this year, nor that Advent in Zagreb was recognized as the best Christmas story in Europe this year. Communication to foreign markets, and especially to South Korea, has been going on for six years, while Advent in Zagreb has been developing for years. The success was generated by many years of strategic work of the Zagreb Tourist Board, and these results are just a product of that work.However, here is a little math, but the positive ones because we are talking about a return on investment, ie earnings 🙂What exactly does this mean when we talk about the numbers – in the first seven months of this year, tourist spending of over 131 million Euros was generated. The amount we get when we multiply the number of nights in the first seven months (1.066.553 nights) by the average daily consumption of tourists of 123 Euros, according to the latest market research TOMAS 2012 Zagreb. Thus, investing in tourism is an investment and the investment is multiplied many times through consumption.Now let’s go back to the beginning of the story… To “discover” the magic formula for the successful development of a tourist productQuality content, story, rounded tourist product and excellent performance generate a motive for the arrival of tourists and an excellent and successful tourist story.Simple, isn’t it?Just like when you play the piano you have to play all the notes exactly to have the perfect melody. Guess all the notes exactly and play the tourist Ode to Joy.And don’t forget, tourism is made up of emotions, experiences and stories. Tell storieslast_img read more

Positive dialogue between tourist guides and the Ministry of Tourism

first_imgA meeting of representatives of tourist guides and Minister of Tourism Gary Cappelli was held at the Ministry of Tourism to discuss constructively the issue of foreign tourist guides and EU directives, ie how to protect domestic tourist guides and open the market to tourist guides from EU countries.The common conclusion of the meeting is that foreign guides working in Croatia must also, like domestic tourist guides, pass the exam for guiding in protected localities. “I agree with our guides that the parties must also pass the exams, so today we agreed that in the next ten days we will jointly come to some kind of document that we will try to solve.Said CappelliThe position of tourist guides was unanimous in the context of maintaining county licenses, while the Minister gave full support in order to protect the profession as much as possible, in relation to the expectations of the EU towards the Republic of Croatia. Also, as Trutanić points out, Minister Cappelli said that the Ministry will benefit from the knowledge that some of the guides have about international and European law, in order to better protect Croatian heritage and identity, which our profession represents to foreign tourists in the first place. “There was also talk of an educational curriculum for guides and escorts, where quality would be raised, and the rest within the required EU standards. Colleague Bakija from Zadar gave a presentation of a two-year education program that would keep the general, special and practical part of the exam, and education would be related to public higher education institutions, which would have a positive impact on combating inflation of guides.”Points out Nikica Trutanić, tourist guideA positive example of Cyprus was also presented, which successfully protected localities and local guides, giving EU colleagues access to their market. “We also encountered a positive reaction from the Minister and his team, which formed a working group to draft a new law and regulations, which included colleagues Nuić, Penić, Talijan, Sučić, Miškulin, colleagues Bakija and Sjekavica (as representatives of all present at today’s meeting). meeting) and 3-4 representatives of the Ministry.”Concludes TrutanićIn this way, Minister Cappelli should be commended for his concern for the profession, for being open to dialogue and for proactively receiving tourist guides immediately for a constructive and well-argued discussion on current issues. This should be normal, but unfortunately so far it has not been such a practice, but the rule was “Who is stronger and closer to the fire”.The first meeting of the working group has already been scheduled, which will be held on Friday, February 24, 2017 at the Ministry of Tourism.last_img read more

Emotional behavior altered after multiple exposures to anesthesia during infancy

first_imgShare on Facebook LinkedIn Share Pinterest Share on Twittercenter_img Email Repeated exposure to anesthesia early in life causes alterations in emotional behavior that may persist long-term, according to a study from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in collaboration with the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, and published in the Online First edition of Anesthesiology, the official medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists®.Each year, approximately one million children under the age of four undergo surgery with general anesthesia, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Retrospective birth-cohort studies of children have found an association between learning problems and multiple exposures to anesthesia early in life, and research in animal models, mainly rodents, has shown that early anesthesia exposure causes cell death in the brain and cognitive impairments later in life.Nevertheless, uncertainty remains about the extent to which anesthesia specifically may be a risk factor in humans, when compared to other factors and co-morbidities associated with anesthesia and surgery. Additionally, the applicability of rodent studies to humans has been questioned on a number of grounds, including a lack of correspondence of developmental stages between the species. The Mount Sinai/Yerkes study is the first to address the question of whether repeated postnatal anesthesia exposure, in and of itself, caused long-term behavioral changes in a highly translationally relevant rhesus monkey model. The stage of neurodevelopment of rhesus monkeys at birth is more similar to that of human infants compared to neonatal rodents; with respect to brain growth, a six-week-old rhesus monkey corresponds to a human in the second half of his or her first year of life. Because these kinds of controlled studies cannot be carried out in humans, it is essential to use a comparable animal model to discover if anesthesia may be affecting the brain. Unlike previous research, the study was conducted in the absence of a surgical procedure, co-morbidities that may necessitate surgical intervention or the psychological stress associated with illness.“The major strength of this study is its ability to separate anesthesia exposure from surgical procedures, which is a potential complication in the studies conducted in children,” says Mark Baxter, PhD, professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Anesthesiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Our results confirm that multiple anesthesia exposures alone result in emotional behavior changes in a highly translational animal model. This raises concerns about whether similar phenomena are occurring during clinical anesthesia exposure in children.”Specifically, the study team exposed 10 nonhuman primates (rhesus monkeys) to a common pediatric anesthetic called sevoflurane for a comparable length of time required for a significant surgical procedure in humans (four hours). They were exposed to the anesthetic at postnatal day seven and then again two and four weeks later, because human data indicate that repeated anesthesia results in a greater risk of learning disabilities relative to a single anesthetic exposure.Researchers evaluated the socioemotional behavior of exposed subjects compared with that of healthy controls at six months of age using a mild social stressor (an unfamiliar human). They found the anesthesia-exposed infants expressed significantly more anxious behaviors overall compared with controls.“The task we used is designed to be similar to the task used for assessing dispositional anxiety and behavioral inhibition in children, thus increasing the study’s applicability to humans,” says first author Jessica Raper, PhD, research associate in the Division of Developmental and Cognitive Neuroscience at Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University, where the testing was conducted. The study results also demonstrate that alterations in emotional behavior persist at least five months after anesthesia exposure, suggesting long-term effects.Co-investigator Maria Alvarado, PhD, also of the Yerkes Research Center adds, “Events that impact the developing brain have the potential to affect a wide range of later-developing behaviors.”These findings are part of a larger longitudinal study, and researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center will continue to follow these study subjects behaviorally to fully characterize the length of time that these emotional changes persist and whether they resolve over time.Considering that most pediatric surgeries are non-elective, future studies can use this primate model to develop a new anesthetic agent or prophylactic treatment to counteract the impact of anesthesia on behavior in children. The findings also suggest that additional work is required to identify the mechanisms by which anesthetics may cause long-term changes in central nervous system function that impact behavior.last_img read more

Hallucinations? They may just be caused by a fold in the brain

first_imgShare on Twitter LinkedIn Share Imagine hearing a voice that screams, “You’re no good at this and you’re going to fail every exam” but not knowing where it came from. Or suddenly seeing a poisonous snake slithering towards you. Even if you’ve never had a hallucination – a sensory event that is experienced as real, despite having no material world cause – it’s easy to imagine how frightening they can be.Despite advances in brain imaging technology, we still have a limited understanding of the biological processes behind hallucinations. But new research has discovered that a key region of the brain, the paracingulate sulcus, may underlie the experience. This delivers a glimmer of insight into why some people are more likely to hallucinate and provides a neural target for treatments that aim to tackle such terrifying experiences.When someone has a hallucination, the basic problem is that they fail to distinguish between real events and those created by the imagination. As a result, hallucinations have been described as an impairment in “reality monitoring”. Imagination centreRecent studies that have taken images of the brain using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) have shown there is an area of the frontal lobe particularly related to imagination. The outer layer of tissue (cortex) around a fold (sulcus) in the brain known as the paracingulate activates when you imagine yourself in a future scenario or imagine what others are thinking or feeling. We also know from studying patients with brain damage that the frontal lobe in general is important for complex human behaviours, such as planning and our sense of self.The key role played by the paracingulate sulcus area in imagination suggests that it is also involved in reality monitoring. If this part of the brain functions poorly then it might influence your ability to differentiate reality from imagination – and so increase the likelihood that you could experience hallucinations.To test this theory, Jane Garrison and her colleagues at the University of Cambridge, undertook a large-scale study of paracingulate sulcus anatomy. This particular brain fold can look very different in different people: in some brains, it is long and uninterrupted; in others, it is short and broken up – and some people have virtually no paracingulate sulcus at all.Longer folds actually mean there is less brain cell-carrying grey matter tissue in the area. Other individual differences in sulcus anatomy can also affect the connections to the rest of the brain through the white matter tissue that carries neural signals. These structural variations can affect the local processing that takes place in a brain region.The researchers measured the paracingulate sulcus length of three groups of people using structural MRI brain scans: schizophrenic patients who experienced hallucinations, schizophrenics who did not, and a control group of healthy individuals. Remarkably, those patients who experienced hallucinations had significantly reduced paracingulate sulcus length compared to those patients who had no hallucinations.Analyses indicated that a reduction in sulcus length by 1cm led to an increased likelihood of experiencing hallucinations of nearly 20%. Plus, sulcus length did not differ between the schizophrenics without hallucinations and the control individuals. This suggests that sulcus length specifically relates to the experience of hallucinations rather than schizophrenia more generally.Shedding light on schizophreniaInterestingly, a shorter paracingulate sulcus was also more likely no matter what kind of hallucinations the patients suffered, whether they heard voices, saw images, felt touches, or smelt odours that weren’t real. This links the region to hallucinatory experience in general, rather than specific problems with, for example, visual or aural perception.This study doesn’t just shed light on why some patients with schizophrenia might experience hallucinations while others might not. It also tells us more fundamentally about the neural basis for the hallucinatory process. In understanding what makes some people more likely to experience hallucinations, we begin to appreciate the anatomical features of the brain that underpin our experience of self and human consciousness.The result is that the paracingulate sulcus may become an important target in new brain therapies that aim to tackle local regions of dysfunction. Techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, in which an electromagnetic field is placed just above the scalp and then disturbed, have the power to safely change activity levels in cortical brain areas. Now, researchers hoping to improve the lives of hallucination sufferers have an area pinpointed on the cortical map from where to start.By Charlotte Rae, Sackler research fellow in clinical medicine, University of SussexThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.center_img Email Share on Facebook Pinterestlast_img read more

If you want to quit smoking, do it now

first_imgShare on Twitter ‘Both groups had advice and support and access to nicotine patches and nicotine replacement therapy, like nicotine gum or mouth spray.’Once quit day had passed, volunteers were assessed weekly for the next four weeks, and after six months. As well as asking them about how they were doing, the researchers measured the amount of carbon monoxide they were breathing out — an objective way to check whether people were actually sticking to their quit plan.At four weeks, 39% of the gradual cessation group had kept off tobacco, compared to 49% of the abrupt cessation group, meaning that the abrupt group were 25% more likely to quit. The difference between the groups began on quit day, when more of the abrupt group attempted to quit (defined as having at least 24 hours with no tobacco), compared to the gradual cessation group.Dr Lindson-Hawley said: ‘The difference in quit attempts seemed to arise because people struggled to cut down. It provided them with an extra thing to do, which may have put them off quitting altogether. If people actually made a quit attempt then the success rate was equal across groups. We also found that more people preferred the idea of quitting gradually than abruptly; however regardless of what they thought they were still more likely to quit in the abrupt group.‘It is important to note that these results were found in people who wanted to quit soon and who were receiving counselling support and using nicotine replacement therapy. For these people the best advice appears to be to pick a day and stop smoking completely on that day. However, as we found that at the start of the study many people cannot imagine being able to stop completely. For these people it is much better to attempt to cut down their smoking than do nothing at all and we should increase support for gradual cessation to increase their chances of succeeding.’ Pinterest Smokers who try to cut down the amount they smoke before stopping are less likely to quit than those who choose to quit all in one go, Oxford University researchers have found. Their study is published in journal Annals of Internal Medicine.Most experts say that people should give up in one go, but most people who smoke seem to try to stop by gradually reducing the amount they smoke before stopping. This research helps to answer the questions ‘Which approach is better?’, and ‘Are both as likely to help people quit in the short and long term?’.Dr Nicola Lindson-Hawley led the research. She explained: ‘We recruited 697 smokers who had chosen to stop smoking. They were split into two groups. One group — the ‘abrupt cessation’ group — set a quit day and stopped all smoking on that day. The second group — the ‘gradual cessation’ group — set a quit day but gradually reduced their tobacco use in the two weeks leading up to that date. Sharecenter_img Share on Facebook LinkedIn Emaillast_img read more

Why do we tap our feet to a musical beat?

first_imgShare on Twitter Share on Facebook Email Pinterest LinkedIncenter_img Share Professor Godøy said: “Music-related motion, both sound producing and sound accompanying, leaves a trace in our minds and could be thought of as a kind of shape representation, one intimately linked to our experience of the salient features of musical sound. The basic notion here is that images of sound-producing and other sound-related motion are actively re-created in listening and in musical imagery, hence the idea that motor theory could be the basis for the similarities between sound and body movement when we experience music.”Although links between musical sound and motion can be readily observed, the authors argue that a more systematic knowledge of them is required.  To this end, they have used a wide range of research methods and approaches including a ‘sound-tracing’ experiment designed to explore the gestures people make to describe particular sounds.Participants were played three-second sounds that varied in pitch and other musical qualities, and were asked to trace the sounds in the air using motion capture technology. The results indicated a fair amount of similarity among the participants‘ gestures, particularly between the vertical positioning of their hands and the pitch of the sound.In general, some sound features such as rhythm and texture seem to be strongly related to movement while others, such as dissonance, have a weaker sound-motion relationship. As a result, the authors intend to focus their future work on researching large-scale statistical sound-motion feature correlations, providing us with more data on sound-motion similarity relationships in all kinds of musical experience. In a paper recently published by the Journal of New Music Research, Professor Rolf Inge Godøy and colleagues at the University of Oslo explore the theory behind the relationship between musical sound and body movement.Previous studies have shown that people tend to perceive affinities between sound and body motion when experiencing music.  The so-called ‘motor theory of perception’ claims these similarity relationships are deeply rooted in human cognition.According to the theory, in order to perceive something, we must actively simulate the motion associated with the sensory impressions we are trying to process.  So, when we listen to music, we tend to mentally simulate the body movements that we believe have gone into producing the sound. Thus, our experience of a sound entails a mental image of a body motion.last_img read more

Neural networks — why larger brains are more susceptible to mental illnesses

first_imgShare In humans and other mammals, the cerebral cortex is responsible for sensory, motor, and cognitive functions. Understanding the organization of the neuronal networks in the cortex should provide insights into the computations that they carry out.A study publishing on July 21st in open access journal PLOS Biology shows that the global architecture of the cortical networks in primates (with large brains) and rodents (with small brains) is organized by common principles. Despite the overall network invariances, primate brains have much weaker long-distance connections, which could explain why large brains are more susceptible to certain mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer disease.In earlier work, Zoltán Toroczkai, from the University of Notre-Dame, USA, Mária Ercsey-Ravasz, from Babes-Bolyai University, Romania and Henry Kennedy, from the University Lyon, France, and colleagues combined tracing studies in macaques, which visualize connections in the brain, with network theory to show that the cortical network structure in this primate is governed by the so-called exponential distance rule (EDR). The EDR describes a consistent relationship between distances and connection strength. Consistent with the tracing results, the EDR predicts that there are many fewer long-range axons (nerve fibers that function as transmission lines of the nervous system) than short ones, and this can be quantified by a mathematical equation. At the level of cortical areas (such as visual cortex or auditory cortex) examined by the tracing studies, this means the closer two areas are to each other, the more connections exist between them.In this study, the researchers compare the features of the cortical networks in the macaque – a mammal with a large cortex – with those in the mouse, with its much smaller cortex. They used detailed tracing data to quantify connections between functional areas, and those formed the basis for the analysis. Despite the substantial differences in the cortex size between the species and other apparent differences in cortex organization, they found that the fundamental statistical features of all networks followed the EDR.Based on these results, the researchers hypothesize that the EDR describes an effective design principle that remains constant during the evolution of mammalian brains of different sizes. They present mathematical arguments that support the universal applicability of the EDR as a governing principle of cortical connectivity, as well as further experimental support from high-resolution tracer experiments in small brain areas from macaque, mouse, and mouse lemur (a primate with a very small brain).Their results, the researchers conclude, “suggest that the EDR plays a key role across the mammalian order to optimize the layout of the inter-areal cortical network allowing larger-brained animals to maintain communication efficiencies combined with increased neuron numbers”.As the EDR predicts and the tracing data here confirm, neuronal connections weaken exponentially with distance. Assuming the EDR can be applied to all mammalian brains, this suggests that long-distance connections could be quite weak in the human cortex, which is approximately five times larger than that of the macaque. If true, the researchers say, one could speculate that the low weight of human long-range connections may contribute to an increased susceptibility to disconnection syndromes, such as have been proposed for Alzheimer disease and schizophrenia”. Email LinkedIncenter_img Pinterest Share on Twitter Share on Facebooklast_img read more

Study finds lower intelligence is linked to greater prejudice against same-sex couples

first_imgThe study analyzed data from 11,654 individuals who participated in the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey.Cognitive ability was assessed using three tests: the National Adult Reading Test, the Symbol Digits Modalities Test and the Backwards Digit Span test.Perales found that those who scored lower on the tests were more likely to disagree with the statement “Homosexual couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples do.” The link was strongest for verbal ability.This association held even after controlling for a number of socio-demographic and economic variables — including education.“Altogether, the findings provide clear evidence that cognitive ability is an important precursor of prejudice against same-sex couples,” Perales wrote in his study.“The findings in this report suggest that strategies aimed at increasing participation in (higher) education and improving levels of cognitive ability within the population could act as important levers in counteracting prejudice towards same-sex couples and LGBT people.”But the findings don’t mean that everyone who opposes rights for same-sex couples is unintelligent.In addition, a 2016 study on racism in the United States found evidence that smart people could be just as prejudicial as their less intelligent peers — they were just better at concealing it.The study was titled: “The cognitive roots of prejudice towards same-sex couples: An analysis of an Australian national sample“. Email Share on Facebook Pinterest Sharecenter_img Share on Twitter Less intelligent people are more likely to hold discriminatory attitudes towards same-sex couples, according to new research from Australia.The finding, which appear in the journal Intelligence, adds to a growing body of literature that indicates less intelligent people tend to express more prejudicial attitudes.“Despite the significance and contemporaneity of the subject matter, few studies have specifically addressed the links between cognitive ability and attitudes towards LGBT issues,” said study author Francisco Perales of The University of Queensland. LinkedInlast_img read more