According to the available data of the Croatian National Tourist Board from the eVisitor system, the number of facilities in the household, as well as the number of accommodation units, beds, but also taxpayers, is constantly growing. Thus, the number of facilities in 2017 increased by 12% compared to the year before, while in the first two months of this year alone, 700 more were registered, which makes a total of 93.194 facilities.Family accommodation in Croatia is our advantage, which they must use wisely, increase quality and brand. Also, Croatian family accommodation in Europe is recognized as the best in Europe, according to the European Holiday Home Association – EHHA. Also, according to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, family accommodation each year is responsible for generating total tourist traffic in the amount of 2,5 billion euros.Increasing the quality and professionalization of family accommodation, ie the association of family accommodation in households, is one of the key goals of the Tourism Development Strategy of the Republic of Croatia until 2020. For this reason, a few years ago, in 2014, the Ministry of Tourism presented diffuse and integrated hotels as new and innovative tourist products, with the aim of developing and improving the quality of accommodation, joint market presence and professionalization of private accommodation.One of the development and raising of quality in family accommodation are integral hotels. An integral hotel is a form of accommodation consisting of three or more accommodation units in different locations in the same settlement. All accommodation units are united by a central reception with various additional facilities. Part of an integral hotel can be all natural and legal persons who have a categorized room, apartment, studio apartment or holiday home.Although integral hotels are relatively new on the market, ie they have not yet experienced a major expansion in our market. I talked about the development of integral hotels as well as the whole concept of the same with Ivo Klinc, director Veronica Group, property management company in the tourism sector, which in 2013 embarked on a pilot project of “integrated hotel”, ie real estate management in tourism, and since 2017 offered the concept of integrated hotels on the market. Today, they operate in the area of Makarska and Zagreb, and encouraged by increasing inquiries from the market, the plan is to expand the successful business model to other cities in Croatia.The association of private accommodation is the future, Ivo Klinac points out and adds that their vision is to become the leading property management company in the Republic of Croatia, which specializes in the management of accommodation capacities in tourism. “We want to give as many people as possible a sense of carefreeness and financial stability by building a brand that people will trust, a brand that will provide more, better with its innovation. ” points out Klinac.How does an integral hotel work in practice and what are your experiences in the field?The complete business concept through an integrated hotel is based on connecting the existing accommodation capacities of different owners into a single facility and their joint appearance on the market. This type of association is easier, simpler and much more professional in the market, which brings the benefit of opening opportunities for cooperation with agencies and other service providers, something that renters individually might not be able to achieve, mostly for quantitative reasons.The fact that the tourism sector is generally characterized by dynamism is confirmed by the fact that over the last 5 years of business the pattern of behavior has changed markedly. With the growth of the share of private accommodation in the Republic of Croatia, guests from private renters increasingly expect a service more similar to that in a hotel, such as credit / debit card acceptance services, breakfast services, bicycle rental, etc.To stand out from the competition, you need much more than just giving the guest the key to the apartment and leaving him alone until the day of departure. On the other hand, many renters have recognized the need to stand out from the competition and are therefore increasingly dedicated to their guests. As personalized service can take a lot of time, associations such as integral hotels can greatly help renters by ensuring their safe growth and professionalization through joint market presence.What services do you offer to partners, ie what do private renters get in cooperation with you?We offer all our potential partners two different ways of cooperation.First, we offer the possibility of managing their property in tourism. We sign a long-term contract with our partner and, if necessary, adapt their property to be ready for short-term rental to tourists. We take care of obtaining all necessary permits, selling, cleaning and maintaining the property. It is up to the partner only to receive a fixed monthly amount. This way of cooperation is suitable for partners who do not have time to deal with renting to tourists, and own real estate for which they have no purpose.Another, we offer cooperation to existing renters in terms of which of their accommodation capacities we join our integral hotel. As part of an integral hotel, the landlord gets access to various services at the hotel level such as breakfast, excursions, bicycle rental, massage services, gym, etc., depending on the services currently available at the location of the landlord’s business while we take care of sales and presentation of their accommodation capacity within our facility.Do you have any statistics or specific indicators regarding the extension of the season, ie the longer duration of the lease in cooperation with the Veronika Group through the concept of an integrated hotel? Since 2013, we have been providing guests with accommodation as private renters in Makarska, and in 2017, taking into account the experience gained by renting in Makarska, we decided to continue our business through the company and expand our business to Zagreb. As our business is characterized by professionalism and systematicity, we have often conducted research to improve our business.Through research we conducted on the accommodation market in Makarska, we learned that the hotel season usually lasts from April to October, while the season in private accommodation lasts from June to September. These data indicate a lack of agency sales channels through which renters could fill their accommodation even in months of low demand, as hotels do. It is not the same to agree on cooperation with agencies when you have few apartments and when you are associated with other renters in an integral hotel, or a unique facility that can compete with hotels in the number of accommodation capacities.It is important to emphasize that the content that renters will be able to offer their guests through an integrated hotel will greatly increase their professionalism in the eyes of the guest and thus increase the quality and price of their overnight services. As a part of the integral hotel, a quality presentation of accommodation capacities and professional pricing in accordance with various parameters is ensured, with the aim of increasing occupancy and sales.We are rightly given the data collected during the last 5 years of business, from which it can be concluded that, after our takeover of the accommodation capacities of the partners, sales increased by more than 50%. After the optimization of the business we carried out and the stabilization, the average annual turnover growth is around 10% where the initial base was not small. It can be seen from the above that the growth of traffic is twice as high as the annual growth of the destination itself.We completely take care of the property and in that case we also deal with sales and cleaning and welcoming guests and all other services. This way of cooperation is ideal for people who do not have time to engage in tourism – Ivo Klinac, Veronika GrupaWhat are the conditions and obligations of cooperation between private landlords and Veronika Group, ie what are all the models of cooperation? If the partner decides to give us his property for management, he signs a long-term contract with us that defines the terms of cooperation as well as a fixed monthly amount that we will pay him regardless of the turnover that the accommodation capacity realizes. This way someone who does not have the time or does not intend to engage in tourism can carelessly receive a monthly rent while we will take complete care of the property including potential renovation, obtaining all permits required for work, professional photography and repairs.In case the partner decides to join the integral hotel with the desire to continue to be involved in the business of its accommodation capacity, it signs a contract with us that defines the terms of cooperation, method of payment from the guest, model of salary payment to the partner, etc. services provided. We depend on the personal needs of each individual partner, we define the best way of cooperation and conditions by agreement, and in mutual interest.What are all the advantages and benefits for private renters, if they are part of an integral hotel?One of the primary advantages of joining an integrated hotel versus independent business is the facilitation of the administrative part of the business. We take care of sales, advertising on relevant accommodation booking sites as well as marketing in order to increase the number of direct bookings while the renter focuses on what is important – hosting guests. We perform complete communication with guests, issuing invoices, registering guests in eVisitor, charging reservations via credit / debit cards and much more, which is an additional relief for renters.As a hotel, due to the number of accommodation capacities at our disposal, we are able to enter into contracts with travel agencies and other companies specializing in filling accommodation capacities in the pre- and post-season. In addition to the fact that longer business brings higher revenues, we hope that through joint efforts we will turn tourist destinations of a seasonal character into year-round ones.You are currently present in Zagreb and Makarska. Do you have plans to expand?Our current focus is the formation of integrated hotels in Makarska and Zagreb, tourist destinations in which we are already present, and expanding the offer of accommodation facilities through cooperation with renters. Long-term plans are based on safe and quality expansion to several tourist destinations throughout the Republic of Croatia.We would certainly like to encourage all interested private renters to contact us via our official website in order to, based on the interest of renters from individual destinations, move our service to locations where it is most needed. We keep a database of received applications just to be able to choose our next destination.Quality family accommodation is a job from 0-24h, and requires more and more knowledge, from marketing, sales, communication, branding… what is the great potential for further development as well as challenges for the hosts?It is indeed true that more and more people who embark on the business of renting accommodation to tourists give it up after gaining insight into the workload and scope of work as well as the commitment you need to have in order to do business successfully. Also, renters sometimes enter the tourist waters because of potential earnings and often find themselves disappointed with the income they earn.Through cooperation with landlords and other partners, we offer professionalism and knowledge, and most importantly – the time we will dedicate to work. All this is the result of many years of experience in the private rental sector, but also a good knowledge of guest profiles. Such a base allows us to monitor the development of the market and adjust the quality of our accommodation capacities as it changes. The data of almost 100.000 accommodation units in family accommodation only confirms the importance of this sector of Croatian tourism, reminds us how much potential it can have if it is encouraged and proves that an integral hotel as a new form of cooperation in the Croatian market is very necessary and sustainable.More information on the possibilities of cooperation with the Veronika Group can be found on the website www.veronikagrupa.com, and you can find out all questions directly via email [email protected]
Marjorie R. Marksberry, 88, died peacefully at her home Sunday, May 24, 2020 due to complications after colon surgery & colon cancer. With the help of close friends and care takers from Visiting Angels, she received excellent care from her son & daughter-in-law at her home. Without their kind sacrifice, mom would have died alone in a care facility due to the Corona Virus restrictions.Marge grew up in Aurora, Indiana and graduated at the Aurora High School in 1949. After graduation, she worked at the Aurora Casket Company as a secretary, where she learned to be a skilled typist. She later fell in love with a high school classmate, Donald Marksberry, after he came back from his service in the Navy. After being married on July 14, 1956, she became an amazing homemaker and supportive wife to a husband working for IBM (which jokingly stands for “I’ve Been Moved.”) They began their family in Ohio, and then moved to Tennessee, New York, Alabama & Maryland, where she resided for almost 50 years.She took pride in raising their 2 kids and was the best mom ever! She put her family first for many years and after the kids were older, she jumped back into the job force to help put their kids through school. She was a skilled typist and worked many years as a receptionist at the Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Ironically, she spent some time in Asbury’s Rehab Center, sharing the experience with her Asbury boss from 40 years ago, who too was rehabilitating after hospital care.Marge enjoyed many hobbies including gardening, crafting, traveling & antiquing. She enjoyed the neighborhood bridge group for many years. She had a green thumb as she had the most beautiful yard in the neighborhood!She was survived by her son, Don & daughter-in-law, Audrey, and her daughter, Janice & son-in-law, Greg. She was a good role model for her children, teaching them the importance of being kind, and helping others, which in these times, is so desperately needed.She will be buried in the Riverview Cemetery in Aurora, Indiana. Date & time will be later announced by the family. Filter-DeVries-Moore Funeral Home entrusted with arrangements, Box146, Dillsboro, IN 47018, (812)432-5480. You may go to www.filterdevriesmoore.com to leave an online condolence message or a memory of Marge for the family.