Baxter says cell-based H5N1 vaccine shows potential in trial

first_imgOct 17, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Low doses of a cell-based avian flu vaccine triggered a good immune response to the H5N1 avian influenza virus, according to preliminary results of a clinical trial by Baxter International of Deerfield, Ill., maker of the vaccine.The vaccine induced an immune response not only against the targeted H5N1 strain, but against other strains as well, according to Baxter. The company announced results of the phase I/II trial Oct 4 but had not released study data until Oct 11, at the World Vaccine Congress in Lyon, France.”This is the first clinical demonstration that a candidate H5N1 vaccine can induce antibodies that neutralize widely divergent strains of H5N1,” said Hartmut Ehrlich, MD, vice president for global research and development, in an Oct 4 Baxter news release. He added that the data “suggest that the vaccine may provide wider protection for a larger number of people before and during a pandemic.”The vaccine was produced using Baxter’s vero cell–based technology and dead whole viruses of wild-type H5N1 avian influenza strain A/Vietnam/1203/2004.Cell-based vaccines are grown in mammalian cells (often from kidneys) instead of chicken eggs and in theory could help meet “surge capacity” needs because the cells can be frozen for stockpiling. The method also can shave about a month off the production time for flu vaccines, which is normally about 6 months. But cell-based flu vaccines face practical hurdles, as discussed below.The cell-based vaccine was administered to 270 healthy adults aged 18 to 45 in Austria and Singapore. Groups of 44 to 48 volunteers received either 3.75, 7.5, 15, or 30 micrograms (mcg) of the vaccine with an aluminum oxide adjuvant, a substance that stimulates immune response. Two other groups of 45 each received 7.5 or 15 mcg of vaccine without an adjuvant. All volunteers were vaccinated on the first day of the trial and again 21 days later.Three weeks after the second injection, testing of serum samples showed that 15 of 23 (65%) volunteers in the 3.75-mcg group had a strong antibody response to the vaccine virus (microneutralization titer 1:20 or higher). In comparison, 15 in 20 (75%) of the adjuvanted 7.5-mcg group and 22 of 27 (82%) of the nonadjuvanted 7.5-mcg group showed a strong antibody response.The vaccine also showed evidence of cross-protection against other H5N1 strains. Microneutralization testing for antibody response to a 1997 Hong Kong strain showed a 71% (12 of 17) rate of response in the 3.75-mcg group, compared with an 81% (13 of 16) and a 96% (21 of 22) response in the adjuvanted and nonadjuvanted 7.5-mcg groups, respectively.For a 2005 H5N1 strain from Indonesia, the rates of antibody response were 35% (6 of 17), 63% (10 of 16), and 68% (15 of 22), respectively.Commenting on the diverse makeup of these nontargeted H5N1 viruses, Ehrlich told CIDRAP News via e-mail, “They are strains that are substantially different from Vietnam 1203. One is the same clade [family] but emerged 7 years earlier; the other one is a different clade. [This is] in contrast to many other strains—for example, Vietnam 1194—which are very similar to Vietnam 1203 and are expected to therefore induce cross-neutralization . . . and were indeed protective in our animal studies.”Ehrlich, who presented the data in Lyon, said the serum samples from the volunteers who received 15 or 30 mcg of the vaccine had not yet been analyzed. Final results of the study will be available by the end of the year, according to the Baxter news release.The rate of adverse events, released this week, demonstrated the apparent safety of the vaccine. After two injections, 3% of patients (6 of 201) had fever, 6.0% (12 of 201) experienced malaise, and 3.5% (7 of 201) reported shivering, the company said.Commenting on the implications of the findings, infectious-disease expert Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, said Baxter’s vaccine—like other H5N1 vaccines in development—is a long way from offering an early solution to the threat of a flu pandemic. Osterholm is director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of the CIDRAP Web site.Aside from the problem that it will take months to develop a specific vaccine once a pandemic strain of flu emerges, the Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved any cell-culture flu vaccine, Osterholm told CIDRAP News. “In fact, they’re a long ways from licensure,” he said.In addition, efforts to use a vaccine during a pandemic will encounter a host of practical problems, he added. “We have to think of the whole supply chain. What about syringes? Will they be available when a pandemic hits? What about a whole host of supplies that we’ll need during a pandemic that won’t be available because of our just-in-time infrastructure?”These practical considerations are so crucial that, if all these new vaccines were released today, none of them would make the world a safer place.”Baxter said it plans to begin phase III trials of the vaccine early next year.Baxter is collaborating with DynPort Vaccine Corp. to develop cell-based vaccines. In May, the US Department of Health and Human Services awarded DynPort a $41 million contract for cell-based flu vaccine work. The funds came from $3.3 billion that Congress appropriated for pandemic preparedness last December.See also:Baxter news releasehttp://www.rxpharmacy.md/news/baxter_announces_safety_and_immunogenicity_results_from_phase_i_ii_clinical_trial_of_cell_based_candidate_h5n1_pandemic_vaccine.htmlMay 4 CIDRAP News story “US awards $1 billion for cell-based flu vaccines”Jun 27, 2005, CIDRAP News story “Momentum builds for cell-culture flu vaccines”last_img read more

Avian flu prevention puzzle: linking knowledge, action

first_imgJan 11, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – An uptick in human cases of H5N1 avian influenza is focusing attention on the unsolved problem of crafting influenza-prevention messages that developing-world farmers—the group at highest risk for the disease—will trust and follow.New research into avian flu prevention in Cambodia, one of the virus’s past hot spots, underlines the difficulty, reporting that villagers did not take preventive action even when they knew what to do to protect themselves.The persistent mismatch between knowledge and action has researchers wondering whether blanket bans on handling and slaughtering sick poultry are impractical—and whether the effort to keep the disease out of humans should instead adopt a “risk-reduction” model that applauds small positive steps.This week the World Health Organization (WHO) announced two new human cases of H5N1 flu in Indonesia, the country’s first in six weeks. On Dec 27, the WHO reported a cluster of three deaths—a 15-year-old girl, a 26-year-old man, and a 30-year-old woman—in a family in Egypt, 8 weeks after the last previous case there. (Yesterday the WHO also reported a case in a Chinese farmer, China’s first case since July.)Health officials in Indonesia and Egypt said the latest victims were probably infected by sick poultry or ducks. Both countries have run public education campaigns about the risk of acquiring bird flu. The victims were aware of the education efforts, the ministries said; they first denied, and then admitted, handling or slaughtering the birds.The oldest of the three Egyptian victims “was frightened of admitting she had been rearing ducks at home,” Hamdi Abdul Wahad of Egypt’s Health Ministry said in remarks carried by IRIN News, a United Nations agency. “This indicates she knew of the risk, but did not appreciate the extent of the danger.”Cambodian study shows paradoxThe gap between knowing what to do and doing it is spotlighted by a dispatch in the January edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases, a journal published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The paper—written by scientists from the Pasteur Institute in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Cambodian and UN agencies—reports the results of a “knowledge, attitudes and practices” survey of 460 Cambodian villagers in two provinces judged to be at high risk for H5N1 flu.Cambodia recorded its first H5N1 outbreaks in poultry in 2004. It had four human cases in 2005 and two last year; all six victims died.Ninety-seven percent of the 269 households where the villagers lived kept chickens, while 39 percent also raised ducks. And 81% of the households had learned about avian flu and flu prevention from announcements on television; 78% had heard similar messages on the radio.Those messages had penetrated: 72% of the participants understood that avian flu is a fatal disease that can be transmitted to humans, 67% thought it was unsafe to touch sick or dead poultry with their bare hands, and 70% knew it was not safe to eat wild birds. Those risks were not theoretical: Poultry had died in 62% of the households in the previous 6 months.Nevertheless, large proportions of the villagers admitted doing things they had been cautioned against. Seventy-five percent acknowledged touching sick or dead poultry bare-handed; 45% ate poultry that had died from illness; 33% ate wild birds; and 8% collected and ate dead wild birds.In addition, though half of the participants agreed on the importance of reporting poultry deaths to authorities, many did not report—41% because they did not know how, 31% because they had not done so in the past, and 18% because they believed it would hurt sales of their surviving birds.”These findings provide evidence that high awareness does not necessarily lead to behavior change,” the researchers said with significant understatement.Several factors contributed to the mismatch between message and execution, they added. Villagers who did not follow safe practices nevertheless had not gotten sick, leading others—including family members of H5N1 patients—to conclude that eating sick and dead poultry was worth the risk. Equipment that could protect them during handling and slaughtering (rubber gloves and masks, and also soap) is hard to obtain. And farmers whose flocks are culled as a protective measure receive no compensation from the government, unlike what is done in neighboring Thailand and Vietnam.”Intervention programs must include feasible options for resource-poor settings . . . and must offer farmers alternative methods to safely work with poultry on a daily basis,” the authors conclude.Alternative persuasion tacticsThe divide between developing-world villagers’ avian-flu beliefs and practices is familiar and frustrating territory to groups that work on flu control.”It is not enough just to tell people what to do; we have known that for a long time,” said Silvio Waisbord, senior program officer at the nonprofit Academy for Educational Development (AED), based in Washington, DC, which conducts avian-flu programs in Southeast Asia and Africa.”Even though people are told not to do something, if they see people around them not complying with that message, and there are no damaging consequences, it is unlikely they will go along with the promoted behavior,” he added.Some avian-flu prevention programs, including AED’s, improve their success when they choose locally trusted sources, such as Vietnam and Laos’s powerful Women’s Unions, to deliver flu-control messages. In addition, “We try to ask what the motivation is—why people will do this,” Waisbord said. “Technical messages may not work, but ‘Do it for your family,’ or ‘Protect your birds so you will have them for religious festivals,’ those messages resonate with people’s existing concerns.”Economic incentives such as payments in exchange for preventively slaughtered birds can be a powerful persuader—so important that the World Bank, in a report on compensation issued in early December, recommended that it be paid directly to farmers in cash within 24 hours of a cull.”Reporting, not selling and eating sick poultry, fencing birds, all have economic disincentives that have not been adequately addressed yet,” said Whitney Pyles, avian influenza coordinator for CARE International, which is conducting community-based flu control programs in Southeast Asia.Lessons from HIV preventionRecently, staff at some nonprofit organizations that work on avian flu have been comparing efforts against the disease to campaigns against HIV/AIDS. Early on it became clear that blanket prohibitions on behaviors that transmit HIV would never conquer human nature, but campaigns that encouraged incremental protective steps had a chance of success. (One, the ABC campaign—from its slogan”Be Abstinent, Be faithful, use a Condom”—is credited with contributing to a sharp drop in AIDS incidence in Uganda, previously one of the hardest-hit countries in the world.)That risk-reduction model, advocates argue, may have a better chance of controlling avian flu than broad prohibitions that effectively order villagers to sacrifice important sources of protein and income.CARE has seen some openness to a step-wise approach among villagers in its programs, Pyles said: “Recent findings from our studies in Vietnam and Cambodia demonstrated that people were more likely to change behaviors around hand-washing and handling dead birds, rather than activities that had an economic disincentive, such as building a cage or fence or reporting outbreaks.”She added: “We don’t have to achieve a perfect record of individual behavior change in order to prevent or stall a pandemic. What you do need is a critical mass of behavior change that results in reduced human cases.”The essential component, she said, is turning out to be community participation. Protective behaviors that are discussed and agreed to by a community have better adherence than solutions imposed from above by national health authorities. In a CARE program in central Vietnam, those behaviors include agreements to improve rates of hand-washing and safe food preparation.”There has to be mechanism for communities to weigh in on and make decisions about what will happen to them,” she said. “Participation gets better results than draconian enforcement. I think we will find local participation in decision-making will end up being the gold standard in controlling avian influenza.”See also:Emerging Infectious Diseases report on study in Cambodiahttp://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/13/1/130.htmWorld Bank report on compensation of farmers for culled poultryhttp://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTARD/Resources/HPAI_Compensation_Final.pdflast_img read more

Diluting H5N1 vaccine may protect more people, study says

first_imgJun 26, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Limited supplies of prepandemic influenza vaccine may prevent more illness cases overall if they are administered to more people in lower-than-recommended doses, University of Hong Kong researchers contend in a study published this month in Public Library of Science (PLoS) Medicine.Steven Riley and colleagues, who used a mathematical model to predict illness attack rates under different dosing scenarios, report that “substantial reductions in the attack rate are likely if vaccines are given to more people at lower doses.”The authors note that it is unlikely that enough doses of prepandemic vaccines will ever be available to allow universal coverage at maximally protective doses in many countries. The concern over supplies has led scientists and policy-makers to debate who should have priority access to the vaccine, with some arguing for groups at highest risk for severe illness and others for those who are most likely to spread the disease.In their model, the authors included all three prepandemic H5N1 flu vaccine candidates with available data from phase 2 clinical trials. The data showed that two of the vaccines produced immune responses after doses in the 1.25- to-10 microgram (mcg) and 7.5- to 30-mcg range. The third vaccine yielded immune responses with doses of 7.5 to 90 mcg. In trials of all three vaccines, blood serum samples from at least half of the subjects who received two inoculations at the recommended dose were able to neutralize target flu antigens.The authors combined data on the immunogencity of the three prepandemic vaccines with data on person-to-person transmission in the past three flu pandemics to create their models. Their aim was to predict how giving the vaccine to different numbers of people at varying doses would affect the number of people infected in a pandemic.The models predicted that for all three vaccines, giving more people a lower dose of vaccine would limit the spread of disease better than giving fewer people the dose recommended for maximal individual protection, according to the report.For example, in one scenario, the model showed that if 20 million of the United States’ 300 million residents were given two 10-mcg doses of one vaccine, the attack rate would drop from 73.2% to 69.5%, and if the same amount of vaccine antigen were spread out over 80 million with two 2.5-mcg doses, the attack rate would drop to 67.7%.Another scenario envisioned dividing the planned US vaccine stockpile among 160 million people instead of the targeted 20 million. That approach would lower the overall attack rate from 67.6% to 58.7%, according to the model.”Our results suggest that a lower vaccine dose may be justified in order to increase population coverage, thereby reducing the infection attack rate overall,” the researchers concluded.Other experts contacted by CIDRAP News had a number of reservations about the authors’ findings and their applicability to pandemic preparedness.Using low doses to spread the vaccine supply to more people would be able to prevent many deaths at the public health level, but it’s far from ideal, said Gregory Poland, MD, director of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He called the approach “the least attractive option mandated by being unprepared and having an insufficient manufacturing capacity for a pandemic or prepandemic influenza vaccine.”It is impractical to expect individuals to undergo vaccination when they may not derive much benefit from it, Poland said. “From an individual perspective, if you’re going to go through the pain, risk, and cost, you want to know you’re protected from it,” he said. “You want it to be potent enough so you have a 90% -plus chance of responding with protective levels of antibody.”William Schaffner, MD, chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine and professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, said that although mathematical modeling studies are rarely practical, “they can be very provocative in stimulating thinking, and I think in that regard, this is very provocative.”However, several issues keep the study results from offering immediate applications, two of which the authors acknowledge in their report, he said. First, data on the efficacy of such low doses of flu vaccine are lacking. Second, the virus that causes the next pandemic may differ significantly from the H5N1 strains that are currently circulating. “The closer the match between the influenza virus represented in the vaccine and the actual virus that’s circulating, the more likely it might be that their approach may have some measure of success,” he said. “But they acknowledge that influenza viruses change, so if it’s not a good match, a low dose will be even less effective” than the recommended dose.What the authors did not discuss, Schaffner added, is that pandemics occur in waves, and the protection conferred by a low-dose immunization will not last long enough to protect someone against multiple waves that might occur months apart. “You might have some measure of protection for the first wave, but you would be completely vulnerable for the second wave,” he said.Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, said it would be scientifically, politically, and socially irresponsible to initiate a plan on the basis of this study with so many unknowns. “While conceptually it’s important to consider how to protect the most people that we can with what will be inadequate supplies of vaccine, to extrapolate any level of protection using a prepandemic vaccine and the unknowns of immunogenecity is like trying to predict the next lightning strike during an upcoming thunderstorm,” said Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of CIDRAP News.Schaffner said the use of adjuvants (chemicals included in some vaccines to stimulate the immune system) is a much more positive approach to dealing with the vaccine shortage than simply lowering the vaccine dose. The use of an adjuvant—which he refers to as “Hamburger Helper”— has more relevance to the people who are vaccinated, he said.”I actually think that concept to stretch the amount of vaccine is a better one because it has the potential for satisfying both goals: you can reduce the amount of actual vaccine dose, but by also providing the adjuvant, you’re actually protecting people,” he said.Riley S, Wu JT, Leung GM. Optimizing the dose of pre-pandemic influenza vaccines to reduce the infection attack rate. PLoS Medicine 2007 June;4(6):1032-40 [Full text]See also:Fraser C. Influenza pandemic vaccines: Spread them thin? PLoS Medicine 2007 June;4(6):0977-9last_img read more

Companies receive HHS orders for novel flu vaccine

first_imgMay 26, 2009 (CIDRAP News) –Two vaccine companies, Sanofi Pasteur and GlaxoSmithKline, recently announced they received their first orders from the US government for a vaccine and adjuvant to protect the country against the novel H1N1 virus.Sanofi, in a statement released yesterday, said the initial order it received from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) covers the production of bulk vaccine and related activities and is worth $190 million. On May 22, Glaxo said in a press release that HHS ordered vaccine antigen and the company’s proprietary adjuvant system, AS03. Adjuvants are compounds that enhance a vaccine’s immune response, offering the possibility of stretching antigen supplies.The announcements from the two companies follow a May 22 announcement from HHS that secretary Kathleen Sebelius was directing about $1 billion in existing funds toward clinical studies and commercial production of bulk vaccine antigen and adjuvant.Federal officials have announced plans to support the development of a novel H1N1 vaccine, but have taken pains to explain that the decision to use it would be made separately.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said it hopes to wrap up work on a seed strain to send to vaccine makers within the next few weeks. Once companies receive the seed strain, they can develop pilot lots to begin safety, efficacy, and dosage testing.The federal government’s placement of the orders falls under existing contracts that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) established with the companies in 2004 as part of the nation’s pandemic influenza strategy.Sanofi said it hopes to begin work on a pilot lot in June after the US Food and Drug Administration approves its working seed. The company said clinical trials could begin as early as August, but a timeline for final formulation, filling, and distribution has not been set.Wayne Pisano, Sanofi’s president and chief executive officer, said in the press release that though a number of complex steps need to be taken before a vaccine is available, the company’s experience in developing the prepandemic H5N1 avian influenza vaccine will be helpful. “We look forward to further demonstrating our experience and expertise in vaccine development as we prepare for this new threat from AH1N1,” he said.Production of the new H1N1vaccine for HHS will take place at the company’s recently licensed new production facility in Swiftwater, Pa. As soon as the company finishes production of seasonal influenza vaccine at its second Swiftwater facility, it can produce the novel H1N1 vaccine at both plants. The two plants, when operating at full capacity, can make about 150 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine.Meanwhile, Glaxo said it expects to fill HHS’ adjuvant order within the next few months and hopes to produce the first antigen doses 4 to 6 months after receiving the novel H1N1seed strain. The company said its proprietary adjuvant, already approved as a component of the H5N1 vaccine in Europe and some Asian countries, is the subject of 15 additional clinical trials, including one involving a seasonal flu vaccine.Both Sanofi and Glaxo said they are in ongoing discussions with other countries about producing novel flu vaccine for national stockpiles.See also:May 25 Sanofipress releaseMay 22 Glaxopress releaseMay 22 HHS press releaseMay 6 CIDRAP News story “FDA approves new vaccine facility”last_img read more

Feravino exports to as many as 15 countries, and aims to increase the share of exports to 40 percent of total sales

first_imgNew labels of the Dika and Miraz lines, new wines, numerous international awards and revenue growth of 15 percent – in short, a great year for the winery from Feričanci.Apart from excellent results, last year in Feravin will be marked by the presentation of new labels for the Dika and Miraz lines, numerous awards, including gold at the international wine evaluation Emozioni dal Mondo: Merlot e Cabernet Insieme in Bergamo for the first coupage of the winery from Feričanaca – Cuvée Miraz, vintage 2015As Feravino winery points out, this significant increase in revenue is the result of a sales policy focused on wines of higher quality and value. “We currently export to 15 countries: Germany, France, the Netherlands, England, Ireland, Estonia, Switzerland, Poland, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, the USA, Mexico and Japan. Exports accounted for just over 13 percent of our revenues, which is an excellent result considering that until two years ago, our share in this segment was only three percent.”, Says Luka Vrga and adds that from their cellars the world goes mostly Frankovka, a variety that has become a kind of trademark of Feravin.The winery from Feričani also plans to increase the share of exports to 40 percent of total sales, which is certainly a great success, so activities in foreign markets are in full swing, and the last was in Amsterdam on January 9 and 10 at the international fair Wine Professional, intended for experts and professional audiences. Every year, the well-known winery from the heart of Slavonia sells new wine, and in a few months it will present sparkling wine from a new plant prepared according to the Charmat (tank) method, of course the focus is on exports.Related news: CROATIAN WINES ARE INCREASINGLY RECOGNIZABLE IN EUROPElast_img read more

The world names of investments and hotels are coming to Croatia in seven days

first_imgIn seven days, on February 14th and 15th, the Adria Hotel Forum, the largest hotel and investment conference in Southeast Europe and one of the five largest in Europe, will be held for the sixth time.The biggest news of this year’s event is that at the Adria Hotel Forum represent investors who manage a total of more than $ 500 billion, and vice presidents of global hotel companies talk about the future of the industry, and these are the investment funds Starwood Capital and Morgan Stanley.A panel discussion of investors will moderate Dirk Bakker, Head of Hotel Investment Department for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and the panelists are: Keith evans – Vice President for Hotel Acquisitions, Starwood Capital and Ulf Pleschiutschnig, Investment Director for Southeast Europe, Austria, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries, Morgan Stanley.But it’s not just our star’s investors. Over 60 experts who come to the Adria Hotel Forum manage thousands of hotels, monitor the global market and know how the hotel industry will develop in the coming years.Just some of them are: Christian Giraud, Senior Vice President of Development for Europe, Accor Hotels ( Accor Hotels manages 2.852 hotels and a total of 321.266 rooms in 32 European countries), Kenneth Hatton, Senior Vice President of Global Development, Belmond ( Belmond is a collection of 49 iconic hotels, trains and river cruisers in 24 countries), Andrew Sangster, owner, Hotel Analyst ( Andrew Sangster is a leading financial journalist who launched his Hotel Analyst project 10 years ago with the aim of becoming an intellectual “hub” for the hotel and investment industry)In order to hear about the practice of other Mediterranean countries in the development of tourism as an economic activity, the Minister of Tourism of Malta, Dr. Konrad Mizzi, State Secretary for Development and Tourism Policy of the Greek Ministry of Tourism, George Tziallas and State Secretary of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro, Damir Davidović.This year’s theme is “OUR OWN RESPONSIBILITY”The reason for this year’s theme is the geopolitical and security situation, which in all European countries greatly affects tourism results. And while the entire region is recording a significant increase in tourists and investment, it is unquestionable that North Africa and Turkey will recover at some point. That is why the Forum will focus on key issues such as:Are we responsible for the growth achieved or is it happening to us on its own?Are we competitive?How Eastern and Southern European countries like Bulgaria and Greece are tackling the challenges of labor shortagesA number of other unavoidable topics are:Key development guidelines to be discussed by Otmar Michaeler – FMTG CEO, Živorad Vasić – IHG Regional Director, Marybelle Arnett – Hilton Vice President for Development for Eastern Europe, Ivana Budin Arhanić – Valamar Riviera Development DirectorComparison of the hotel market in the cities of Vienna, Belgrade, Budapest, Ljubljana, Sarajevo and ZagrebImplementation of the Personal Data Protection Act (GDPR)Hotel companies on the stock market: Milena Perković – Member of the Management Board of Arena Hospitality Group, Marko Čižmek – Member of the Management Board of Valamar Riviere, Frank Reul – Director of Accora Development for Eastern Europe and Krešimir Huljev – Director of Strategy and Capital Markets of Sunce ConcernAnd many othersYou can view the entire program hereAnd as an added value for all participants, exclusively in order to present the results at the Forum, analyzes were made:Economic forecastsThe relationship between the hotel market and private accommodation for ZagrebSponsors and partners of AHF 2018 are the Ministry of Tourism of Croatia, the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, the Croatian National Tourist Board and the City of Zagreb.All information can be found at official site Forum.last_img read more

Dubrovnik Outdoor Festival is much more than a festival, it is a platform for the development of adventure tourism in Croatia

first_imgDUBROVNIK OUTDOOR FESTIVAL 2018 / MAY 14 – 20, 2018 May 14 – 19 DateTimeAboutOn Workshop1 hours Village Olympics / May 20, 2018      ISKGA trainingInstructor, transfer, equipment, certificates International training for sea kayak guides / May 14-19, 2018                                                                                                                        The second edition of the International Training for Sea Kayak Guides in Croatia will be held in Dubrovnik from 14-19. May 2018 organized by ISKGA which represents the Organization for Commercial Guides for Sea Kayaking.ISKGA represents a community of like-minded people who are connected with a common goal, professional guidance of people at sea.The training for coastal and advanced sea kayak guides is a professional certificate completed by people who want to make a career in the adventure tourism industry. It is internationally recognized as a brand and benchmark for professional sea kayak guides. Trained guides can be recruited by employers with confidence, knowing that each individual is trained in all aspects of leadership during thorough training and assessment.• Ability• Knowledge• Experience Duration2-3 h Multi-day tourMultisport DubrovnikAccommodation, transfers, guides, equipment May 14-168: 00-16: 00hTraining for guides in adventure tourism Instructors Racing race for children and adultsInstructor, technical shirt, medals The distance12 km Fun6 hours Workshop6 hours Training for guides in adventure tourism / 14 – 16 May 2018HGK and HGSS are organizing a training and workshop for guides in shoe tourism, which will be held in the adventure park Cadmos Village in Konavle on May 14 and 15 as part of the Dubrovnik outdoor festival 2018.Lecturers will be representatives of HGSS who will train guides on safety information aspects: how to react in case of an accident, safe group leadership, orientation, situation assessment and organization of care and rescue, meteorology.HGSS instructors work according to a unique program recognized by the Chamber of Commerce – a group of adventure tourism, and its goal is to educate as many people working in the field of adventure tourism to be ready for safe and quality guidance of tourists. Lecturers, coffee break 13: 00 h Seminar on adventure tourism and adrenaline sports / May 19 – 20, 2018 Visitors will have the opportunity to participate in the Village Olympics to be held at the Cadmos Village Adventure Park on May 20, 2018 at 14:00 p.m.Four-member teams will compete in tasks such as: slack line walking, orienteering, throwing objects, walking on stilts, lighting fires with improvised means, archery, shooting with slingshots, competition in tug of war, jumping in sacks and much more. .The fun village olympics will be followed by a final party at the Cadmos Village adventure park. A multi-active adventure race for two-member teams will also take place during the festival on 19 May 2018. The race will combine different sports such as kayaking, running and abseiling.At 10 am the competitors will start with the first discipline, sea kayaking (sit on top) in pairs from the beach Šulić towards the island of Lokrum. Competitors will run 6 km around the island of Lokrum and will paddle in kayaks back to the beach Šulić for the final challenge, going down the rope from the fortress Lovrijenac, Dubrovnik. The organizer provides instructors and equipment (kayaks, oars, vests, abseil equipment) and tickets for Lokrum and Lovrijenac Fortress.Activity time: 2-3 hRowing distance: 6 kmRunning distance: 6 kmAbseil (height) 40 m Training8 – 16 hcenter_img seminar6 hours Workshop10 hours Abseil40 m May 19-2018: 00 20-: 30 h9: 00 13-: 00 hSeminar on adrenaline sports and adventure tourism Svaki dan8: 00 16-: 00 h Race for children and adults Konavle / 20 svibnja 2018A workshop on running techniques for children and adults will be held as part of the Dubrovnik outdoor festival on May 20, 2018, at 13:00 in the adventure park Cadmos Village (Konavle region). The training will be led by athlete Mrs. Ana Perović Alamat, former Croatian national running champion. After the workshop, there will be two races, one suitable for children and the other for adults. 1 km children’s race and 5 km adult race. Village Olympics3 hours Second edition Dubrovnik Outdoor Festival brings fun and exciting outdoor activities, education, multi-day adventure tours and sporting events. The festival will be held in the Dubrovnik area from 14 to 20 May 2018.Dubrovnik outdoor festival promotes a healthy lifestyle through fun and various outdoor outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking, climbing, adventure racing, etc. During the festival, lovers of adventure activities will have the opportunity to discover the natural beauty of the Dubrovnik region and its surroundings.. “We want to show, but also inspire people how to enjoy various adventurous activities in the south of Croatia. Local food, hidden natural beauties and various adventure activities of this region will surely leave all our visitors breathless ” points out Zoran Ateljević from TM Adventure and one of the organizers of the festival.The second edition of the Dubrovnik outdoor festival will provide various seminars and professional workshops that will promote the importance of safety in adventure tourism. As part of the festival, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service will organize a workshop for guides in adventure tourism. The workshop will be held on 14 and 15 May 2018 in the Konavle area.With the help of the World Organization for Adventure Tourism (ATTA), the Dubrovnik Outdoor Festival 2018 plans to host various lecturers specializing in adventure tourism and adrenaline sports. Participants will have the opportunity to learn more about various topics such as international standards for adventure guides, fitness training of outdoor athletes, various adrenaline sports for tourism, the importance of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, safety standards in adventure tourism and much more.This year’s festival program also brings the second international workshop and training for sea kayaking guides, which will be held in Dubrovnik from 14 to 19 May 2018 in cooperation with the International Association of Sea Kayaking Guides (ISKGA). A multi-active adventure race for two-member teams will also take place during the festival on 19 May 2018. The race will combine different sports such as kayaking, running and abseiling. The final weekend of the festival will offer various adrenaline activities and entertainment in the Konavle area. Visitors will have the opportunity to try their hand at fun races in nature for children and adults and the Village Olympics.Dubrovnik Outdoor Festival (DOF) is much more than a festival, because it is a complete tourist product, both in the B2C and B2B segment. A tourist product that creates a motive for coming in the pre-season, and brings together professionals involved in adventure tourism through various educations, trainings and workshops. Also, the festival positions Dubrovnik and its surroundings as a destination that is much more about the Dubrovnik walls, and gives that additional motive for extending the night. Because let’s be realistic, Dubrovnik is a one-day destination, and it certainly has a lot more to offer. And one of the motives is certainly adventure, ie adventure tourism.Finally, be sure to take a look at the story of the Dubrovnik & Konavle Walking Festival, organized by the same team as DOF, and find out what our tourist product should look like./ DUBROVNIK & KONAVLE WALKING FESTIVAL GREAT TOURIST STORY AND PLATFORM HOW OUR TOURIST PRODUCT SHOULD LOOKPROGRAM, WORKSHOPS, EDUCATIONS, TRAININGS / DUBROVNIK OUTDOOR FESTIVAL 10: 00 h As part of the Dubrovnik outdoor festival from 19 to 20 May 2018, a seminar on adventure tourism and adrenaline sports will be held in the Konavle area. With the help of the World Organization for Adventure Tourism (ATTA), national and local sports clubs, the Dubrovnik outdoor festival 2018 plans to host various lecturers specializing in adventure tourism and adrenaline sports.Participants will have the opportunity to learn more about various topics such as: international standards for adventure guides, fitness training of outdoor athletes, adventure sports activities in tourism, the importance of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, safety standards in adventure tourism and much more. May 14 – 23 Svaki dan Workshop2 hours May 2014: 00 hVillage OlympicsEquipment for four-member teams May 19 ISKGA training8 – 16 h Utrka1 hours Adventure race DubrovnikTechnical T-shirt instructor, accompanying vessel, equipment, medals, awards Adventure race Dubrovnik / 19. May 2018 May 20last_img read more

Croatia’s green light for the EC to continue the construction of the Istrian Y.

first_imgThe European Commission approved Croatia’s extension of the contract with Bina-Istra, the concessionaire of the Istrian Y, which gave the green light for the construction of the full profile of the motorway on the section Pazin-tunnel Učka in the length of 165 km worth 28 million euros.The European Commission confirmed that Croatia’s plan is in line with state aid, and Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said extending the Istrian Y concession would boost regional growth and investment, improve public safety and reduce traffic congestion.”After two years of a procedure that involved exhaustive negotiations with the concessionaire, international financial institutions and the European Commission, I was pleased to receive this news from Brussels. The construction of the 2 B1 phase of the Istrian Y from the Učka Tunnel to Pazin will begin soon. It is a large and important infrastructure project with which this Government continues with a large investment cycle in the construction of transport infrastructure. Following this Decision, we initiate the procedure of adopting the Decision of the Annex to the Concession Agreement issued by the Government of the Republic of Croatia. In parallel with this project, 2 B2 phases are being designed, ie other pipes of the Učka tunnel and the construction of the full profile to the Matulji junction is being completed.”, Said the Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butkovic.Works on the section Pazin-tunnel Učka should last a total of 3 years.last_img read more

Four global hotel chains have invested $ 50 million in a meeting space reservation platform

first_imgThe platform, initially called Eventaglobal, has received a total of 5,5m euros in investment since its inception. The $ 50 million investment will help them hire new employees in the company as well as further develop the platform. “It will have a significant ownership share and each of the hotel brands will have a representative office on our boardSaid David Kloeppel, president of Group360. “It is obvious that this is a significant investment and that hoteliers have a significant economic interest in the future of the company. They recognized the efforts we are making to improve the meeting space reservation system.” This contract implies the ownership of a significant part of the company by hotel chains, although the managers do not provide more detailed details about the ownership structure of the company nor about the commercial model Group360. Global hotel chains often overlook the benefits that conference room booking technologies would allow them. But several large hoteliers have decided to invest in a platform for reserving meeting space called Groups360, reports Skift. “We need to hire more staff to continue to create a platform that meets the needs of consumersSaid CEO Group360. Source: Shift Namely, it is an investment worth 50 million dollars of hotel chains Marriott International, InterContinental Hotels Group, Accor and Hilton Hotels and Resorts. The Groups360 platform was founded in 2014 by several former executives of Gaylord Entertainment.last_img read more

Kristjan Staničić, CNTB: Where one invests in quality, there are no problems with achieving good results

first_imgThis year, the fact that large destinations have higher tourist traffic, such as Zagreb and Split, came to the fore, said Kristjan Staničić, director of the Croatian Tourist Board. This year, he adds, there has been an increase in domestic guests in the pre- and post-season. There is also an increase in distant markets, the USA, China, Korea, Australia. The Minister of Tourism Gari Capelli, the director of the Croatian Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić, the director of the Zagreb Tourist Board Martina Bienenfeld, the president of the HGK Family Tourism Association Martina Nimac Kalcina and Sean Lisjak from the HGK Marina Association were guests at the Open. The structure of everything that is happening in both Zagreb and Croatia actually shows that we are not stagnant and that we have very good results so far compared to what we planned, said Martina Bienenfeld, director of the Zagreb Tourist Board. For Zagreb, we forecast growth of between 2 and 5 percent, Zagreb currently has 3% more arrivals and 4% more overnight stays, so we are at the level of Croatia, and Advent is yet to come. “About 33% had a better season, 33% the same, 6% said they had a great season. 25% said they had a worse one. This means that there was still a large occupancy, people were satisfied. As for those who had a 25% worse season, I think that there is a limit when a part of the renters has to ask themselves what they are doing wrong and why they were poorly filled in the peak season”, Said Kalcina. “The result is very clear. At the moment we have 4 percent more arrivals, 2 percent more overnight stays, but most importantly the financial results are better than last year. It is fiscalized that in catering services, accommodation services, agency services, even 13% more, and when we add this some average is about 8% more, about 600 billion and XNUMX million kuna is more fiscalized than last year”, Said the minister. The Minister supports everything that can make progress in tourism. In addition, he points out that one of the most important laws on tourist land will follow, which, he says, will be sent to the procedure very soon. It, he adds, enables over 3 billion of new investments, employment and what comes with it. “We can actually say that we are a destination of 365, and we record about 100 registered guests every month from the beginning of the year until the end, which is actually very good. In the summer months a lot more. For us, these are guests who continue their vacations in another destination in Croatia, but the rest of the year, these first six months and after, now what awaits us are guests who come to Zagreb on purpose because they discover the capital.She added. “Nautics does not have great challenges that it cannot cope with. What I always emphasize is that within some legal solutions to bring new preconditions for new steps in nautical as such, ie the marina where we will open the possibility of additional earnings. All our marinas are more or less adequately filled, 98% is the occupancy of marinas”, States Lisjak. In continental tourism, the increase in arrivals is 30%, the minister said. He points out that it is planned to invest 575 million kuna in tourism in five Slavonian counties. “Two important messages emerge: where there is investment in quality, there is no problem with selling capacity and achieving prices. And the second is the extension of the main tourist season to the pre-season and post-season, which is one of our strategic goals”, Said Stanicic. “After a few years, this year we are seeing an increase from Russia, Ukraine, France, Brazil. Thus, the World Cup affected the visibility of Croatia and the strengthening of the brand’s strength in the global emitting market. I think that the Croatian National Tourist Board, together with the ministry, thanks to our footballers for their success, used it well for promotional purposes.” Nautics is going in the direction we expected. With about 17 thousand berths for guests whose structure does not change so intensively, with all the investments that marina owners make, we achieve the results we have planned, claims Sean Lisjak, Association of Marina HGK. “But unlike Croatia, the structure of our guests is significantly different. The most numerous guests are from South Korea, the most numerous per night are guests from the USA. The Germans are traditionally second to us, however, the structure of our guests in the top ten are guests from all over the world, and the least actually European”, Explained Bienenfeld. As for small renters, the vast majority were well filled and this shows that there is still a great deal of interest in private accommodation. The information she receives about the season is positive, said Martina Nimac Kalcina, president of the Family Tourism Association. What was the highlight of the tourist season? Why did we have a slight minus in July and growth in August? Have we succeeded in striving to have tourism all 365 days a year? What do we do for promotion in our country and in the world? Are we threatened by competitors in the Mediterranean? What will the next season be like, will we lower prices and increase the salaries of employees in tourism? Do we have enough workers? All indicators show that we have planned well and with quality, the minister added. “There were about 800 more people in Croatia this year. I avoid those physical numbers, the financial results are important to me, which were very good. So we changed the laws, went to recategorization. Where there is investment, there are results – in campsites, hotels and private accommodation far greater occupancy. If I say that St. Peter in the woods villas with pool have 160 days occupancy I think I said it all. They are 50 km from the sea.” If we were to evaluate the tourist season by physical indicators and by what happened in July, it would be that something was wrong, however, nothing new is happening that has not happened before, commented the Minister of Tourism Gary Cappelli on the July minus . Source / photo: Croatian Radio and Televisionlast_img read more