As a leader in Croatian tourism, Valamar is the first to launch the V-Executive business education, with which it will develop the best talents from the company into future leaders with leading educational institutions and academic experts. Namely, Valamar, the largest tourist company in Croatia, and five higher education institutions in Croatia signed an Agreement on Cooperation in the Improvement and Development of Educational Programs. The V-Executive program will feature more than 25 lecturers from key academic institutions, Valamar managers and leading experts from many fields. The two-year V-Executive business education will offer participants a complete set of knowledge and skills needed to develop a successful career in tourism and hospitality, and as they point out from Valamar is based on modern academic knowledge and practical experience of lecturers and enables professional and personal development. Cover photo: Valamar, Illustration: HrTurizam.hr Vatroslav Škare, associate professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of Zagreb and director of the V-Executive program added: “Tourism is one of the most important industries in Croatia, but the changes that are daily in this industry represent a great challenge for managers in tourism. The special feature of the V-Executive program, as a combination of academic knowledge and business practice, is the answer to this challenge, and that is top knowledge. Through this program, managers will gain specific knowledge from specific areas and respond to all future challenges”. Željko Kukurin. Photo: Davor Puklavec / PIXSELL The V-Executive program is part of the umbrella educational platform Valamar Excellence, a program of lifelong learning and acquisition of knowledge through education and training for business in tourism and hospitality, which offers all Valamar employees a constant opportunity for personal and professional development. V-Executive contains 27 modules divided into eight main thematic directions, and each direction deals with specific topics related to business in tourism. The number of participants at the module level is limited to a maximum of 40. “Caring for employees is a key strategy for managing guest satisfaction. The knowledge and skills of employees are the key competence of service excellence. With these beliefs, Valamar has developed a V-Excellence education and training program that will be implemented in cooperation with the best experts and institutions in Croatia. We are especially proud of the development of the V-Executive training program, where we will provide our talents with management training modeled on numerous executive programs of business schools around the world, using the best academic and business practice in Croatia.” said Zeljko Kukurin, CEO of Valamar Riviere. Depending on their own preferences and work experience, participants will be able to choose the entire program or individual thematic areas and modules related specifically to their job position or desired area of training. The program starts in January 2020. The contract was signed by Željko Kukurin, President of the Management Board of Valamar Riviera, Jurica Pavičić, Dean of the Faculty of Economics, University of Zagreb, Robert Zenzerović, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Tourism Dr. Mijo Mirković in Pula, Dora Smolčić Jurdana, Dean of the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management Opatija and Maja Fredotović, Dean of the Faculty of Economics in Split. The University of Dubrovnik will also join the cooperation on educational projects.
Rumours of the Open returning to Royal Portrush have been circulating for some time, with reports on Sunday claiming a deal had been done for 2019, 68 years after Max Faulkner won the only Open staged outside England and Scotland. However, the R&A’s response on Twitter labelled such reports as “Portrush rumours” and a statement released to Press Association Sport read: “As part of our commitment to examine the feasibility of staging an Open Championship at Portrush, the R&A continues to discuss this at a conceptual level with Royal Portrush Golf Club and the Northern Ireland Executive. The R&A insist it remains “some distance” from being able to stage the Open Championship in Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951. “It’s very bizarre and an amazing statement. I couldn’t believe it and read it three times. I had heard the US PGA was looking at going global, which is a very positive step forward, but I was expecting Asia, not the north coast of Ireland. “Even if it never comes to fruition it’s a great boost to be mentioned in that breath. My brother Gary is on the greenkeeping staff there and he will have a spring in his step.” Despite the R&A’s stance, it is understood negotiations with Portrush are very well advanced and tourism minister Arlene Foster told Press Association Sport: “Obviously if the R&A does make a decision to put Royal Portrush on the rota it will be a tremendous thing for Northern Ireland and a very positive sign we are moving confidently on and I think we want to send that message out.” Asked if the potential for disorder in mid-July – the height of marching season – could be an issue, Foster noted the success of staging the Giro d’Italia cycling race in Northern Ireland over the last three days. “If they are looking on this week and they are seeing the way the entire community has taken to the Giro d’Italia I think sport transcends a lot of what may be seen as our difficulties,” she added. Police Service of Northern Ireland chief constable Matt Baggott added: “I think these events actually help to focus people on what’s good, rather than some of the things that are negative. “Let’s not forget that in July the vast, vast majority of parades pass off perfectly peacefully. It’s only one or two that we still have problems with, so we have got to get things in perspective.” “Discussions have been positive but we are still some distance from being in a position to take the Open to Northern Ireland.” The R&A denied reports last summer that the Open was set to be held at Portrush in 2018. R&A chief executive Peter Dawson admitted that it is “a fantastic golf course,” but concerns remain over the infrastructure required to stage a major and Dawson feels the current nine-course Open rota is “about right”. Portrush has not hosted a major championship since the 1951 Open, but the Irish Open drew massive crowds there in 2012 and the likes of major champions Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell have been lobbying on Portrush’s behalf. It has also been suggested that the R&A would hasten its decision after Portrush emerged as a surprise contender to stage the US PGA Championship. The PGA of America is studying the impact of holding the event outside the United States, with the earliest possible date in 2020. It had been thought that Asia would be the most likely venue, but PGA of America president Ted Bishop said in November last year that he was interested in Portrush. “Royal Portrush would be a great first international major,” Bishop said. “I think given the powerful effect that Irish golfers have on the professional game today, that might be a good place to start.” Portrush native McDowell, whose brother works at the club, said at the time: “It’s always been a dream of mine to play the Open there but the US PGA would do nicely. Press Association