The Međimurje holiday house is the first in Croatia to carry the EU Ecolabel certificate. We bring the details

Two hotels, six campsites and one holiday home are certified in Croatia.

15. October 2022.

The European Commission has declared Međimurje County a European destination of excellence three times, the Croatian Tourist Board has declared Međimurje the most successful continental tourism destination, and this northernmost Croatian county has also won the Rural Tourism Sunflower label and four 'Simply the best' tourist awards.

Last year, Terme Sveti Martin was the first hotel in Croatia to be awarded a certificate EU Ecolabel, and from this summer it is also rural Međimurje holiday house Lina owned by the Laitman family the first private accommodation facility in Croatia to receive this European certificate.

Holiday house Lina, owned by the Lajtman family, is the first private accommodation facility in Croatia to receive this European certificate, which is a guarantee from the European Commission that the marked products and services are of the highest quality in terms of environmental protection.

It is a certificate designed by the European Commission and set according to extremely demanding criteria, and only 20 to 30 percent of services and goods can meet them. It not only certifies tourist services, but also many other products. The certificate is a guarantee by the European Commission that the marked products and services are top-notch in terms of environmental protection.

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Rural Međimurje holiday house Lina is part of the OPG Mohokos family farm, located in the very heart of Međimurje, in Pleškovec.

"Since our family farm deals with ecological and biodynamic production, before building this holiday home we thought in this ecological direction. During the construction of the building itself, we followed that direction, selecting and installing appliances and equipment, lighting, insulation and much more", explained the owner Zvonko Laitman.

House Lina was built in 2020, and the certification process - from initial idea to realization - took a year and a half. "Everything is checked - the certification process includes 67 criteria, 22 criteria are mandatory, and the rest are scored. Everything is taken into account: from the cistern and faucet, to LED lighting, cleaning agents used, rainwater collection, water consumption, energy efficiency. Everything used must be ecological. Toilet paper must be ecological, as well as cleaning and personal hygiene products for guests. However, all products that have an eco label, such as beds or bedding, carry more points.", explains Laitman.

Equipping and supplying a holiday home with prescribed products is not easy. "We waited for toilet paper for almost a month, it took us a long time to find out who produces it, and in the end it turned out that it is produced in Bjelovar. Cleaning products are easier to find, they are available in retail chains, some of them also offer our domestic producers, but their products are already harder to find."

The EU Ecolabel certificate celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, and in the tourism industry, around 500 hotels and campsites across Europe carry this prestigious label. Two hotels, six campsites and one holiday home are certified in Croatia.

Zvonko Laitman believes that his decision to certify the house was a good one: "I think it was worth the time and effort. Based on my experience, I have prepared trainings on the certification process to help others interested in getting into it. We are starting a series of presentations and lectures soon, so we will see how many there will be. I wish that it goes faster for others than it did for me, that they complete the procedure within 6 or 7 months."

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The Tourist Board of Međimurje County recently announced that the holiday house Lina will be nominated as the best host of rural tourism in the competition of the Croatian Tourist Board.

Lajtman emphasizes that he has a determined cooperation with the Tourist Board, but also with the County itself, which last year approved funds in the amount of HRK 20.000 for the costs of preparing the study required for certification. In the implementation of the project, the Ministry of Economy, the Department of Eco Labels also helped.

The elaboration alone cost about HRK 24, and the family also covered the costs of some minor, necessary modifications to the building. However, they believe that the investment will return. "Since September, we have been included in the catalog of certified facilities, and our goal is to attract guests from Northern Europe. Considering that the certificate was awarded to us in June this year, it is still too early to notice any significant changes in bookings. We need to get a little more involved in advertising, but also booking platforms. Last year, our occupancy rate was 30%, which is good if we take into account the situation with the corona virus. We are satisfied with the occupancy rate this year as well, mostly foreign guests.", Laitman summarized.

The fact that two buildings in Međimurje County are holders of the EU Ecolabel is proof that smart and high-quality work and by rethinking tourism can receive a mark that is at the very top of the certificate in terms of significance, and Međimurje has thus positioned itself strongly on the European ecological tourist map.

Find out more about the first holiday home in Croatia with the EU Ecolabel certificate at Holiday Home Lina

Photo: Holiday Home Lina

15. October 2022.