In New Year 2023, I want us to start training for the World Championship

Author  Goran Rihelj

31. December 2022.

In 2023, the editorial staff of the portal HrTurizam i Tourist stories they wish you much success and laughter, as well as that our tourism focuses on strategic and sustainable development.

Our greatest value is our diversity and authenticity. All trends in tourism say the same thing, and that is authenticity, sustainability and digitization

Honestly, authenticity has always been and will always be the main trend in tourism, because the very essence of tourism is exactly that – an authentic experience. Differentiation from others is exactly who we are - our way and culture of living. 

The motive of the trip is to get to know a new culture and way of life. Therefore, it is logical and natural for us to be who we are and "sell" our way and culture of living, and not be a copy.

Tourists from Vienna certainly do not want to eat "Vienna schnitzel", but they want to try and experience something new. We still figuratively sell French wine to the French, instead of ours. Otherwise why would people travel? If we are all a copy of Tuscany, then why should people travel? If someone wants to experience Tuscany, then they will go to the real Tuscany, not visit some copy or replica. The original has always had and will always have its own value and reason for coming, while the copy most certainly will not.

As for sustainability and digitization, we are still just talking. But we have a strategy.  

The focus must be on authenticity, not mass tourism. The focus must be on the story and the experience, not just living off "rental" tourism through sun and sea. Such tourism is not planned, it happens by itself. The focus must be on people and the local economy, not on encouraging imports. The focus must be on local tomatoes and eggs. Feel free to continue down the line…

New year, new challenges, and the biggest challenge was and remains the change of "mindset".

In New Year 2023, I want us to start training for the World Cup.

But we know everything, we are the "champions" of the world after all. Both in sports and in tourism. But the difference is that in sports there is a serious selection of the best who deserve to be among the first "11", with many years of hard work and development of each player.

Football has long been something much more than just shooting the ball in training and running up and down, and every match includes in-depth analysis, preparations, strategies and changes in rhythm and tactics during the game. Football is also a team sport, not the soloing of an individual.

The synergy of all 11 players on the field + the coach and the entire staff. Football is also the preparation of the match, as well as the process of rehabilitation and regeneration. Football is also long-term planning of which players we will buy, how they will fit into the team, how we will "sharpen" the players. Football is also infrastructure, from the stadium to the entire organization of the club. Football is also finance, investing, investments, branding, marketing, souvenirs, communication on social networks, sponsorships... development of young players and coaches. Budget and finance planning. Analytics or digitization entered football a long time ago. From selling tickets to monitoring each player, both health and physical capabilities to evaluating each match. How he moved, how much he ran, had passes...

But all in all, everyone is looking at the final product. Everyone is watching 11 players running and fighting on the field to score a goal. A goal more than the opponent. But everyone is watching the same game. How those who bought the more expensive ticket in the VIP boxes, those who bought seats in the middle, and those in every corner of the stadium, even those who bought the cheapest tickets in the "standing" seats. But they all watch the same game or show.

A performance that is very well planned and programmed for success. It is no coincidence that year after year the same teams always play the finals of the championships, with some positive anomalies. 

Success in the whole story is not overnight, but is smartly built for many years. And there with a lot of effort, sweat, attempts, pain, lucidity... 

Everyone can play football, but only some can play in the Champions League. Sometimes, even in sports, there is luck, a moment of genius of a player, but history is still written by great and stable teams. Teams that strategically deal with all processes. Teams that are sustainable or, in soccer terms, that are competitive year after year.

Likewise in tourism. We have a natural resource and a geostrategic position given to us. We did not create that comparative advantage. How we will train and ultimately play the game depends only on us. 

In order to make progress, we need business processes, strategic and planned development, everyone's synergy, and to really start dealing with development or to start training football. Everyone, not just individuals. And not to "get together" on the day of the match/season and play without a coach or preparation. We may play well for the first 15 minutes (two months)... but the question is long-term and sustainable, how will we fare? How will the match end? 

As we know, only the winners are remembered, not who played in the semi-finals. 

In the end, we have everything, it's all up to us whether and how we want to play the game. The more we train, the better and more successful we will be. Everyone is fighting for the same tourists in Europe. And the winners will be those who are smarter, faster, more agile, more creative, more innovative, and most of all, those who deal strategically and sustainably with the development of tourism. 

Author  Goran Rihelj

31. December 2022.