The Croatian National Tourist Information System eVisitor won the third place and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Award for Innovation in Research and Technology. This is a ceremony award that was held in Madrid as part of the FITUR fair, the largest tourist fair in Spain. The award was received by Director of HTZ Head Office Kristjan Staničić, who emphasized that the eVisitor system among the finalists is the only nominated Croatian project.
“In Croatia, we are very glad to receive the news about the eVisitor’s candidacy for the UNWTO prize, and this winning prize and third place make us particularly proud. The eVisitor system is a very important project for the entire Croatian tourism and therefore we are extremely pleased that its quality is recognized in the world as well. Apart from the fact that it significantly reduces administrative work in the process of registering and leaving the tourists, the system serves as an excellent tool for further development of tourism offers and marketing and promotional activities of all users, from renters to family accommodation and to tourist companies and institutions. This recognition gives us additional motivation for further system upgrading, as well as creating new innovative projects for the Croatian tourist system to be even more successful, “said Staničić. Finalists were selected from 128 reported innovative projects from 55 countries, which further points to this great success of the Croatian Tourist Board project which is fully developed by Croatian experts in Croatia. “This is another acknowledgment for Croatian tourism and proof that Croatia is now recognized as one of the leaders in the world’s tourist industry,” Staničič said.
We recall that the prizes were awarded in four subcategories, so under the category of innovativeness in research and technology, besides eVisitora from Croatia, two more projects were nominated. Thus the winner of this sub-category was declared SEGITTUR from Spain for the Smart Tourism System (SIT) project, while the second place was awarded to the EarthCheck organization from Australia for the “Building Planning and Design Standard (BPDS)” project. Apart from this subcategory, UNWTO has also awarded the award in the sub-category of innovation in public policy and management, innovation in companies and innovation in non-governmental organizations, and each year the Ulysses awards and ethics acknowledgments are also awarded.
The eVisitor system in Croatia has been in full use since 2016 and has fulfilled all expectations as a single and central place of entry and departure of tourists, ie for calculation and control of the sojourn tax charge. The eVisitor system is an innovative platform that is free for users, maximally simplified and accessible from any location that has access to the Internet, thus greatly facilitating all the processes the system offers. It is also important to emphasize the segment of tourism traffic monitoring so today, thanks to the system, in almost real time it is possible to track the tourist flows by different parameters, thus obtaining a very detailed insight into different structures of tourist traffic.
Otherwise, Director Staničić met with the new Secretary General of UNWTO, Zurabom Pololikashvili, during his stay in Madrid, and visited the Croatian booth as part of the Croatian National Tourist Board at the FITUR fair, which will take place from 17 to 21 January.