Finsbury Food Group has reported an 11% decline in cake sales in the first eight weeks of 2010, as consumers continue to trade down.In its interim results for the 26 weeks to 2 January, 2010, the country’s second-largest cake producer reported an 8% fall in like-for-like cake sales to £65.3m, with an 11% decline in the follo-wing eight weeks. The company blamed the downturn on changes in shopping habits caused by the recession, with consumers trading down from Finsbury’s premium cakes to cheaper alternatives and taking advantage of supermarket promotions.However, chief executive John Duffy told BB he was confident the market for own-label value-added cakes would bounce back in the second half of the year.”There hasn’t been a lot of activity at the premium end of the market in the past year, but the expectation is that most of [the supermarkets] are planning to do something around their premium cake ranges,” he said. “When we get back into a more normal economic period, I’m sure we can introduce more value into the category. After a recession, people do come back [to premium products].”In preparation for the predicted turnaround, Finsbury has improved efficiency across the whole company in the past six months, opening a new Scottish distribution centre for cakes, investing in a £2m free-from bread line and integrating production of Goswells’ branded breads at its Nicholas & Harris bakery.It has also undertaken consumer research to help with new product development and appointed a new technical director and marketing team.Group revenue at Finsbury for the second half of last year was £82.9m, a fall of 7% (£6.2m) on the previous year, while profit before tax was flat, at £1.8m. Sales in its bread and free-from division rose by 14% to £17.6m.
The moment Marin Strmota, State Secretary for Demography at the Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy, resigned publicly and very emotionally in front of the media, the “stage lights” lit up the question of all issues of survival of the Croatian people and Croatia as a state. .The attention did not last long because in the next act, the government’s extraordinary commissioner for Agrokor, Ante Ramljak, resigned irrevocably. Two similar, (un) expected acts from different motives and from different positions of acquired material gains in a short period of performing the duties entrusted to them.We will leave this second case aside for now, it is part of the long agony of the collapse of the wrong economic model of sovereign Croatia. The first case deserves attention from the aspect of growing tourist traffic in Croatia.DEFINITION OF THE STATEAccording to international law, a state as a legal entity must have at least the following characteristics: 1. Defined territory, 2. Authority, 3. Permanent population 4. Ability to create relations with other states. Permanent population, according to this order, represents the “third element of statehood”. Of course, the permanent population could be in the first place, but “The Third Element” sounds convincingly like the title of Luc Besson’s hit film “The Fifth Element”. We are talking about a permanent population without which a state cannot be formed, but also a municipality, a city, a county. The “third element” should be the first item of all policies at all levels of a country. And here we come to the demographics and the famous tragedian from the beginning of this story, Dr. Strmota.DEMOGRAPHYDemography is by definition the science of population. This science deals with the research and study of the laws of population movement, determines the interrelationships of population movements with other phenomena in the economy and society in general. One of such trends that accompanies demography is depopulation. Depopulation is a phenomenon of population decline in a region, country, caused by emigration and small population growth, a small number of births in relation to the loss of population, or death. When these ratios of population loss and growth, ie immigration, are disturbed in favor of a constant increase in population loss rates, then we come to a pronounced depopulation, ie a new concept – extinction. Dr. In his last public address from the position of State Secretary, Strmota stated exactly that – “Croatia is dying out”.The modern tourist-researcher wants to completely merge with the local culture of life. He strongly counts on the hosts and a good household through which he gets acquainted with the “lifestyle” of the local community – Nedo PinezićTHE EXTINCTION OF THE STATE AND TOURISMNow you are already wondering, dear readers, what does all this have to do with tourism? So far, we have been able to understand that the continuation of the extinction trend will cause a negative ratio of the working-age population to the incapable of working, so social solidarity funds will also be endangered. First of all, the health and pension fund. It’s already happening. In addition, the population will age rapidly and more and more older people will be without the care of their residents. What is already happening in some areas is the complete disappearance of the “third element”. For some time because of this, some municipalities will be left without a working-age population first, and then without a population at all. The leadership of such municipalities will soon be engaged exclusively in the communal activity of managing cemeteries and posthumous care of their inhabitants. Such places will become unattractive for occasional residents, weekenders, but also for modern tourists. Surveys on guest satisfaction with one of the world’s largest online platforms booking.com have shown that the “third element” is one of the basic elements of the destination experience. Not only natural and cultural attractions combined with accommodation and organized stay are important anymore. The modern tourist-researcher wants to completely merge with the local culture of life. At the same time, he strongly counts on the hosts and a good household through which he gets acquainted with the “lifestyle” of the local community.RESEARCH RESULTSIn 2016, apartments, holiday homes and villas were at the top of the list of facilities with a perfect 10 points. These facilities occupied as much as 70% of the total accommodation, which was rated with this high rating of guest satisfaction. In the same survey, guests stated (70% of them) that they spend their holidays best when they feel at home, and as many as 59% of respondents said that they like to feel a personal connection with the host. The success of its business is based on this principle and the planetarily popular Airbnb. Already in the introduction from their website you can read: “Discover entire homes and private rooms ideal for any trip. 5-star hosts. Freshly ironed bed linen and a recommendation for the best brunch in town are just part of the hospitality that our local hosts will provide you…”CROATIAN HOSTS AMONG THE BEST IN THE WORLDIndeed, whatever you think about it, the fact is that Croatian hosts have been ranked among the best in the world for several years: In 2015, we had 3 of the ten best households in the world in the booking.com campaign. In the same year, we had 9.310 households with an average rating of 8,9 in the same campaign, and in 2016 as many as 12.219 households with an average rating of 8,9 out of a maximum of 10. In 2017, we won awards for the best holiday home in Europe in 4 of 8 categories. Now, the “tourist industrialists” think that all this is unimportant, because the most important thing for them is to take the most attractive positions in nature for the construction of accommodation facilities. It can be a natural bay, a plateau above a large waterfall on Plitvice Lakes or Srđ with a view of Dubrovnik or some other location. It is important that this is a unique place that will at least briefly attract travelers from any part of the world. There should be no contact with locals, people with programmed time will come to these facilities. The necessary hotel service will be performed by “contactless” staff from any country, culture, language area. The service will be standardized, rich in facilities, and guests will be organized sightseeing, playing golf, swimming in the pool overlooking the city walls. Part of such tourism already functions on tours passing through Croatia. Guests come to the hotel in the evening, have dinner, sleep over, have breakfast early and go sightseeing. It is a model that was first introduced by mega companies for cruises, and they were also replicated at resorts.THEY KILLED MY TASTESays a friend of mine and a famous young hotelier from Krk. The reason? He was skiing in Austria, he stayed in the hotel where he usually stays and which was marked 5s stars (superior). Surprise this year! The hotel bears a 4-star quality label, the staff does not speak German or English but Russian, Ukrainian, Moldovan… Apart from communication problems, the overall atmosphere is no longer the same as guests used to communicate with local staff. It was simply part of the destination experience. Due to the lack of such an experience, the hotel received bad reviews, and consequently its category was lowered. Guests who have experienced this change will not return to the hotel or recommend it to their friends. In the new definition of luxury, there is no place for this approach to service. This has been warned about for several years at the ITB in Berlin.CAN CROATIAN TOURISM PRESERVE QUALITY?I remember the XNUMXs when guests on arrival and departure to the hotel where I worked would greet every employee. There was no end to the joy of meeting again, and tears often fell at the parting. Even the guests who came for the first time cordially said goodbye to their hosts, the hotel employees. They were mostly local, educated people, always ready to talk and at the service of the guest with every question he asked: Where to eat well? Where can you buy good homemade brandy? Which beach do you recommend? In the hotel you could get superbly prepared food day and night, the waiters had the manners of a butler, and the bartender was a real psychologist, sometimes a personal confessor of the guest. The hotels were more modest, unable to compare to today’s five-star beauties, but the spirit of the household was incomparably better. People who worked in these hotels had a permanent job, days off in exchange for overtime hours, sold their agricultural products to the hotel, the hotel’s “home-made reception” filled their rooms and apartments. Salaries were as below average as they are today, but with additional income, days off and constant education during the winter months, people were satisfied. If the employee is satisfied, happy, then the guest will also feel the warm atmosphere. Today, unfortunately, we have great buildings, but less and less happy and satisfied permanent residents who work in tourism. This shortcoming is most felt in the accommodation facilities of the highest category with the highest prices.If you think I’m emotional and sentimental, I have to disappoint you. I confirmed my theses with one of the world’s greatest marketing experts, Peter Fisk. I have been consulting his book “Marketing Genius” for ten years, I keep it like a Bible on the nightstand. I will not write who Peter Fisk is and what he did and where he worked, you can “google” it. Among other things, he writes in his book (10 years ago): “Employees want more than just a job that brings them a salary. They used to agree to do farm work in a sterile environment in which their role did not change over time and as long as they were paid they did not care about the organization in a broader sense or about its customers and shareholders. They now expect a role that brings a greater sense of fulfillment, a better ambience and other benefits besides payment, expect to learn and thrive, eagerly care for their customers; they want to make an impact on their organization and be proud of it”.An impressive example of the treatment of employees of the world-famous chain “Starbucks coffee”: “Every employee who works more than twenty hours a week, and this is the most common case, gets a shareholder stake in the business, so employees feel even more part of Starbucks ’mission and a participant in its success. Indeed, as he grew, Starbucks made millionaires out of many of its employees”This is why I was moved by a tear in the eye of Secretary of State Strmota. He knows, I understand, the problem of the disappearance of the “third element”. Those who can do something about it should, like us in tourism, “put themselves in the shoes of the person to whom our moves refer.”Published by: Nedo Pinezić
Authorities in Miami are reporting that the 21-year-old Winnie Mendoza who was found dead Friday was shot to death by her aunt’s husband.Mendoza’s body was located in the driveway of her family’s home on 15000 block of Southwest 307th Street around 8:00 am Friday.According to the report, a family member who was home at the time, says they heard a knock at the door and then gun shots moments later. When they went outside, they found Mendoza’s body in the driveway.After an investigation authorities arrested Mendoza’s aunt’s husband Stephen Myers, who they said confessed to the murder.Myers who is married and has two children with Mendoza’s aunt, told investigators that he and Mendoza had been illicitly involved for the past two years and that he became angry and jealous when Mendoza decided to spend Thursday night away from home.Myers reportedly followed Mendoza to her home and then exited his truck and began arguing with her and demanding to know where she spent the night. Myers then shot Mendoza several times and fled to scene to his home where he confessed to his wife that he shot her niece. He then left that residence as well.He was located a short time later by police where he confessed to the murder.Myers has been arrested and has been taken to Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center where he is expected to be charged with second-degree murder.