UHPA: 40 travel agencies gain ISO 9001:2008 certification
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This makes them the first in Croatia to obtain certification for their quality systems through mutual cooperation and networking via trade association. The certificates were handed to the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies (UHPA) and its members by Darko Lorencin, Croatia's Minister of Tourism
Forty travel agencies of the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies (UHPA), as well as the UHPA's office, have implemented quality management system based on the international standard ISO 9001:2008, which makes UHPA the first trade association in the tourism industry to gain the certificate and one of the few associations of travel agencies in Europe and the world whose members have obtained the certificate through joint working and cooperation.
The agencies which meet the ISO standard and implement a certified quality management system show a commitment to continuous improvement in service quality. Moreover, travel agencies show true dedication to servicing clients’ and customers’ needs and wishes. Therefore, the implementation of quality management systems was supported by the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Croatia.
The certification ceremony was held on September 8, 2014 in Zagreb, and the ISO 9001:2008 certificates were handed to forty agencies, members of UHPA, and to the UHPA trade association by Darko Lorencin, the Minister of Tourism. Addressing the ceremony, Mr. Lorencin said: “The fact that the umbrella association of travel agencies – UHPA and its 40 members have gained this international recognition of the quality of work is a giant step towards even more professional and high-quality business operations of Croatian travel agencies, and a step towards the further development of Croatian tourism industry. Tourism workers are very important for a tourism success story and the employees of travel agencies are often the first points of contact many tourists have with a destination. Therefore, their professionalism and the quality of their work are the key factors in the tourism industry. Having a quality certification is important not only when applying for various projects, but also very significant from the marketing perspective when communicating with customers and partners.”
The President of UHPA, Mr. Boris Žgomba, greeted the members and guests in attendance and emphasized the benefits of implementing quality management systems: “Achieving the ISO standards means making a commitment not only to maintain high quality services and quality management systems, but also to continuously work on upgrading and improving them. ISO 9001:2008 is a mark of professionalism and an international quality standard, equal and measurable in every country and on every continent. I am glad that colleagues and agencies recognized the importance of the ISO standard and that all of us together, in a joint effort via the association have decided to apply for the certification. These standards have been set for the benefit of all of us and for the improvements in our profession. This is one step further in business operations and a step towards increasing the competitiveness of Croatia as a tourist destination. We have set high standards which is a great motive force for continuous work, development and progress.”
Project ISO 9001:2008 continues in September
UHPA launched the ISO certification project in 2012, together with the certification company Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance and the consultant company IQ Ltd. Addressing the ceremony, Ivan Čupić, a representative of the certification company Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance said: “The implementation of quality management systems in travel agencies helps agencies fulfill the present and future needs of their clients in an effective and efficient way and ensures that the products and services meet the demands of clients, as well as legal demands.
The Association of Croatian Travel Agencies, supported by the Ministry of Tourism, will continue with the project, i.e. the certification of travel agencies based on the ISO 9001:2008 quality management system, in September 2014. Preparatory training courses for lead auditors are organized at the moment and applications of travel agencies for participation in the project will be accepted soon. This project, as well as the travel agency specialization project which is also supported by the Ministry of Tourism, should guarantee a high level of business ethics, responsibility and a continuous effort of travel agencies to meet the interests of their clients.
Here's what our agencies say about ISO:
“Even though we obtained ISO standard certification quite recently, it has become very important for our business operations. Not only did it enable us to centralize our knowledge, skills and work instructions, but it also increased the level of internal business quality, as well as our customer relationship management. We think that the continuation of implementing quality systems will provide the foundation to better customer and staff satisfaction and faster and more focused improvement”. Mate Balić, Adriagate d.o.o.
Our guiding principle for implementing the ISO certification was to become a competitive service provider and a reliable partner in the tourism market”. Anamarija Pustijanac Vinković, Arlen turizam d.o.o.
“With the implementation of ISO standard we managed to plug the holes which had been creeping into our complex organizational structure. Sometimes it may seem that everything is in order and well functioning – ISO has helped us to ensure that this is the case by overcoming some hurdles which we were not able to recognize ourselves. We can see the positive effects it had on all our employees and the results of a new business strategy are noticeable even in this short period of implementation”. Ivan Pukšar, Kompas Zagreb d.d.
“Each and every one of us must choose its own working style. There is nothing left for small travel agencies, whose ambition is to use their quality in order to climb the ladder of European and world markets, but to dedicate themselves to certification models. One of the main certification models on this path is ISO 9001:2008. The implementation of ISO system has erased all doubts about how to approach clients, suppliers, business partners and associates. A clear-cut formula for arranging paperwork and defining relationships between travel agency and other entities have led to a positive clarification of relationships, speeded up assignment execution which gives the impression that everything is in order and under control”. Maria-Gracia Baćac, M-G Express d.o.o
ISO 9001:2008 certification have been obtained by the UHPA's office and the following forty members:
A.T.I. d.o.o., Pula; Adriaday, Opatija; Adriagate d.o.o., Split; Adriatic Explore d.o.o., Dubrovnik; Anastasia d.o.o., Šibenik; APP turizam - travel agency, Požega; Ariella d.o.o., Umag; Arlen turizam d.o.o., Poreč; Atlantis travel d.o.o., Zagreb; Atlas Trogir DMA d.o.o., Trogir; Aventur d.o.o., Trogir; Biokovo Active Holidays d.o.o., Makarska; Božilov Dubrovnik Travel d.o.o., Dubrovnik; El-pi tours d.o.o., Malinska; Fiore d.o.o., Poreč; F-tours putovanja d.o.o., Split; Huck finn d.o.o., Zagreb; Katarina line d.o.o., Opatija; Ka travel d.o.o., Karlovac; Kompas Zagreb d.d., Zagreb; Mag Tours d.o.o., Šibenik; Marbis d.o.o., Koprivnica; Maricom d.o.o., Pag; M-G express d.o.o., Kanfanar; Mondo travel d.o.o., Zagreb; Orion tours d.o.o., Đakovo; Orvas d.o.o., Split; Petros d.o.o., Zagreb; Pražen putovanja d.o.o., Brodarica; Radmanove mlinice - Kaštil Slanica, Omiš; RB travel d.o.o., Rijeka; Receptiva Opera d.o.o., Donja Stubica; Sea Gate, Trogir; Super Tours d.o.o., Dubrovnik; Šiloturist travel agency, Šilo; TerraNautika d.o.o., Dubrovnik; Travelana d.o.o., Rijeka; Uniline d.o.o., Pula; Varaždintours d.o.o., Varaždin; VMD travel agency d.o.o., Zagreb. (is,bg,np)