Recognizing the needs of the tourism workforce for specific skills and competences, UHPA project activities have always placed emphasis on informal staff training for travel agency employees, on keeping them informed and on including them in life-long learning programs.

In that regard, nationally, UHPA has a long running history of collaborating both with the Croatian Ministry of Tourism and the national DMO – HTZ. Tourism industry dynamics impose the need to strengthen human resource capacities in order to develop new products. By making training programs readily available and tailored to the needs of travel agencies, year after year, UHPA continues to contribute to the overall quality of the tourism offer, to the development of complex tourism products and to reining in the seasonality and volume of Croatian tourism.

Two professional development traning programs were designed and implemented for UHPA members over the years with the help of EU funds: with the UK Travel Association - ABTA (STAND TOUR) and the German Alliance of Independent Travel Companies - ASR (FAIR TOUR). In total, 22 participating tour operator represenatives enhanced their expertise in developing innovative products for the special interest tourism market and learned to adequately respond to the specificities of the British and German markets. Their experiences and advice were collected in two brochures (UHPA tips&tricks – How to do Business with UK Partners and UHPA Reise tipps&tricks) in which practical advice for inbound tour operators to improve their B2B cooperation with German and UK travel agencies and tour operators was provided. STAND TOUR was selected as a Croatian Mobility best-practice example by the national Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes.

In terms of building capacities for developing new tourism products internationally, UHPA has, as a partner in the implementation of the project "In Cultura Veritas – Developing Destination Appeal to Increase the Valorisation and Utilization of Cultural Heritage", contributed to the active protection of cultural assets in the cross-border area of Croatia and Slovenia. The project supported the creation of a sustainable tourist destination that innovatively connects the cultural heritage sites and the wine tradition of Zagreb County (HR) and the Obsotelje and Kozjansko (SLO) subregions.

Implemented under the EU program for cross-border cooperation between Croatia and Montenegro, UHPA’s "Open up a border for adventure and new travel opportunities" project aimed to contribute to the promotion of the potential of the Croatian and Montenegrin tourism offer as integral tourism destinations. The project improved the environment for the establishment of new tourism products based on the sustainable development of the program area and on the improvement of social connections in the cross-border area. UHPA activities included promotion, dissemination and participation in the organisation of modular training sessions for private, civil and public sector representatives.

Read more about UHPA projects on new product development and special interest tourism in the menu on the left.