Morana Suton of Zagreb Visitor Center Named European Tourist Informant of the Year!

Total Croatia News

Source: European Cities Marketing
Morana Suton, tourist informant of the year in Europe
Morana Suton, tourist informant of the year in Europe

November 21, 2020 – The European Cities Marketing organization has named Zagreb Visitor Center employee Morana Suton as the tourist informant of the year in Europe.

As the Zagreb Tourist Board reports, at the 7th Tourist Information Centres Expert Meeting, which was held online, Morana Suton was selected among the registered candidates and became the first tourist informant from Croatia with such valuable recognition.

According to the ECM, for the 5th year in a row, before this year’s edition of the TIC Expert Meeting, European Cities Marketing organized a friendly competition amongst its members, who were asked to nominate a member of their tourist information center staff who gave added value to their work on customer services.

Among all of this year’s applications, the TIC Knowledge Group jury awarded Morana Suton from Zagreb with the ECM TIC Hostmanship Award 2020 for being present at the Zagreb Airport Visitor Center on the day of the earthquake, to greet, encourage, and guide visitors in extraordinary circumstances.

The Zagreb Tourist Board nominated Morana Suton because she showed the qualities of a true tourist worker. Namely, Sunday, March 22, 2020, was planned as the last working day of the Visitor Center at the Franjo Tuđman International Airport due to the introduction of the lockdown. However, the earthquake hit Zagreb and extraordinary circumstances occurred. Informant Suton called immediately in the morning and expressed her desire to go to work, explaining that all visitors who find themselves there will need help and guidelines for further action. After the security checked the airport building, the informant Suton was permitted to go to work and she went there around 10 am. Despite the immediate cancellation of all flights, scheduled air traffic was soon re-established, and all passengers who found themselves at the airport were very grateful for the help and information provided by Morana Suton.

“The job of an informant at the Visitor Center is not only to provide information and present a destination to tourists but also to provide a sense of security and a carefree stay to every visitor. Our informant, Morana Suton, did her job professionally and with the maximum level of responsibility, and I am extremely proud of her composure and dedication, which showed the qualities of a true tourist worker in particularly difficult circumstances. We have decided to nominate her for the European Informant of the Year, and we are happy that the profession has recognized this, awarding her this valuable recognition,” said Martina Bienenfeld, the director of the Zagreb Tourist Board.

The 7th Tourist Information Centres Expert Online Meeting / Source: European Cities Marketing

“This year, our tourism workers have shown exceptional responsibility, creativity, and adaptability. In this way, they contributed to the positive image of Croatia as a safe tourist destination. I am proud that the quality and professionalism of the Croatian tourist worker has been recognized by the profession, and I would like to give my sincere congratulations to Morana Suton. This recognition is another confirmation that the people are the key to success in tourism,” said Croatian Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac, who welcomed Morana Suton and the director of the Zagreb Tourist Board at the ministry.

Along with this award, Morana was granted a gift box from other TICs of Europe and a two-day work experience at Girona’s TIC in 2021 where the next TIC Expert Meeting will be held.

“On behalf of the Zagreb Tourist Board and myself, I want to express that I am very happy and truly honored to win the TIC Hostmanship Award 2020. It was a great pleasure for me to be able to represent the Croatian capital Zagreb at the TIC Expert Meeting and to meet TIC experts from other countries. I also want to thank my office, Zagreb Tourist Board, for nominating me for the TIC Hostmanship Award, thus allowing me to be a part of this year’s meeting and competition. TIC Expert Meeting 2021 in Girona is already on my calendar and I look forward to attending it next year. It will be my pleasure to get in touch with other people doing the same job as I do and sharing professional experience. It’s always interesting to meet my European colleagues and talk about the similarities of our job while learning at the same time how to improve our work to give the best in representing our city to the visitors,” commented Morana on her award.

European Cities Marketing (ECM) is a non-profit organization for tourist boards, convention offices, and city marketing organizations in Europe, founded in 1991. It gathers more than 120 members, including tourist offices from cities such as Vienna, Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, and others. Apart from Zagreb, the Croatian cities of Dubrovnik, Rijeka, and Opatija are also members.

The TIC Expert Meeting traditionally takes place physically for two days, but due to the pandemic, it was held online this year. As many as 140 Tourist Information Centres’ professionals representing 42 leading European cities joined this year’s Digital ECM TIC Expert Meeting to exchange knowledge and best practices of adaptation and innovation on Tourist Information Centres.

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